This will be my last post in this series on the, “Psychology of Bus Riding”. The last one, “How not to Sit Next to the Weirdo” was well received. I mentioned towards the end of that post that the efforts not to sit next to the weirdo conflict with what is generally proper bus riding etiquette. This picture succeeds in avoiding the weirdo but totally violates proper public transportation rules. It earned the title of, “This is the ultimate “how to be a jerk on public transit” photo“.
Amazingly, I have found numerous blogs on the subject of proper bus riding etiquette. There seems to be an unwritten but almost universal code amongst us bus riders. Something’s bother different riders more than others. You can find them here, here, here, here, here and here. Some of these writers are polite and some are not. There are, apparently, no blog writing etiquette rules. Take for example this statement.
“Rule #5: Wear deodorant.
This is rather important, and you’re likely to annoy everyone in close proximity if you don’t. If, for some reason, you can’t wear deodorant, make sure you get a seat and don’t wind up holding the railing with your armpit in someone’s face — cos if it’s my face, my vomit might end up on your shoes.”
The polite person will say something like this.
“10. Shower. You will be around many people so it is best to smell your best.”
Apparently we Americans are loud and noisy.
“Rule #6: Be quiet.
I often hear groups of loud Americans traveling on the bus from the airport to the subway station. Guess what? It’s annoying, and nobody cares about, like, your analysis of the last episode of 24.”
So what are my main rules for riding the bus?
Be there on time: Don’t expect the bus driver to stop and pick you up because you didn’t get your coffee in time at the local coffee shop.
Have your bus pass or correct change ready: I make an effort to do this because I travel many times with my bike and that takes a small amount of time to place in the rack. I have seen veteran bus riders that have been waiting for a bus get on and have to search for their fare or pass while the bus and the passengers wait for them. I could see it if they were new riders but they know how much it costs. This is my number one pet peeve.
Let the old, handicapped, and pregnant have the seats in front:
This isn’t normally a problem on our local buses but could be in bigger cities. There does seem to be some controversy with baby strollers. I have been bumped out of my seat over in Ukiah by them. One of the young ladies with a stroller was very rude to other passengers and seemed to think she was entitled. I only bring this up because she was taking up space for the handicapped. I found this article that explains the issue. It’s titled, “On A Rant: I Don’t Move For Baby Strollers.”
Don’t litter: I have seen people leave all sorts of things behind. It’s the bus driver that has to clean up after you so don’t make their job harder. This includes leaving your empty beverage cups behind at the bus stops.
Know who wants to talk to you and those who don’t: This is a tricky one. I’ve been traveling on the bus long enough to know which passengers or bus drivers want to talk. I also know which passengers I don’t want to hear from. Take your time when striking up a conversation.
Do try to smell your best: Just remember–to some people the smell of your cologne can be just as bad as your BO.
Greet and thank your bus driver: They will do the same to you.
That’s my little list of do’s and don’ts.
I would like to end this post and series with a shout out to a special blog that I’ve found that’s titled, “How To Ride a Bus–A Practical, General Guide to Riding Public Transportation in the U.S.” It was written by SmartChica. She put a lot of thought and time into it. She makes this statement, “I am shocked and amazed at the reluctance and fear others display when they find out I ride the Albuquerque bus or use buses when I travel.
It appears that many people living in the U.S. have never stepped foot on public transportation. With the constant rise in food and gas prices, it would seem we need more alternatives for slashing our monthly expenses. Riding the bus during the week is one way to save some dough and still live your life.”
She gives practical advise on how to ride the bus, which totes to carry, busts some myths about bus riding and even provides some tips on which umbrellas to carry. You can find this article here.