The Psychology of Bus Riding Part Two–Phobias

Couldn’t find a picture that shows a person on a bus but this one will do. It’s amazing what you can find on the web. Just type in “pictures of people with phobias” and see what you get. I wanted to use the “clown” but I’m afraid of them:) Picture is uncredited.

In my research on bus riding I have found that there is such a thing as fear of riding a bus. BUT there is no name for it. Some of the phobias that come close are, Amaxophobia the fear of riding in a car, Hodophobia is the fear of road travel, and Ochophobia is the fear of vehicles. One site saids that it’s busfobia. I think they just made that up. It’s not latiny (a word I just made up) or Greek enough. Obviously there are lots of phobias out there. My choice of a name would be Omnibusphobia. I know it doesn’t roll off the tongue but it does have some Latin attached to it. Wikipedia explains, “Bus is a clipped form of the Latin word Omnibus. It appeared in Paris in 1819–20 as (voiture) omnibus meaning (carriage) for all, and appeared in London in 1829.[2] One etymology holds that “omnibus” is derived from a hatter’s shop which was situated in front of one of the first bus stations in Nantes, France in 1823. “Omnes Omnibus” was a pun on the Latin sounding name of that hatter Omnès: omnes meaning “all” and omnibus means “for all” in Latin. Nantes citizens soon gave the nickname of Omnibus to the vehicle.[3]”

To see that there are fears of riding the bus you can go to this website and watch the conversation when a young(30?) male asks the question, “How do I get over my fears of riding the public transit?” His fears are, 

“- I’m afraid that I’ll get lost, and end up somewhere nowhere near where I’m supposed to be. This is a very real fear, since I have trouble with directions and get lost easily, and also have a very bad memory for directions.

– I’m afraid that some psychopath will get on the bus with me, go crazy, and kill me or hurt me.

I’m also afraid to walk around in other neighborhoods. My neighborhood is very safe, but I’m afraid that, if I get off the bus in order to go into a store, I’ll run into some crazy person with a mental illness that will have a gun and/or knife, and will try to kill me.”


Although it doesn’t have an official name there are cures for it. 

Hypnosis can help you overcome your anxiety and travel comfortably

This site states:”Overcome fear of public transport is an audio hypnosis session developed by psychologists who work with every kind of fear and phobia. It will help you ‘re-tag’ your travels as safe and non-threatening. As you relax and listen repeatedly to your download, you’ll quickly notice that you can relax more quickly and more deeply each time you listen
the old worrying association you had made with public transport gets replaced with calm neutral feelings you can think about travelling by bus or train and stay quite relaxed
it becomes harder to even remember that it once used to bother you
you feel quite calm and comfortable when you actually travel”
 If that doesn’t work this site asks the question, “Do You Suffer From Bus Phobia?”
Treatments of bus phobia” 
“When talking about how to cure a phobia of the bus, the first and best possible form of treatment, which you may consider, is NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming.
The job of NLP is to restructure your unconscious mind and help you think from a different perspective. A good NLP Self Help program helps you to form your mental ‘constructs’ out of what you are able to sense.”
I don’t personally find much value in tapes and downloads to solve problems. But if they work use them. I think the best way to get over your phobias (like bike riding on a heavy traffic street) is just do it. Maybe a friend or relative can travel with you for awhile. I’ll end with this story about how a mother used her 12 year old son to help her take her first Tucson City Bus ride. It’s a good read and funny in spots. You can read it here.

Next time I’ll check out the stigma of bus riding.


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