by Bryanne McDonough | published Aug. 27th, 2018
If you're a first year student, you probably won't find yourself riding the bus much while living in the dorms. However, for the occasional trip to Barnes & Noble or a weekend retail run, it pays to know some basic bus etiquette.
"Just be safe," advised Debbie Leogrande, a driver for the Perkins route.
Leogrande cautions against running beside the bus after it has started moving. Often, drivers will stop when they see someone running toward the bus, but it isn't worth getting run over just to make it to class on time.
When the bus first pulls up to a stop, don't crowd the doors. Let everyone currently on the bus get off, then you can board. If there are a lot of people waiting, fill from back to front to ensure everyone can get on. At certain times, like 5 p.m., the bus is so full that some people will have to stand on the raised portion in the back. Don't stand on the stairs if the back hasn't been filled.
When there is enough space, avoid sitting next to people you don't know. The seats can get pretty cramped and most people prefer their personal space. It's fine to keep a bag on the seat next to you as long as there are still enough open seats for everyone to sit on. Otherwise, keep your bag on your lap or under your seat.
While living in dorms, it may be tempting to catch the buses that stop behind NRH. Unless you physically can't make the walk, avoid riding these buses just because you don't feel like walking. Right before class times, the buses can get packed with off-campus students. Trying to get onto a packed bus can irritate students who need to ride it and be an unnecessary struggle for you. Plus, the walk from dorms to academic side can help you work off that freshman 15.
During the Ride
“The only thing that would bother me ... if a lot of foul language was used," Leogrande said. "When they get on the bus and keep going, going, going, it might offend a lot of people.”
The buses are generally kept clean and free of trash. Do your best to keep it that way. Avoid eating messy food and throw your trash in the small garbage bin up front or hold onto it.
Treat the bus like you would any other space. Cover your mouth if you sneeze or cough and watch everyone's personal space. Sometimes it can be hard to avoid touching people, but holding onto the handholds will stabilize you during a crowded ride.
"Treat the bus like you would any other space."
If you get a chance, thank the bus driver. Driving the same route over and over can be boring and a kind face can break the monotony.
When the bus is full, be mindful of which door you exit from. Most buses have one door in the front and one towards the back. When the bus is full, allow the people on the raised back platform to exit from the rear door. If you're in the middle, exit at the front. Since most of the buses only have a few stops, everyone tends to exit at the same time. When everyone tries to exit from the same door, congestion occurs.
Watch where you're going after you get off. People will be heading in different directions, which can cause some accidental run-ins. Just be mindful of others and watch for people crowding the doors to get on.
If you use some common sense, your bus ride should be comfortable, just as long as other people know some bus etiquette as well.