How Can I Be A Terrible Bus Rider?
How Rude Can You Be on Public Transportation?
Thankfully, I don't ride the bus that often. Too often, it reminds me that humanity is hopeless. Normally, I like to be positive. Unfortunately, when people behave in stupid, insensitive, and generally dumb ways on a bus, it brings humanity's future into question. Can we be decent to each other?
Understanding bus etiquette just isn't hard. Most five-year-olds get it. Obviously, if you can't ride a bus and grasp the basic rules, how are you doing in the world? How can you function in a balanced relationship with other people? Will you successfully procreate? And just how smart will those offspring be? Really, how are you going to do anything normal and do it well? Etiquette, be it on a bus or elsewhere, is just one of those basic things in life. Those basic rules allow us to function without descending into chaos. It's what separates us from monkeys.
So, let's go over the rules of riding the bus.
Don't Exit at the Rear of the Bus
It kills me that people don't understand this one. Kills me! Think about it. What is the number one complaint about bus service? It's obvious. The most common complaint about the bus service is that the buses don't run on time. Well, guess why the buses aren't on time? It's because people exit out the front door and people trying to get in the front door have to wait. If this happens at every stop, the bus runs late. Of course, this is specific to buses with a front door and a back door. You enter through the front door and exit through the back door. Enter and exit. Imagine there are signs.
Even if you're sitting at the front, you still exit through the back door. This allows everything and everyone to move at their best pace. Go ride your average bus. I bet if there are 100 people on the bus, 30 of them will exit out the front door. They are completely oblivious. They don't care that they're slowing everything down. About the only reason to exit through the front door is if a crowd is blocking the back door. When you Exit out the back door you demonstrate common decency. Exiting out the front door of a bus is the social equivalent of farting in a crowded elevator.
Value Your Cellphone More Than Other People
Here's a ubiquitous customer service experience. Somebody is talking on their phone. Then they approach a cashier. They stay on their phone. Then, when the cashier asks something, they grunt. What? Everything halts to a crawl. Lines grow longer. Service takes longer. C'mon, get off your phone!
Of course, such things happen on the bus all the time. Please stop. Please get off your phone if you anticipate talking to somebody. Like a bus driver. When the bus driver asks you a question and you can't hear her, it slows everything down. Obviously, this is bad for everyone. You are being rude and inconsiderate.
Refuse to Move For a Senior Citizen
It's amazing how many people are oblivious to this rule. If you are younger than 50, give up your seat when an older person boards. The front seats are for older people. Also, they're for others for whom walking to the back as the bus moves might cause them to fall. If you're young and mobile, you simply shouldn't sit at the front of the bus in the first place. Always be on the lookout for somebody getting on the bus who might need your seat. An old person might need it. A pregnant woman might need it. Somebody on crutches might need it. A dwarf with a limp might need it. Are you a decent human being with an understanding of the basic etiquette of public transportation? Then give up your seat to one of these people when it comes time to do so.
Don't Have Your Bus Pass Ready
For God's sake, have your bus pass ready for the bus driver. Obviously, the bus driver will need to see it. You probably need it to board. When you don't have it ready, everything stops. People behind you have to stand there and wait. The bus slows down. This is one of the bus driver's basic duties: make sure each passenger has paid the proper fare. Don't make it harder for the bus driver than it needs to be. Do you want to look like an idiot? Of course you don't.
Blast Your Music and Your Conversations For All to Hear
The bus isn't your personal office or nightclub. Because in situations that involves lots of other people, you should have some concept of etiquette. Obviously, this includes keeping your voice down when talking on the phone assuming talking on the phone is absolutely necessary. Other people who are on the bus want to read, listen to music, or just enjoy peace and quiet. They have the same right to that that you do to having a 100 decibel conversation about fantasy football. And if you're listening to your IPod, the music should not be audible beyond your own headphones. Furthermore, the volume should be low enough that you can hear stuff around you. Imagine somebody has to ask you a question or tell you something like "the bus is on fire". Be decent. Yes, manners are important.
Don't Thank the Driver
A "thank you" goes a long way. Bus drivers have a surprisingly stressful job and are generally not paid all that well. Giving a sincere thanks is appreciated. It's an easy thing to do. Also, it demonstrates good behavior to the other riders.
What do you find most frustrating about riding the bus?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 Sychophantastic