Polite gestures by commuters and bus drivers make for a happier ride

At a time when the emphasis is on improving courtesy at all levels of public interaction, the campaign to instil appreciative behaviour and kindness towards bus drivers in particular is to be lauded (Boarding the bus? Say 'thank you' to the driver; Oct 22).

As I recall my trip to New Zealand, two points come to mind that could further improve commuter courtesy in Singapore.

First, it is not only important to say "good morning" or "thank you" when boarding the bus, it is also equally polite to say "thank you" or "cheers" when alighting.

When buses are overcrowded it may not be practical to shout out a "thank you" to the driver when alighting, but even a simple wave would suffice.

Second, a smile or quick welcoming word on the part of the driver to passengers as they board would be appreciated. Such polite gestures invariably make for a happier riding experience for both bus driver and commuter, while such acts of graciousness demonstrate the best of humanity.

These acts also reflect empathy, kindness and appreciation for public transport service workers, while making a difference to people's everyday lives.

It is time we showed bus drivers we care. We want them to give us a safe and pleasant commute.

V. Subramaniam (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 24, 2018, with the headline 'Polite gestures by commuters and bus drivers make for a happier ride'. Print Edition | Subscribe