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Express Bus Etiquette.

January 21, 2011

I am a newbie express bus rider but none the less I have quickly learned the unspoken rules of express bus etiquette. I want to share these rules so that the next batch of newbies can get it right from day one. Perhaps some senior riders can get a refresher course on what it means to be a courteous passenger. (ahem ahem, lady on the bus this morning!).

  • Rule number one-The Bus Stop Line. There is a line for a reason, wait on it. People will line up, one next to the other, and stay in line as they get on their bus. Now if you are, let’s say the fifth person on the line, and your bus comes ,don’t bum rush the bus doors. