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How To Ride a Bus

Updated on January 10, 2017
MyCrazyAdventures profile image

Melissa lives in Downtown Albuquerque. She loves sharing her local discoveries with fellow travelers and explorers.

Photo courtesy of AMA90.
Photo courtesy of AMA90.

A Practical, General Guide to Riding Public Transportation in the U.S.

It's always a good idea to have an alternate form of transportation accessible for moments when your vehicle isn't available and neither are your family, friends or helpful co-workers.

I began riding school buses at the age of five years--it was the only way to get to kindergarten. I continued to ride them as needed throughout my school years.

During middle school my parents introduced me to public transportation and although I didn't ride the city bus without them at that age, I found it a great tool once I started college. I rode the Houston city bus to my college classes when my car was in the shop or unavailable.

Buses and Travel

I also use public transportation when I travel. Buses are typically inexpensive to utlitize and far more interesting than a taxi ride.

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.

This lens is meant to be a general guide to riding a bus and designed to quell the fear you may have about public transportation.

Photo courtesy of nickobec.
Photo courtesy of nickobec.

Where to Begin

Every City Schedule is Different

First, you need to know that every city bus schedule and fee structure is different. However, once you get comfortable riding your city bus, riding one elsewhere will be easy to accomplish.

Second, you need to know where your transportation center is and how the system is laid out. Some systems operate from a single, central location and others may have several central areas where the buses converge and cross paths. This is important information if you need to cut across town going north/south when coming from an east/west direction or vice versa, or if you need to change buses to travel in a straight line.

Third, you need to find your city's bus schedule and begin to study it. Most cities have bus schedules online. The information is usually offered in layers such as the route numbers and names on one page and a separate document that shows each individual stop on another.

Fourth, you need to find out what the trip fees are. In Albuquerque it's $2 for an all day pass (you can get on and off the bus all you want all day long with the magnetic encoded card the driver gives you) or $1 each way. You can also buy monthly passes, but unless you are riding everyday, four to five days a week, that is usually not a good way to spend your transportation money.

Photo courtesy of ricohman.
Photo courtesy of ricohman.

Your Next Step

  • Begin noticing where the bus stops are on the route you need to take.
  • Plan your route. Know where you will get on the bus and where you will get off the bus and see what routes on your city bus schedule will take you to your destination.
  • Some city's have phone apps that will help you plan a route.

Myth #1

People on the bus are scary.

Busted: I have seen incredible acts of kindness take place on public transportation. People offer assistance on buses that people in cars don't ever offer.

Photo courtesy of dragon_art.
Photo courtesy of dragon_art.

Here's How It Works

  1. Arrive at your designated bus stop five to ten minutes before the scheduled arrival.
  2. Have your correct change or bus pass ready.
  3. When the bus arrives, you will enter the bus at the door nearest the driver. Wait for all departing passengers to exit if they are leaving from the door you are entering from. Be aware that wheelchair or handicapped passengers are given exit or entrance priority. This may include the lowering of an automatic plank for easier access. In this case, let the bus driver tell you when to board.
  4. There will be a change post next to the driver. Say hello to the driver and place your money in the appropriate slots. If you have a bus pass, swipe the pass through the appropriate slot or show it to the driver, which ever is required and then take a seat. If you are buying a day pass, wait for the pass to get generated and then remove it from the machine and take your seat.
  5. If you are riding one way, place your money into the change post and take a seat.
  6. Take note of where the "stop button" is located. Stop buttons can be mounted on poles or may be in other forms such as a pull rope along the top of the windows or a bar along the lower window frame that you push.
  7. Watch the marquee and the scenery outside for your stop and push or pull the stop mechanism before your stop but after the last stop. Many buses have a digital marquee that sits above the driver at the front of the bus. The marquee shows the time, date and the next stop. It can also show that a stop has been requested. Drivers may also shout out (or use a microphone) to tell passengers what stop is ahead.
  8. Exit the bus at the stop you have requested once the bus comes to a complete stop and the doors open. Some buses require you to push on the doors after the green light above the door has come on.

A Handy Tool to Have

Not all bus stops have shelters and you will need to be prepared to protect yourself from rain, wind or sun.

I like the big umbrellas that keep you well covered in the rain. Try a reflective, flat umbrella for sun protection

The clear ones make it easier to keep track of whether the bus is headed your way.

What to Expect on the Bus

Bus drivers are at work which means they get breaks every hour and we wait for them to finish their break time. This all happens within a schedule that includes bus times so no worries.

