No, it’s not a spaceship

Islanders ‘conn(ex)ed’ after realising ‘Libertybus’ don’t offer free bus travel as implied in their name.

It’s the dawn of a new year, 2013 is just opening its eyes, and for our humble rock the first sight is the warm headlights and sleek, futuristic body of a Liberty bus. So named for the Island’s rich history of being liberated from things, our new public transport vehicles will slide perfectly into society as they roll past Liberty Wharf, stopping briefly at Liberation Square, before returning home to Liberation Station (that’ll be £3 please).

With a modern and trendy design voted for by the public, the Libertybus seem to resemble an oversized iPad on wheels. I don’t mean to sound insulting however, because iPads are cool. I only suggest that if Apple CEO Tim Cook visits the Island, perhaps a few free round trips to Greve du Lecq should subdue him in case he threatens to sue them ‘Samsung style’ for their curved edges.

This new design is a well-needed smartening up that is a vast improvement from the old yet reliable cuboids Connex used. With the island’s tourism as important as ever, Libertybus seems to be a step toward the future, and the public’s positive attitude toward it is evident in their involvement, ranging from voting for a design to the aptly named ‘Avanchicard’, chosen through a competition for the children of the island. Avanchi, I learned, has the inspiring meaning ‘to move forward/advance’ in Jerriais, and the patriotism of us Beans is something to be proud of, but it does sometimes worry me that we are lulled into a false sense of security solely because of the word liberty with some Jerriais thrown in there. So, as exciting as it is, let’s not stand down yet! It is a time for improvement, and let’s hope Libertybus deliver that to us, by way of more frequent bus times and a happier drivers union for example. I can’t deny that in the past I’ve had a few run ins with a rude driver and a late bus or two, so come on Libertybus, ‘liberate’ us from the tyranny of public transport mishaps, and make us proud!

On a more positive note, despite the bus-drivers strike that closed 2012, most of the drivers seem to have transferred over to Libertybus… and to me that shows hope, for a better future, nicer buses and plenty of paid overtime for the drivers.

Gone are the days of a 50p bus fare, and one can only hope that all this new technology (although possibly resulting in more ‘UFO sightings’ by the Island’s more eccentric residents) doesn’t mean an increase in prices, because with an evident rise in the cost of taxi fares over the years, and with high hopes for a more accessible bus timetable, it looks like 2013 holds many a double-decker bus journey for me. And yes, of course I’m going to sit at the very front of the top level and pretend I’m driving.

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