It's the second part of this line of thought that is perhaps not my favorite- mainly when the passenger in question characterizes all other bus drivers as a group. Has there ever been a circumstance when categorizing people as "the other" was constructive?
The fact is, I'm not the only operator out there doing a good job. There are drivers whose talents, experiences and observation far exceed my own. I learn from these titans, and feel honored to be among their company. There are also fellows whose apathy makes them a catastrophic embarrassment to the force, and I learn from watching them as well. I recognize it's this latter minority passengers are referring to when they say "other drivers," but I'm thankful when they use some sort of qualifying language to indicate this, rather than the blanket generalization.
"Some drivers suck ass," a customer recently informed me. She'd qualified it with "some," and as such I actually found it more enlightened than another's unqualified "other drivers are lame."
I ride the bus all the time, and it's easy to remember the disappointing drivers, but there are quite a number of above-average operators here. Out-of-towners often comment on this, as it's a contrast to (many) other cities. There's also a sizable count of drivers perhaps not as gregarious as myself, but who are no less competent.
If you're driver is a good one, wish him or her a nice day on your way out. (S)he may not relate to you the value of hearing that statement, but I speak from experience when I say it means a lot.
In the same way that I say thanks to a lot of unresponsive passengers, your thanks may have a bigger impact than you'll ever be aware. It can only help, after all!