If the driver is running late, they may speed the trip up a bit by going faster. If you feel you are in danger at anytime, call the city transportation contact phone number and report the driver. You will need the route number and the bus number (usually printed inside the bus near the marquee or on the exterior of the bus both front and back.)

Some bus drivers may pull over for a minute or two or wait longer at a stop--this is usually because they are ahead of schedule and need to slow down. If you are on a bus when this happens, just sit tight and wait, you won't be delayed.

Myth #2

You could get held up on the bus and your things could get stolen.

Busted: Most public transportation departments have undercover police in place to prevent this, and they train their drivers to manage crazy behavior. Plus, it's been my experience that crowd power stops abuse on buses in many cases.

Carry a Cleanable Tote

I suggest carrying totes and bags that close, are easy to clean and are inexpensive to replace.

The bus may look clean but you will be amazed at how quickly a tote or jacket can get dirty if you don't wash it once a week.

I have bus clothes I wear that I immediately remove when I get home.

Photo courtesy of garageino.
Photo courtesy of garageino.

Get Some Practice - Plan a simple trip

Now you are ready to choose a day during the week and plan a simple get off, eat at a restaurant and get back on the bus to go home trip.

Personally, I would take a day off during the week, when you don't have to go to work or your office, and ride the bus. Not on a weekend day but during the week so that you get a real idea about what that feels like. Then do an errand close by or have lunch and pickup a return bus to go home.

Here is what a "bus stop button" can look like - Take a look at the photo above.

You could even just get on the bus and ride it for a mile, get off and return home by crossing the street and picking up the bus going back toward home.

You will be amazed at how good you feel after doing this once. There is a sense of accomplishment and confidence that comes with a successful bus ride.

If You Don't Want to Talk to Anyone - Try one of these

You aren't obligated to have conversations but you will find there are people that are lonely or like to hear themselves and just can't stop talking.

An iPod or similar item can be a life saver!

Myth #3

The people on the bus are poor and dirty. Really, someone looked right at me and said this after they found out I rode the bus. I am neither, btw.

Busted: Sometimes they are. But I am not sure why that would deter you from riding the bus.

Tips and Things to Remember

Photo courtesy of mzacha.
Photo courtesy of mzacha.

Tips for Riding the Bus

  • Bus drivers do not give change. Have the correct change ready (no pennies, btw!)
  • Check your usual schedule for changes periodically. Sometimes transportation schedules change and the riders don't know either because the rider doesn't bother to check or the bus company hasn't updated their information online. It happens. It has happened to me. Usually the time changes are five or ten minutes different from the previous which is no big deal but if you are catching cross town buses and making route changes it can delay you.
  • Read all the signs on the bus you ride. Route changes or holidays schedules are often posted there.
  • Be aware of where your bags and purse are at all times. Don't leave your things unattended with your back turned.
  • Don't feel obligated to visit with someone sitting next to you. A smile and a nod works just fine.
  • Let the driver know if there are problems at the back of the bus. They often cannot see what is going on when the bus is crowded.
  • Don't be afraid to ask people to move, politely, if you need to get through the aisle or out a door.
  • Don't be afraid to shout at the driver if the back door is not open and you need to exit. The common phrase is "Back door!" and a quick "Thank You" once the door opens.
  • Keep your bus pass somewhere safe. If you misplace a day pass or monthly pass, you have to buy another or pay for a return trip, again!

Do You Ride Public Transportation Regularly?

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    • KarenTBTEN profile image

      KarenTBTEN 5 years ago

      I have always ridden public transportation -- I don't drive. In Seattle, there is a site where you go to plan trips. You plug in your starting place, destination, arrival time etc. and it will give routes.

    • robertzimmerman2 profile image

      Robert Zimmerman 5 years ago from SE Florida, USA

      no, it just would not work for me.

    • profile image

      wbjm168 4 years ago

      @KarenTBTEN: I often take a bus.

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      I rode the bus to school during my first two years of college. Before that I walked to school. Then for the rest of college, I also walked or rode a bike. Public transportation is great. Thank you for publishing this lens.

    • l-may profile image

      l-may 4 years ago

      Not really. This guide is sure helpful. It's embarrassing to be doing something for the first time and not get how it works.

    • Steph Tietjen profile image

      Stephanie Tietjen 4 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

      A great lens on a topic I wouldn't have thought of. Great tips, I should ride it more often.

    • JodiFromFlorida profile image

      JodiFromFlorida 4 years ago

      Great and helpful information.

