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News Tourists in Kyoto hijacked by out-of-service bus

thomas

Unswerving cyclist
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14 Mar 2002
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When the language barrier turns into language panic. :LOL:

Two foreign tourists who accidentally got on a bus out of service called the police in a panic when the driver refused to engage or halt the bus. The incident, which took place in Kyoto , involved the bus travelling approximately 4 kilometres over 20 minutes before the situation was resolved, as per the Kyoto Municipal Transportation Bureau and other reports. The driver, employed by West Japan JR Bus Co., continued driving due to communication difficulties. He said, "I was unsure how to communicate with the non-Japanese passengers. I believed addressing the situation at the bus terminal office would be more appropriate." Operations of the Kyoto city bus are partially contracted to West Japan JR Bus by the Kyoto municipal authorities.


"We apologize for the inconvenience we have caused to the customers," an official of the bus company said. "We will make what happened clearer and educate our drivers thoroughly." The driver apparently could have ended the ordeal before it started. The bus arrived at Kyoto Station in Shimogyo Ward around 5:10 p.m. on June 7. All passengers exited the vehicle, which was scheduled to go out of service. But the foreigners, a man and a woman, entered through the back door. The driver noticed the two when he checked the inside the bus after the other passengers left. However, he departed for the bus terminal office with the pair still aboard the vehicle, which was displaying an "out-of-service" sign. Apparently after realizing their mistake, the passengers asked the driver to stop the bus, but he did not understand their language and continued driving. After they called the police, an officer talked with the driver on the phone. The bus finally stopped in Ukyo Ward, and the two travelers exited.


 
Was the driver really clueless or being vindictive I wonder. I mean if he noticed them before he took off all he would have had to do is give the international symbol for "no good" and usher them off the bus. Hard to believe that doesn't happen regularly in Kyoto buses.
 
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