The number of complaints received by Cardiff Bus over 14 months exceeded 2,000, as passengers criticised drivers' attitudes, standards of driving and their failure to stop to pick up passengers.
An FOI request revealed Cardiff Bus received 2,319 complaints between 1 January 2010 and 28 February 2011. The “attitude” of bus drivers received 399 complaints, while their “driving standards” earned them 378 complaints.
“Service failure”, primarily cancelled services, received 454 complaints.
Early running services received 114 complaints, while late buses received 83.
A staggering 438 complaints related to buses failing to stop and failing to stop to pick up passengers.
Rhys Evans, Deputy Senior Director of Consumer Focus Wales, described how a Cardiff Bus driver spoke to a foreign student when he got on the wrong bus.
"The driver was just rude. He refused to listen to him and was talking to him in an unnecessarily loud voice telling him that 'there were no free rides on his bus'. The incident was quite depressing actually," he said.
Jo Burnett told The Cardiffian: “I spent about six years using Cardiff Bus and they were just a nightmare in general. I have a car now. It’s a shame Cardiff Bus have the monopoly on bus travel in Cardiff. I think it would do them a world of good to have some healthy competition.”
Kate Owen, a personal assistant who commutes from Rhondda to Cathays, said although Cardiff Bus drivers are usually friendly to her, one was rude and unhelpful when her Iff Card didn't work.
She said: "The driver told me there was no credit on my card. I said I was sure that there was. He was adamant that there wasn't. He huffed and puffed some more. I asked if he would try the card again. He did, and lo and behold it came up with some credit on.
"It's just really poor customer care really."
One angry passenger wrote on Twitter: “Bus arrives late...now broken down! The joys of Cardiff transport!”
Another said: "Horrendous service for a capital city!"
There were 1,961 complaints between 1 January 2009 to 31 December 2009.
In 2009 there were 226 complaints about driving standards, and 177 concerned service failure.
Neglecting to stop to pick up passengers earned Cardiff Bus 246 complaints. The attitude of bus drivers has remained a problem, as there were 345 complaints in 2009.
Cardiff Bus categorised 358 complaints in 2010/11 as “miscellaneous” or “other”.
In its FOI response, Cardiff Bus said: “Staff have been both dismissed and disciplined as a result of complaints made against our company”.
They also explained that serious incidents, such as complaints about driving standards, would prompt a review of on-board CCTV footage and vehicle location tracking systems.
A spokesperson for Cardiff Bus said: “At Cardiff Bus, we actively encourage our customers to give us feedback on all aspects of our services. Such dialogue is important and feeds into our drive for continuous improvement.
“We would like to emphasise that factors that are outside our direct control often impact on our performance. This said, we value the data we receive from customers and we remain committed to delivering high quality service to all customers.
“Our drivers and front-line employees receive extensive customer care training as part of their ongoing personal development.”