    • pheonix76 profile image

      pheonix76 4 years ago from WNY

      Such a practical and useful lens! Thanks for the pointers and congrats on your LotD! :)

    • ccmushroom profile image

      ccmushroom 4 years ago

      I ride the local bus frequently, especially the one that goes to the next town. It is 28 miles which would be $20 in gas but the bus only charges $4 round trip. Very economical! This is a great lens, especially for people who are hesitant to use public transportation.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Not regularly, but growing up I rode the trains in NYC daily.

    • profile image

      wlccreations 4 years ago

      Since I lived outside of town until the last couple of years, I had no public transportation available, but I did ride a bus back and forth to school. Informative lens. Thank you.

    • AgingIntoDisabi profile image

      AgingIntoDisabi 4 years ago

      I know a lot of seniors who get to use it at a reduced price. Congrats on LoTD.

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 4 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      @AgingIntoDisabi: Yes, fares are usually much cheaper for seniors.

    • Breakdown3133 profile image

      Breakdown3133 4 years ago

      I used to ride the bus to and from work, these tips are definitely helpful!

    • Mary Crowther profile image

      Mary Crowther 4 years ago from Havre de Grace

      Great tips! If I had public transportation where I lived I would use it!

    • profile image

      Bobski606 4 years ago

      I always take the bus to work for two reasons. First it's too expensive to park in the city centre and second because I can't walk at the moment because of my leg. As soon as I'm better I'll be back to walking but until then it's the bus.

      Luckily in the UK bus drivers give change but they don't announce where the next stop is so you really have to know where you are going, or ask someone on the bus to tell you where your stop is.

    • Snowsprite profile image

      Fay 4 years ago from Cornwall, UK

      I do but it is a very different experience here than what you describe and also different from LA

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      Great lens and congrats for LOTD!

    • accfuller profile image

      accfuller 4 years ago

      This is great info - thank you! I've only used public transportation a handful of times ... but appreciate this information for future use! Congratulations on Lens of the Day!

    • SheilaMilne profile image

      SheilaMilne 4 years ago from Kent, UK

      I do use buses all the time and always have done, unless it's a walkable distance, of course.

    • profile image

      smsr0100451 4 years ago

      Good lens. I mostly use public transport because these are cheap and economical. And also reduces the traffic loads on the roads.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Interesting. (:

      I appreciate your efforts.

    • AmrElsawy profile image

      AmrElsawy 4 years ago

      i guess you should try the public transportation in Egypt to gain a really new experience :) if compared to yours you will find yours is the paradise

    • Deadicated LM profile image

      Deadicated LM 4 years ago

      In NYC it's the only way to go, having a car is very expensive especially in Manhattan.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 4 years ago

      I do not ride public transportation, personally - this is an very well written lens, and well-deserving of its LotD status! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • profile image

      JoshK47 4 years ago

      I do not ride public transportation, personally - this is an very well written lens, and well-deserving of its LotD status! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • BowWowBear profile image

      BowWowBear 4 years ago

      Rode regularly in NYC growing up. My first experience in St. Paul, Minnesota left me stranded because some "cities" don't run their transportation 24/7! That was an eye-opener for me! Good lens. Many newer "change towers" will now take more than exact change (even bills) and return you the overage in a rider ticket.

    • agoofyidea profile image

      agoofyidea 4 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! I rarely take busses since there are none in my county, but I do take public transportation when I go to cities. Anything so I don't have to drive in unknown areas.

    • katiecolette profile image

      katiecolette 4 years ago

      There's basically no public transportation in our area, so you have to have a car to get around. Great job on this article!

    • Zebedee32 profile image

      Zebedee32 4 years ago

      Your 3rd myth "People on the bus are poor and dirty" They may not be dirty, but they aren't exactly rich. Nice lens though.

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 4 years ago

      I just moved to a spot that has regular bus service. I need to get back into it. I have ridden lots of buses, both city and long distance. In fact, I've ridden from California to Illinois! i think your advice to take one's time to figure things out about how it all works is really smart. "Squid Angel blessed."

    • weakbond profile image

      Nnadi bonaventure Chima 4 years ago from Johanesburg

      yes i do ,thanks for the tips it will make the journey more interesting

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I've taken trips in subways and buses before and I think the only time I would feel like it would be a bad idea is if you're alone on a subway that stops several times in a bad neighborhood. Public transportation is a really awesome way to ditch the car and save yourself money. Saves the earth carbon emissions, too.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 4 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! I don't really ride unless I travel and go scenic...I use to ride the bus a great deal in San Francisco, the bus drivers got to know was very different in those days. I'm not fond of crowded buses anymore. My mom always made us give up a seat for grownups and it bothers me to this day to see someone not giving up a seat to an elderly.

