Fantastic feedback for route 80 driver

Public bus services don't generate too much positive feedback. Not many compliments.

“It's the nature of the beast,” says well-known Rotorua coach operator, Reesby's Duncan Wiggins. “People only ring to complain.” Bus late, no bus, bus driver rude, untidy bus, bus too fast, bus too slow, bus not stopping.

But when a bus driver doesn't get any feedback, it can also be construed as a ringing endorsement, as glowing praise. “It probably means he's doing everything absolutely right,” says Duncan.

As in the case of Katikati's ‘Turban Man' – the turban-wearing Sikh pilot of Bayhopper's route 80 – Baldev Singh who's achieved a level of localised celebrity at the wheel of the Katikati to Tauranga Bayhopper bus service.

“BD – for bus driver or Baldev,” says regular rider, graphic designer Kerri Wheeler. “He must be the coolest bus driver in the Bay”

Yep, cool and urbane, sophisticated and cultured. Confident, charming, courteous, caring, refined and dignified – and any other words adding up to debonair. Trademark bright red turban, a palette of white, silver and grey in that paddock of a beard, moustache twirled into an artwork with wax, deep dark mysterious eyes – a bus driver who cuts a dash.

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Photo by Bruce Barnard