Tips for Being Polite on the Bus

Tips for Being Polite on the Bus

It’s transitory and short, but your stay on the bus needn’t be rude. Here are some easy tips for being polite on the bus.

Buses are not, generally speaking, built with manners in mind. True, there are seats for seniors and the disabled near the front, but that aside buses – and we mean every day, home-to-work buses – are designed to pack lots of people into a small space and get them where they’re going safely.

Does that mean a bus needs to be the refuge of the rude? That, since it will be a little trip anyway, nobody needs to pay attention to the rules of courtesy? Of course not. Indeed, tempers flare so often while in transit that it pays to be as polite as possible to your fellow commuters.

Here, then, are a few tips for being polite on the bus. Please follow them, for the more people that do, the better.

Tip #1: Greet Your Driver

Don’t just shuffle on; deposit your change or token and slump into your seat. Be nice. They have a tough job, despite how easy it may seem. Say hello, even if the driver isn’t inclined to say it back.

Tip #2: Take a Seat Near the Back

The general rule of thumb for bus seating is to move back, ever back. If the bus is almost empty, then this isn’t much of a problem, but if you anticipate the thing filling up, then leave the more convenient seats at the front for the elderly, the disabled, and, surprisingly often, mothers and fathers bearing strollers or pregnant women.

Tip #3: Get Your Bag Off The Seat

Does your backpack deserve a seat of its own? Again, when the bus is empty, sure. Go right ahead, so long as the thing’s not too dirty. When is the bus packed, however? Offer the seat to someone else. Jeez.

Tip #4: Don’t Stretch Yourself Over Multiple Seats

Again, empty bus, who cares. Just don’t get the seat dirty. Full? Crumple yourself up and make room. It’s not fun to ride a full bus while standing.

Tip #5: Don’t Talk Loudly On Your Cell Phone

These obnoxious riders want to share their conversation with the rest of the bus at any cost. Don’t be one of them. The rest of us don’t care about your fight with your boyfriend. Either tone it down or save the conversation for somewhere else. The same goes for person-to-person arguments and raucous joke-fests between two or more passengers.

Tip #6: If You’re Forced to Stand, Take Your Bag Off

This tip applies in particular to students. Yes, the people sitting down maybe a bit more privileged than you, but that doesn’t mean you should shove your backpack into their eyeballs.

Tip #7: Abandon Your Seat at a Moment’s Notice

Is a pregnant lady boarding the bus and won’t otherwise have a seat? Yield up yours. She doesn’t want to stand, guaranteed. The same goes for older folks. Be courteous to your fellow men and women.

Tip #7: Grab Your Trash As You’re Leaving

It’s way too tempting to leave papers, food wrappers, and other detritus behind for the driver or other passengers to clean up. Please, please avoid the temptation. In some cases, this is a mild inconvenience; in others, it’s rather gross.

Tip #8: Leave Through the Back Doors

This last tip doesn’t apply to every bus, but those vehicles with back doors should have those doors opening at virtually every stop. Going out the front when others are boarding can be annoying. Don’t get off at the back if you’re sitting at the front, of course, but in most other situations, use a bit of common sense.

See? That was easy. Painless. And, ultimately, great for your karma. It doesn’t hurt to get in good with bus drivers, either, who can and will remember the good riders… not to mention the bad ones.


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