    • Phoenix2361 profile image

      Phoenix2361 4 years ago

      I always take public transport whenever I'm in the City. Why anyone would want to take their car and drive in London (or any other major city for that matter) is beyond me. Bussing it is so much easier.

    • profile image

      Terrie_Schultz 4 years ago

      I can't believe people are actually afraid to ride a bus, and they think those ridiculous things about people who take public transportation! I've taken buses all my life. My mother didn't drive, and we only had one car which my dad drove to work, so my mother and I used to ride the bus to go shopping and to the dentist. There was no school bus where I lived, so I took the city bus to junior high; I took the bus to work. One of my daughters took the bus to college,and the other takes the bus to work regularly. People take public transportation because it is convenient. In large cities there isn't any place to park. I wish more people would take buses to alleviate traffic congestion and air pollution.

    • TwistedWiseman profile image

      TwistedWiseman 4 years ago

      I ride the buss ever since I can remember, it is a very useful and practical way of going from one place to another and not worry for directions.

    • profile image

      DebMartin 4 years ago

      I live in the country. But we do have public transportation between the small towns. I could drive 7 miles to the nearest bus stop and save 20 miles of driving if I were going to the nearest larger town. You've inspired me to give it a try. d

    • ShirtHunter profile image

      ShirtHunter 4 years ago

      Oh yeah, I ride public transportation.... there is some kind of special magic in it, don't you agree with me?

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 4 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      @ShirtHunter: That's a good way to describe it--magical.

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 4 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      @DebMartin: You never know until you try it Deb. It could give you a whole new perspective on commuting.

    • Kevin Wilson 2 profile image

      Kevin Wilson 2 4 years ago

      If you're lucky enough to have a good bus system where you live, you can save a lot of cash by getting rid of your car completely. It's actually very stress-relieving not to have to worry about gas prices and breakdowns.

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 4 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      @Joan Haines: Thanks for the angel blessing! I wonder what the longest recorded bus ride is?

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 4 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      @Kevin Wilson 2: Yes, I use to check on my car and worry about it being parked in my apartment building parking lot but I don't even think about that area of the building any more! LOL

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 4 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      @Zebedee32: Depends on how you define rich. As I said in the lens, I have seen incredible acts of kindness take place on the bus. To me seeing that is a far richer life experience.

    • profile image

      baseballchris46 4 years ago

      I ride a bus at my campus. At the University of West Georgia we have a bus system around the campus. I loce how cities like Dallas TX have fast bus systems as well as a relibale Train. My Girlfriends sister lives there and she takes the train to work everyday which saves her a ton of money on gas

    • adragast24 profile image

      adragast24 4 years ago

      I also take the bus. Much more ecological. Well written with a nice humor!

    • profile image

      NC Shepherd 4 years ago

      This is something that has always intimidated me. I grew up in the country, and even our small city has eliminated their bus service. I've used buses cross-country and managed the subway in Europe, but never a city bus. I learned something here: I thought buses always stopped at the stops and the stop button was for in between. Thanks for clearing that up. Looks like I need to put this small act on my bucket list, just because.

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 4 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      @NC Shepherd: I remember as a kid and even in college pulling the stop cord to get off on the next corner and hailing a bus anywhere along its route. But that is no longer the case. However, if the bus driver sees you running for the stop they often will wait for you to get to it and let you on the bus--course they don't let you sit down before they continue driving and getting to a seat can be a little rough but at least they wait for you.

      Let me know how your bus ride turns out. Each city will be a bit different.

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 4 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      @adragast24: Thanks for visiting my lens adragast.

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 4 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      @SheilaMilne: I too walk a lot of places. A twenty to thirty minute walk does not seem very far any more.

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 4 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      @WriterJanis2: Thanks for the congrats!

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 4 years ago from Seattle, WA

      I have ridden buses and other public transportation in several cities. I agree with much of what you say, but will also say that some of the myths aren't "myths". There are specific routes that do have questionable characters on them, and there is occasional violence in and around the bus stops. Mostly, it happens in large urban areas where there's large blocks of low-income housing. I've seen that both in Tucson and the L.A. area - however, commuter routes and routes that surround tourist or student areas tend to be just fine. I still ride a bus and will continue to do so whenever possible - I just try to be aware of my surroundings. Congrats on LOTD. *blessed

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 4 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      @SheGetsCreative: Thanks for the blessing!

