8 Tips for Bus Riders

Why hello there, my wonderful readers.


I come to you today with a list. Yes, yet another one of my lists of tips. This one came to me as I was going about my day, running errands, spending time with Gen… it just hit me. I have never written about my main mode of transportation. No, not Uber. I’m talking about busing. Public transportation, OC Transpo, those long vehicles that carry the public around town. What are your first thoughts when I mention this? I’m guessing it’s not the most positive. I mean, who here actually enjoys spending that much time sitting in an enclosed space with complete strangers, who may not be completely pleasant?


Well, I’m here to give you a few little pointers that might just help make these experiences not so terrible. Now, these tips are things based on my personal experiences and those that I’ve heard about from others, so they may not apply to all of you. But, hopefully some of them will! Or, at the very least, maybe they can just make you smile a little. 


8 Tips for Bus Riders


Location – Where you sit on a bus is a big one. Finding the perfect seat is an art, really. It needs to be available, of course, but it also needs to make you and the other riders feel satisfied. If possible, try not sitting right beside someone. Of course this is not possible if the bus is very full, but leaving people their personal space is definitely something they will thank you for. 


Perfume – Have you ever seen those signs that say something like, “No scents is good sense”? Too much perfume might bother other people, or may even give someone an allergic reaction. So, try keeping the perfume down to a minimum. 


Seating – This one maybe should have been added to tip #1, or maybe it’s okay on its own. Either way, this is important. Please leave the seats at the front, otherwise known as priority seating, for the people who do need it. I’m not just saying this because I may soon become one of these people, I’m saying it because it’s just respectful and well, one of OC Transpo‘s main rules.


Voices – This has happened to me one too many times. You know that feeling when you can hear someone’s entire phone conversation on the bus because they’re just being, well… way too loud? This is challenging for more than one reason. First, you may not want to hear their conversation, you may want to sleep / rest your eyes, etc. But also, as hard as it is not to listen, whatever they’re saying may be private. This part sucks for them, too. 


Politeness – The best and quickest way to explain this one is with the commonly heard phrase, “Treat others the way you would want to be treated”. Basically, just try to be aware of the people around you (as much as possible). If someone needs to find a seat and your bag is on the seat next to you, pick it up and let them sit. I’m definitely guilty of this one sometimes. Lets just say, my backpack often finds its way to my neighboring seat. Oops! I really am trying to work on this, I promise! 


Moving back – The bus driver often says this one out loud as a reminder to riders. “Please move to the back of the bus”. Sound familiar? This is mainly so that the highest number of people can fit on the bus. Moving back will leave more room for others.


Doorways – Try your best not to block one of the doorways. This is hard sometimes because at times, this is the only empty space there is. But, blocking doors doesn’t only make it difficult for people to get out, but it’s also a safety issue. 


Manners – I try to remember to smile at the bus driver when I get on the bus. Who knows, it might make his / her day! I mean, who doesn’t like being smiled at? Saying thank you, paying the right amount and at the right time… all these little things go a long way. Another one I want to add: if you are getting onto a bus, please let the people that are getting off go first. Your turn is right after theirs,  so it’s usually not too long to wait.

Hmm… not sure if I forgot any. With the way my memory can be sometimes, I may have forgotten one of the most important ones. If you can think of any, please feel free to share in the comments! I would greatly appreciate it! Or, I would also love to hear stories / anecdotes, etc. I know a lot of you must be bus people, so go ahead and tell your tale!

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