Thursday, February 17, 2011
Things To Keep In Mind When Using Public Transportation
Hey guys, I've been using public transportation for about 6 years now and I've learned that there are certain rules, an unspoken code of conduct if you will, that most people don't seem to know about. So today I will be attempting to explain some of these unspoken rules as well as provide a few tips for riding the bus/trolley/subway.
1. The first rule is one people break on a regular basis. It simply states that depending on how long you've been waiting, that is your priority to get on the bus. In other words, if you've been waiting for the bus for half an hour and no one was around when you arrived, then you obviously have the right to get on the bus first. (Of course, keep in mind that the elderly and the disabled always have first priority.) It follows that if you arrive just as the bus is pulling up, then you should be one of the last people to get on. I often see people who have barely arrived in time trying to elbow their way into the front of the line just so they can get a seat and it's sad. If you arrive late, then look forward to standing up until a seat becomes available.
2. This is another important rule. Have your pass/ticket ready as you get on the bus. When you get on only to realize you can't remember where you put your ticket, it holds up the line and you're making everyone behind you wait. If you're buying a ticket from the bus driver, wait until everyone with a pass has gotten on, that way you're not standing in the way as you fish for change.
3. Watch your step. This applies to all forms of public transportation. I've seen a lot of people fall on the bus/trolley and it's not pretty. One time this older gentleman wasn't holding on to anything as the bus pulled forward and fell and cut his head. He had to be taken to the hospital. On top of that everyone was forced off the bus and had to wait for the next one. So paying attention can save you as well as others a lot of grief.
4. Be mindful of yourself and others. Basically try not to step on anyone's toes, literally. One of the things I hate most about using public transportation is that people are always stepping on my shoes. If you step on someone's shoes, the best response you'll get is a dirty look and the worst will be someone kicking your ass. If you step on someone's shoes, be sure to apologize. People who take public transportation don't have a lot of money, so when you scuff their best pair of kicks it's understandable if they get upset. Also, if you are carrying a large handbag/sports bag/etc. be mindful that it doesn't hit other people as you are passing them. This is another easily avoided source of conflict. If you're carrying something large/heavy, hold it in front of you so that it doesn't knock anyone in the face. Be aware of your body and your belongings.
5. Don't stare. If you take anything away from this list, this is probably the most important. I myself have a problem with staring. There are a lot of interesting/unique people using public transportation and sometimes I don't have a book or music to distract me. However nothing good will come of it. I've had everything from people threatening to beat me up to gay guys trying to pick me up, all because I made eye contact. There are plenty of ways to avoid these types of situations. If you don't have some form of entertainment simply look out the window or at your feet. If you are still inclined to stare, wear dark sunglasses or find some indirect way of watching them so that they cannot detect you. When I'm riding the trolley I like to stare at their reflection in the window, that way they have no way of staring back at me and I can still watch their every move.
I'm going to stop at 5 for now but I'm sure there will be more down the line. If you keep these 5 things in mind you shouldn't have any problems using public transportation. If I come up with some more tips or rules I'll either add them to this post or make a new one. Also, if you have some tips about riding public transportation that you'd like to share feel free to leave a comment and I'll include it in my next post.