      There are always routes that go through bleak neighborhoods and questionable characters can ride the bus just like anyone else. I never let that stop me but let it keep me aware--plus I tend to sit toward the front of the bus where bus drivers can see better what is happening and can alert the police.

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 4 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      @l-may: That's exactly why I wrote it L-May. I don't like not understanding the basics of something and try to learn as much as I can before trying something new.

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 4 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      @robertzimmerman2: Sometimes the bus is not the best way to get around, especially when you have things to haul or some folks really can't handle the "togetherness" of a bus ride.

      Thanks for your comment.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 4 years ago from USA

      Some good advice and suggestions. I have riden the bus system, and this is helpful for those who may need to do it on a regular basis.

    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      I went to school by public bus everyday for 7 years. but have not used them since. Your lens brought back memories, and this is one of the best ways to see London (UK) if anyone ever visits. Particularly the top floor of the double deckers!

    • profile image

      Matie 4 years ago

      Bus and public transportation is highly underrated :) Beautiful and accurate lens

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 4 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      @Dressage Husband: Nice to know it triggered some good memories. I agree, the best way to see the UK is on the double deckers, I enthusiastically rode those in Scotland not too long ago.

    • treehousebrando1 profile image

      treehousebrando1 4 years ago

      Interesting. I never road a public bus, only a school bus.

    • MJ Martin profile image

      MJ Martin aka Ruby H Rose 4 years ago from Washington State

      I too rode school buses, for 10 of the 12 years. When I lived and worked in the cities, buses where my transportation. When I moved to a new place, I took the bus to find my way around my new neighborhood. Alas, I don't travel buses as much anymore. But I love them, glad they are there, know how to use them, and taught my kids to. Wonderful lens. I love all your detail, and instruction. Congratulations on LOTD! Riding the buses even saved my life a couple of times. I, like you, find it a wonderful way to go.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 4 years ago

      I recently gave up driving - too much impact on environment, money etc - happy to ride the bus

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Informative and amusing- thank you for making me smile :-)

    • TK2012 LM profile image

      TK2012 LM 4 years ago

      What an interesting idea for a lens, great job! These are some really helpful tips.

    • Monica Ranstrom profile image

      Monica Ranstrom 4 years ago

      I don't take the public trans, but I grew up taking the school bus! Thanks for this really informative lens.

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      BarbaraCasey 4 years ago

      Where I live now, you really need a car to get around, but in the big cities I've lived in, a car was a liability and public transportation was the way to go. My favorite commuter bus was the double-decker I took to work in London, but I've ridden subways lots of places, too.

    • cashberta profile image

      cashberta 4 years ago

      I like your lens. Riding a bus is not that scary.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I rode the public bus to school a lot when I was growing up. It was also my transportation to shopping and the movies when my parents were at work in the summer. I haven't been on a bus (except at airports or private tours) in a long time.

    • GirlHarleyWriter profile image

      GirlHarleyWriter 4 years ago

      I was in a position a few years ago where I didn't have a car and had to use the bus system. It's really not bad if you live in an area where they run frequently. My teenage son and I used it for about a year. We met some unique people, saved a ton of money and reduced our carbon footprint. At that point, a day pass in our area was $1.50 and you could ride all that you wanted.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I grew up riding the bus and didn't own a car until I was into my 20s. Great tips here! Congratulations on your Lens of the Day!

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      CristianStan 4 years ago

      riding a bus is so much "fun" where I live:)

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I grew up riding the old "46" bus then the "W" bus in Philadelphia, Never really had any problems with it. Congratulations on getting LoTD!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I rode the bus all the time as a kid and have done so as an adult when my car was in the shop. I've never had a problem on the bus. My husband is a bus driver, though, and some of the stories he tells. . .All in all, riding the bus is safe. Many, many people do it, not just the poor people.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 4 years ago from GRENADA

      Congratulations on winning the Lens of The Day (LOTD)!

    • poldepc lm profile image

      poldepc lm 4 years ago

      congrats on yr LOTD

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      mhiweb 4 years ago

      Congrats for being LOTD.

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 4 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      @mhiweb: Thanks!

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 4 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      @poldepc lm: Thanks!

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 4 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      @Heidi Vincent: Thanks!

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 4 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      @SusanDeppner: Thanks Susan.

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 4 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      @cashberta: It really isn't scary, at all.

