There was a bright side to yesterday's industrial action by bus drivers - what could have been traffic chaos instead provided ideas for easing the city's constant morning traffic jams. A combination of commuters going to work earlier, bus drivers driving in an orderly manner under a work-to-rule, and a diversion of commuters to train services made yesterday's ride to work a more enjoyable journey than usual. Traffic was smooth, waiting time for buses was normal if not shorter and more seats were available, some commuters said. New World First Bus gave out bait to lure its workers to take extra shifts to compensate for the small number of strikers. It offered a cash reward of HK$300 - seven times the monthly pay rise drivers are seeking - to drivers on holiday who went to work. Meanwhile Southern district councillors staged what some people called a publicity stunt, providing free shuttle buses in what was tipped to be the worst-hit area. 'The road is clear. I think it will be great if bus companies can keep the standard of service,' said Sai Ying Pun resident Chan Yiu-kwan, who regularly takes the bus to work because the district has no railway service. 'Buses came on time and there were fewer passengers, probably because some have chosen other types of transport. To me, the strike is like a blessing in disguise.' Some taxi drivers were also happy with the drivers' work-to-rule, which included keeping buses in the left lane and not overtaking; rather than making roads more congested it made traffic more orderly. 'I hope that bus drivers will work to rule every day,' cabbie Chu Shue-chip said. 'It will save us trouble. If they keep to the left, we won't get stuck in other lanes. The traffic was in fact smoother than usual.' Southern district councillor Chai Man-hon, of the Democratic Party, said he hoped New World First Bus could provide the same level of service on normal days. 'It will definitely reduce the number of complaints related to traffic residents raise with district councillors,' said Chai, who provided free shuttle bus services between Wah Fu and Central or Causeway Bay. While many residents were happy with the free shuttles, which were more frequent than the usual bus service, another Southern district councillor, Au Lap-sing, said it was 'just a show'. 'They are just using money to tout for residents' hearts,' said the independent councillor, who suggested the Democratic Party spent HK$10,000 on the four coaches. 'The service is completely unnecessary.' A handful said they felt the industrial action had an effect. 'I didn't pay close attention to the strike. The bus [route 260] used to be really fast this summer. But today there was higher traffic. I thought kids were going back to school,' said Will Denyer, who lives in Stanley and works in Wan Chai. 'The ride took about 10 minutes more.'