Is there such a thing ? In a short answer very much so, and it is alive and well in Brisbane. Why this should be so I am not entirely sure, but overhearing one young man as he was ready to get on the bus has given me some answers.
This is my preferred mode of transport. I have a Go card which I touch on and off. The bus service is expansive, reasonably frequent and reliable but nowhere have I experienced old fashioned manners as I have here in Brisbane.It may have a lot to do with its roots as a big country town. The transport system started in 1885 with horse trams and then went into electric trolley buses in the 1950s before expanding to the present day CNG run buses.
It does not matter how long you have been waiting for a bus, when one comes along you see that young people will stand aside and allow older people to get on first, followed by mums and babes.I watched as one man stood aside with his mate - his mate moaned about having to wait like this and the young man said to him:
"Mate my grandmother would kill me if I didn't do this !"
I boarded the bus before them and turned to them and said "I love the fact that you do this !"
Would you consider greeting and thanking the bus driver in New York or London ? It would seem silly but here it is the norm.
I get on and and say "Good morning" or "Good day" and more often then not the bus driver, (a lot of them women by the way) will say "Good day" and quite a few will say "Isn't it a beautiful day!" as if it is a rarity in Brisbane which cracks me up each time.
People leave the bus and wave and verbally thank the driver with a loud "Thank you driver !"I do it without fail but again what is surprising is that often they will answer back and say "You have a good day", "take care", "cheers !"
On a couple of occasions younger people have given up seats for me ( Horrors to that of course, do I really look that old?) In fairness though, there are usually enough seats, except around school time when the kids get on in their very old fashioned uniforms styled on UK public schools and they will not sit down unless they have asked anyone standing if they want to sit down first. All the buses are disabled friendly so people in wheelchairs can get on and off without any issues. Free buses circulate the city like the one in the picture that you can get on and off at any stage on its route. Once on, people chat but do not talk loudly on their phones.
Did I mention the lovely and friendly conversations I have with complete strangers while waiting for a bus...
Bus heaven - I think so.