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 4 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      @anonymous: You are welcome.

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 4 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      @MJ Martin: Thanks for teaching your kids to ride the bus.

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 4 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      @anonymous: I bet he can tell some stories. I have watched people pull all kinds of shenanigans to get a free ride, lol.

      Thanks for commenting!

    • RawBill1 profile image

      Bill 4 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      Very rarely do I use public transportation. It just takes too long to get around in my part of the city. A 15 to 20 minute car ride would take me over an hour. If I lived along the coastal strip where they run more frequently then I might, but out where I am the buses are useless. While in the USA recently I did catch a public bus a few times with my family back to my hotel. It saved paying huge fees to park our rental car while out for the day. The bus was so cheap and very convenient. Perfectly safe too. Congrats on LOTD.

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Not regularly as there is poor public transportation where I live now. But I don't mind a bus. I do it in other cities and other countries. I wish there was more public transportation.

    • KittySmith profile image

      KittySmith 4 years ago

      LotD is well deserved! I think it is brilliant of you to make this lens. My daughter had to use buses to get to work last year when she visited me for the summer. Although I used Public Transpotation before, I have never rode the buses in my home area. Your tips are right on with what she had told me about using the bus system. I thin the best tip is to do a "fun run" first, that way, if you make a mistake, it won't cause a problem.

    • athomemomblog profile image

      Genesis Davies 4 years ago from Guatemala

      Great lens! It surprises me that people wouldn't know how to use the bus, but I suppose if you grow up with a car, it makes sense. I live in Guatemala and we take chicken buses here. The protocol is a bit different, but it's kind of fun! You just wave a bus down wherever you are in the street and climb aboard. They can fit up to 150 people in a bus meant for 60. :)

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 4 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      @athomemomblog: WooHoo! Sounds like a fun ride as long as you aren't sitting next to the chickens, that could get a little messy and noisy. :-) Do they charge you to ride?

      I think the car culture has a lot to do with folks not understanding public transportation, especially in the mid and western U.S.

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 4 years ago from Hollister, MO

      I did for a while, years ago, in Tucson, when it worked very well for me. Most often, I've not lived where it was available... ;-)

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Yes. I do on occasion. But my teen boys do regularly. They also take light rail to 16th street mall near Denver all the time. Always took bus in Mexico too. Great lens. I always forget my umbrella:D!

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      Computersloth 4 years ago

      I used to ride the bus and every other transportation that was offered when I was stationed in Turkey. It was the best way to get around, and I found the people overly friendly.

    • shevans lm profile image

      shevans lm 4 years ago

      I ride public transportation almost daily in King and Pierce Counties in Washington, and you are right on! Great idea for a lens.

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      Melissa 4 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      @anonymous: That umbrella is a welcome friend!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have been riding a bus for over a decade and our system has a call center and recently upgraded website for schedule and are information. I purchase a monthly pass for $50 and this pass can be used during regular bus operating hours 7 days a week and on weekends.

      Not only have I saved thousands of dollars over the years, this is my way "going green" and not leaving a carbon footprint!

    • Stress-Master profile image

      Stress-Master 4 years ago

      I used to a lot. Great lens.

    • Earnlat profile image

      Earnlat 4 years ago

      Great article! I don't ride the public transportation much anymore, but when I lived in NYC and Wash., DC it was my favorite form of transport. While riding alone in the car is sometimes more convenient, the great conversations with fellow commuters was always fun.

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      pawpaw911 4 years ago

      No, but I used to ride all the time when I was a kid. I had kinda forgot how it worked. Thanks for the refresher, and enjoy LOTD....congratulations.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I used to ride a bus and subway car to get to work in Washington DC. Now I live in Pennsylvania. This was a very detailed and helpful lens. Good work.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Years ago, my sister told me that she didn't know about riding the city bus and the developmentally disabled adults she worked with trained her in on all the ropes of successful bus ridership. You seem to have covered every stop here, congratulations on LotD honors!

    • SootheCity profile image

      SootheCity 4 years ago

      I frequently ride the bus, so this lens was extremely helpful. Thanks for the info!

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      Melissa 4 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      @anonymous: What a great story, Tipi. Thanks for the congrats.

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 4 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      @pawpaw911: Glad to assist pawpaw.

