Bus Etiquette

This post was taken from an old blog of mine, Chronicles of Crazy, and I’d like to share it.  Nothing will make you crazy like riding on a jam-packed bus with rude people.
Believe me… I know.

You don’t expect much courtesy on a city bus.  After all, anyone can ride them for the small fare of $2.50.  But there is something about this shared experience which brings some riders  together within the torturous confines of the bus’s walls.  Some people sympathize with one another and show respect to others who are forced into this horrid situation along with them.  Example: the student mall employees who all attempt to squeeze into the 9:15 and 9:30 buses at the end of the night.  (Why they don’t even send one extra bus at this time is beyond my understanding, since there is always at least one person standing in front of the yellow line explicitly stating “Do not stand beyond this point.”)

Though our expectations of the bus are low, there are still some simple ‘bus etiquettes’ that most people follow.  Especially at hours when the bus is beyond full.  If the bus is empty, but for one or two people, by all means, sit where you want, throw your bags on the seat, put your feet up – no one cares!

In times of maximum capacity, these are the few rules to follow:

When sitting in a coupled seat, always sit closest to the window and rest your belongings in your lap or on the floor in front of you.  If you don’t want a weirdo to be near you, don’t take the bus.  It’s as simple as that.  It is only courteous to leave the seat open so that everyone has the choice whether or not to sit down on the bus.  Leave the seat next to you open so that when the bus gets full, more people can sit down, leaving more room for people to stand, leaving more room for the bus driver to create the next *german word* as more and more people pile on.

If the bus is not too full and you want to stand rather than take the empty seat next to Homeless Santa, that is absolutely okay.  However, if the bus is slowly filling up, and there is less standing room, and there are some empty seats: take one!  Do you think you’re doing anyone a favour by being a hero and subway surfing the bus?  You’re not.  You’re just wasting space.  If you think someone else will take it, use the 30 Second Rule. If Standing Grandma doesn’t sit down within thirty seconds, you have every right to grab the seat which she has clearly rejected.

And how many times do people beside you, the bus driver, and common sense have to tell you: “MOVE TO THE BACK OF THE BUS!”  It doesn’t matter if you’re black, white, Rosa Parks, or Donald Trump.  If you are standing, move to the back.  Do not hover around the front door.  Do not stand in front of the back door.  Just go stand at the back of bus so that when it fills up, people don’t have to push past 29 people just to find standing room.

Now most of these ‘guidelines’ for bus etiquette are just common courtesy and sense…bus this is the stuff that people today are firmly lacking of.  It is ridiculous that every time I go on the bus I see people rudely hogging two seats when they have one tiny arse, and I am standing with four bags of groceries.  If you have a slightly guilty feeling about something you’re doing, you’re probably doing something wrong, so think about it.

This shared experience of misery can only bring us closer since for five to thirty minutes we are all reduced to sweaty livestock travelling by large container to our destination.


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