Charlottetown Transit Customer Service

8:25 a.m. — Arrive on Bus #1 at the University of PEI. Bus pulls right into the parking lot as it usually does.

10:03 a.m. — Ready to depart UPEI. See posters on bus shelter advising the the bus will not pull into parking lot as it usually does, but ignore these given 8:25 a.m. experience.

10:07 a.m. — See a bus drive by on University Avenue. Assume it was my bus and that posters are actually accurate. Phone Charlottetown Transit and seek confirmation; friendly operator puts me on hold, calls the bus that drove by and asks driver to come back and get me.

10:10 a.m. — Bus comes back to get me.

This is what it’s like to live in a small town with a customer service-driven transit company.


Elmine Wijnia's picture
Elmine Wijnia on July 6, 2009 - 14:56 Permalink

OK, OK, I’ll admit. Living on PEI has it’s benefits ;) (silently wishing for the same kind of service in my town, but that ain’t never gonna happen)

Rob Lantz's picture
Rob Lantz on July 6, 2009 - 15:42 Permalink

Odd that it pulled into the parking lot outgoing, but not incoming. We did not ignore the sign yesterday and everything went smoothly other than the fact that I read the outbound stop times when I should have been reading the inbound times, and thus waited at the bus stop about thirty minutes longer than necessary.

Andrew Chisholm's picture
Andrew Chisholm on July 6, 2009 - 16:42 Permalink

I could only imagine the response one might get if they called a transit company in any other community, “wait 8 minutes for the next one.”

I introduced my mother to the buses here in Charlottetown. She was nervous at first so I took her to the stop and helped her out the first few times. The drivers are great when it comes to helping her out. She now gets monthly passes.

All we need now is some better branding and improved use of resources; each bus does not need to meet Downtown, Superstore, Charlottetown Mall, etc.

Dan James's picture
Dan James on July 6, 2009 - 16:49 Permalink

I’ve had the same thing happen but never called and took a taxi instead. I think the real issue is the inconsistency. It seems to vary by driver and day.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on July 6, 2009 - 16:51 Permalink

Inconsistency” to some is “humanity” to others, I suppose. The key feature of the Charlottetown Transit system is that they will listen to you if you offer feedback. Indeed they thrive on it.

Derek Martin's picture
Derek Martin on July 6, 2009 - 18:05 Permalink

Re: Inconsistency=humanity

Is not all human behaviour humanity?

Nathan's picture
Nathan on July 7, 2009 - 03:46 Permalink

I’d prefer consistency and predictability in a transit service.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on July 7, 2009 - 13:56 Permalink

This morning my experience was less satisfying: I took the bus up to UPEI with no problems (it was running a little late, but there’s construction on Capital Drive that’s slowing up the whole city). To get back downtown I waited for the 8:48 a.m. bus, but it drove right by and didn’t stop in at UPEI; I called and found that this bus never stops in at UPEI as it’s a “curbside” pickup only, which does result in some serious “consistency” demerit points. I waited for the 9:07, and ended up downtown 20 minutes later than I wanted.

Rob Lantz's picture
Rob Lantz on July 7, 2009 - 14:56 Permalink

I guess the CS on the schedule (e.g. CS 8:48 A) stands for “Curb Side”. There is no legend to denote this.

Kevin's picture
Kevin on July 16, 2009 - 12:37 Permalink

Ellie’s bus drove past her this winter (in a snow storm) only a dozen feet in front of her. She called transit and they were closed. It turns out the drivers had dynamically switched routes by phone in the middle of their runs (because her bus was running a few minutes late) and the subed-in driver just rolled on by because he wasn’t familiar with that part of the route (though one would think government offices are a mandatory stop).

And it wasn’t the first time the bus didn’t come.

I called (she’s rarely free during the day) they were polite and apologetic and suggested an alternative for future situations — one that does not meet Ellie’s needs — but did say that they’d cover Taxi fare in such cases which is reasonable (and to me, a minimum).

What impressed me is that I could call and have an intelligent conversation about it. Try that elsewhere and results are likely to be quite different.