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Rules for riding the bus - Peter Hentges

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September 12th, 2007


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10:58 am - Rules for riding the bus
And yes, these are rules. They are not open to negotiation. There are no exceptions.
Get your fare out before the bus arrives.
What!? You were surprised the bus was going to be coming? You were waiting at the stop because it's just fun to hang out on street corners? Seriously, get your fare out of your pocket/bag/purse when you see the bus a block away. Don't wait to get it out until it's your turn to get on the bus.
If your fare is cash, get on the bus last.
The rest of us have made the effort to speed our fare transaction for our convenience but also for that of our fellow passengers. Paying your fare in cash is your prerogative, but it also takes more time than swiping a card or using a transfer. So don't slow everyone else down and step to the back of the line.
Remember that you are not the last person to get on the bus.
Believe it or not, other people get on at the stops after you. This is not your car! This means that you should allow space for others to get on the bus. If you take a seat in a forward-facing seat, take the seat near the window if it's available. If you are sitting in one of the most-forward benches, be aware that you should stand and give up those seats to those with movement difficulties before being asked. If you end up standing, stand as far to the rear of the bus as possible.
Practice timely signaling.
This one takes some practice so if you're new to riding the bus, let other people pull the cord signaling your stop if at all possible. Do not signal too early. Especially if you are unfamiliar with the route, you may force the driver to stop where you did not intend and then he or she will have to stop again at your intended stop. When in doubt, signal at the intersection right before your stop. Do not signal too late. Twenty feet in front of your stop is too late. Pay attention! Again, the intersection right before your stop is the ideal place to signal. Perfect signaling is when you, in your seat, cross that intersection. This allows anyone in front of you that has the same stop to signal if necessary and gives those behind you the opportunity to see you signal if they want the same stop. (Corollary, thanks to 90_percent_sure, if your bus makes but a single stop, don't signal. You'll annoy the driver, your fellow passengers and look like an idiot.)
Thank you, fellow bus riders, for your kind attention to these rules.

(10 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:buttonlass
Date:September 12th, 2007 05:04 pm (UTC)
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I can't agree with the thing about paying cash get on last. No chance. First there is no way if I have been waiting for longer than everyone else that I'm not getting a seat if one's available which is what happens when you're the last to board. Second, if I pay with cash I paid more than any of you with a card. All cards are discounted or come with bonus value, even the ones for only 10 dollars get you an extra dollar. Therefore by paying the full fare I have spent more money than you. I love math.:)

The rest of them are true. However when I was riding the buses in Mpls. I would have been happy if people just didn't fight, talk forever on their cell phones loudly, or argue with the driver. It was the little things.:)
[User Picture]
From:jbru
Date:September 12th, 2007 05:46 pm (UTC)
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Sorry, you're wrong. Thanks for playing. Paying cash is a sign that you use this bus once in a blue moon and are, thus, less important that me who uses it every day. If you want preferential seating, wait until you're 55, use your feminine wiles or develop blindness.

(This reply brought to you by Mr. Bitchypants and may or may not reflect the normally reasonable attitudes of this LJ's owner.)
[User Picture]
From:erickavan
Date:September 12th, 2007 06:31 pm (UTC)
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sweetheart,

please have some medicinal m&ms immediately, and a hug.

i'm sorry you are having such a rotten day.
[User Picture]
From:jbru
Date:September 12th, 2007 06:40 pm (UTC)
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I'm fine, sweetie. Just having fun with bitching about the bus.
[User Picture]
From:barondave
Date:September 12th, 2007 06:43 pm (UTC)
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What if you have exact change?

I have lots of bus driver friends, so will add another few:

The bus driver is your friend
Being nice (or at least polite) will help you and possibly everyone else.
Bothering the bus driver won't help you get there faster
If you're mad at something, even if the anger is legitimate, the last thing you want to do is reduce the efficiency of the person steering the vehicle.
No Fishing!
...or otherwise making an idiot of yourself in public. This includes having loud "private" conversations on a cell phone.
[User Picture]
From:jbru
Date:September 12th, 2007 06:49 pm (UTC)
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Even if you have exact change, paying cash is slower than using a pass or transfer. Particularly if your exact change is in the form of two heavily crumpled dollar bills or a baggie holding 150 pennies. (The latter was witnessed on my way home yesterday. The gentleman was the only person getting on at his stop and was, according to the farebox counter, 1 over the necessary fare.)
[User Picture]
From:huladavid
Date:September 12th, 2007 09:14 pm (UTC)
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If there are people getting off the bus, let 'em out first
...Cuz, hey! There'll suddenly be More Room For Everybody!!!!

This also applies to elevators. The escalator corollary is:
When you're reached the top/bottom get the FUCK outta the way
...and two feet from the top/bottom is not TFOTW...
[User Picture]
From:90_percent_sure
Date:September 12th, 2007 09:15 pm (UTC)
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Wrong! You're wrong.

I lost my badge and had to pay cash this am. It was 43 degrees this morning. I got on when it was my turn. I'm not going to the end with "The Runners"* to get on last and maybe have to stand. No way.

They are just lucky I had cash in my car ashtray. Otherwise I would have been begging the driver for a freebie.

*The runners come bolting out of the p&r at 200mph as the bus is pulling away. Sadly, I have been a runner more than once.
[User Picture]
From:jbru
Date:September 12th, 2007 10:59 pm (UTC)
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I'm sorry, you have apparantly confused your losing your badge with an excuse to inconvenience your fellow passengers. Back of the line!
[User Picture]
From:nancymcc
Date:September 14th, 2007 10:27 pm (UTC)
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I have ridden buses in various US cities and I know the rules. But I hope the locals in Italy were making allowances for visitors last week, because we were TRYING REAL HARD to understand and follow the rules. They didn't make it easy, even when their signs had English that they seemed to think explained things.

It's difficult when they have two or three doors on a bus and vary which is the exit or entrance (at least they are labeled so you can figure it out AFTER the bus arrives). They also require you to put your card (purchased ahead of time in a "tobacco shop"; I figured that part out by asking at the Tourist Info before trying to ride) into a device that
(a) is in a different place in every bus, and
(b) has a complex surface with no arrow next to the tiny dark input slot (which turns out to be at the very bottom of a foot-tall device).

And when people give the Swiss credit for orderly systems, they should know that there are some Italian-speaking cities in far south Switzerland that seem to have inherited "system design blindness" from their colingualists. Besides buses, Lugano SZ also has funiculars, and a driver ranted at my collague for taking his bike aboard because "EVERYone knows that the international symbol for NO is a red circle around the icon." (no slash on the circle)

Most every Italian speaker was willing to help me communicate with combinations of phrase-book Italian and bits of English -- except the bus drivers, who looked at me like I was an amazing idiot and they weren't paid enough to deal with such.

Back home, I wish Portland would copy the Twin Cities rule of "exit out the BACK door, please!" They let you exit wherever you want, so even regulars are clogging up the front door while others wait to get on.

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