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      Melissa 4 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      @anonymous: Great way to reduce your footprint Phillyfreeze.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      great lens, congrate for LOTD..very informative, thank you for sharing

    • Squidoo For You profile image

      Chris 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Living here in the UK most people use public transport and it is very strange for me to read a guide on getting the bus. Here if you told someone you didn't know how to use a bus they would laugh at you! Even some of the richest bankers working in the center of London use the bus or train to get to work because of the traffic, petrol (gas) prices and parking charges. I guess because of geography of the USA some places you can only move around with a car or there aren't any buses. Congrats on LotD!!!!!

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 4 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      @Squidoo For You: You are correct there are many people here that live in towns without public transportation or sometimes the transportation doesn't come into their neighborhoods. But even in cities where bus transportation is available there are people who are victims of the car culture and have not learned that riding the bus is quite normal for everyone--wealthy or not.

    • Jogalog profile image

      Jogalog 4 years ago

      It's quite normal in the UK for people to take buses and other public transport so I was really surprised to read that people in the US might be afraid of it.

    • JohnTannahill profile image

      John Tannahill 4 years ago from Somewhere in England

      I'm like Squidoo_For_You and found it strange that anyone would need a practical guide on how to use public transport. Obviously though, there is a need and you've done a great job here - congrats on Purple Star and LotD which I think are well deserved. Having LotD is a good ride - better than the average bus ride.

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 4 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      @JohnTannahill: LotD is a great ride better than a bus ride for sure!

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Just about every day. I wish I'd seen this page before I moved to a city with public transportation. Excellent tips! I would add just one: Always check the seat before you sit down. Occasionally, a child with dirty pants, or a person with poor hygiene has left a little puddle. Can't tell you how many times I've seen that!

    • jupiter justice profile image

      Asher Socrates 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Fantastic Job! Congratulations on making lens of the day.. Asher

    • Mamabyrd profile image

      Mamabyrd 4 years ago

      Congrats on lens of the day!

    • Ashly Rain profile image

      Ashly Rain 4 years ago

      Used to when I lived closer to the in the burbs, it's all car. Congrats on LOTD.

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      Paula7928 4 years ago

      We don't have good public transportation where I live (Michigan) but I have used buses when I travel and found it to be a good low cost form of transportation. Great lens. Congratulatios on LOTD!

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 4 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      @ecogranny: Lol, I haven't come across that yet but it doesn't surprise me. I have, however, sat down next to an older tiny woman who listens to her iPod and dances in her seat. I got a couple of sharp jabs in the ribs and had to move another seat.

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      grannysage 4 years ago

      I am a small town girl who moved to the big city and had absolutely no idea how to ride a bus. I managed to get one a bus to the mall but then couldn't figure out which one to take back. I was terrified. I think the tips you gave would have been extremely helpful. I did become a veteran bus rider though, especially when we had no car. My husband also has driven a city bus and laughed when I mentioned drivers getting a break. Not so with the company he worked for. Very good lens deserving of LOTD.

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      soaringsis 4 years ago

      Great info and lens. Congratulations on your LotD and purple star.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 4 years ago

      Very seldom, but my stepson uses his monthly Metro pass in Los Angeles and gets all over the place. Congratulations on LOTD!

    • HealthNuts LM profile image

      HealthNuts LM 4 years ago

      Nice lens and good tip about the ipod. I frequently rode the bus to campus and saved time and money not having to park.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Congratulations on LotD. I have used Public Transportation as needed although. I really prefer to ride my bicycle whenever am not driving or walking.

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 4 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      @grannysage: Yes, they do get breaks here but only if they are meeting their schedule. I fthey show up five minutes into their break they only get the five minutes left of their break.

      Thanks for the comment grannysage.

    • EbooksFreeWeekl1 profile image

      EbooksFreeWeekl1 4 years ago

      When you are not in a hurry, It actually makes for an interesting trip. I recommend not driving so much and taking the bus if you get the time. Besides, knowing how to might be good contingency planning.

    • raelcalu profile image

      raelcalu 4 years ago

      well it is obviously different in your place..and looks nice with all the route and stops..hope we could adapt such style but I doubt it...traffic in Manila is terrible because of the buses.

      Thanks for the share.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      great and interesting lens, all the right information for someone like me who doesn't live close to transit, so it's good to read in case i need to use it without any experience, thanks for sharing and congrats on LotD

    • Titia profile image

      Titia Geertman 4 years ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      Funny to read a lens about how one should ride a bus. In my country (The Netherlands) the bus is the most commonly used way for transportation, especially in the big cities. Lots of people in those cities don't own a car but always travel by bus or train.

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      kayla_harris 4 years ago

      Yes! You just post a very useful Lens!

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      thisisthis48 4 years ago

      haha cool :)

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      tintukm 4 years ago

      Interesting tips I must say.Wonderful writing too.

      Well if I do get a chance to ride a bus some day then I will give it a shot and not back down. The other tips are handy too.

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 4 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      @Titia: Yes, a country built on oil consumption doesn't necessarily support public transportation.

    • Linda Pogue profile image

      Linda Pogue 4 years ago from Missouri

      I live in a rural area, so public transportation is not available here. I have heard all my life about the dangers of riding buses. Though I have used bus travel from state to state, I haven't used public transportation. This is a great lens, since it gives pointers to those of us who have not had this experience. Congrats of the purple star and LOTD. Blessings!

    • OrlandoTipster profile image

      OrlandoTipster 4 years ago

      I used to.

      Any learned quickly to be at bus top a few minutes early.

      Wish Orlando has more sheltered bus stops.

      I does rain a lot in the summer.

      Thanks for sharing this lens.

    • goldnumbat profile image

      goldnumbat 4 years ago

      Thanks for the tips!

    • sarasentor lm profile image

      sarasentor lm 4 years ago

      Very Helpful guide for all those who never travel bus in USA or those who are ready to go in the USA.

    • catspyjamas profile image

      catspyjamas 4 years ago

      Great lens! I ride the bus daily. It's a cheaper and more eco friendly way of getting around. I often run into that same attitude of people criticizing riding the bus. I don't understand it. You can see more if you're not worried about traffic and the money you save is a nice bonus.

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 4 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      @catspyjamas: I think so too. It's just a way to get from A to B and back. I feel less stressed too.

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 4 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      @sarasentor lm: Glad to help!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 4 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      This is great information. More people should know how to ride a bus. I used to use public transportation in Denver for work and to ride the light rail downtown to avoid parking hassles and fees. It's great!

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      This is a great lens! I am so surprised that you found so much to talk about with this. I love public transportation and I wish it was the preferred way to travel. A good bus ride can be relaxing, and it allows you time to write: I wonder how many great novels were penned on buses. Smart cities, especially in Europe take advantage of the fact that bus riders can see their beautiful city, some even have double decker buses. Your lens is thorough and you skillfully work in your product recommendations. The only thing I would add is that if we believe in public transportation we should let our public officials know. One example in the Bay area is the use of carpool lanes - which are most of the time left empty because it is hard to organize a carpool. For the same money we could add a big stretch of the BART (subway) line -maybe connect Marin County to San Francisco. There was a bus line taken away from where I am because of cuts, and now it is inconvenient. Public transportation really works when the public is involved. Squid Angel Blessed. (PS - please delete my first comment, my mouse got a mind of its own.)

    • tvyps profile image

      Teri Villars 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      I used to. When I saw this, I thought of Weird Al's, "Another one rides the bus." ha! Blessed.

    • BorderCollie LM profile image

      BorderCollie LM 4 years ago

      who knew there was so much science behind the bus! haha. Great lense

    • CoolFoto profile image

      CoolFoto 4 years ago

      No. but, I did ride 2 city buses during high school in Detroit, But, I would not ride a city bus in Detroit today.

    • itravel2004 lm profile image

      itravel2004 lm 4 years ago

      Good article, I will put it into my lens

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      mamun_js 4 years ago


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      anonymous 4 years ago

      No, but if I lived in an urban area where parking was an issue I would take public transportation. I would also take public transportation if I had to drive the same route everyday. I work close to home and have children who need rides to activities so I drive my mini van. Even so, I thought this lense was thoroughly enjoyable. Thanks Smartchica.

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      anonymous 4 years ago


    • daniela12 profile image

      daniela12 4 years ago

      I ride public transportation when i go to downtown or school.

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      OneNewVoice 4 years ago

      No. But I have taken a bus before. It seemed okay to me.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 4 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      A few interesting things here. I take the Bus regularly and I drive one! I see the hassle people have with parking in the city and I'm stunned that they don't make more use of the Bus. It probably leaves from just outside your house! In most major cities there's a stop every two hundred yards.

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      Nightlife-Author 4 years ago

      great effort and nice innovative lens

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      kayla_harris 4 years ago

      Very useful Lens about Public Transportation!

    • HomeDecorKnight profile image

      HomeDecorKnight 4 years ago

      Yes and very useful guideline.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 4 years ago

      A new blessing on this lovely lens and may you have a wonderful, successful and happy 2013. Hugs

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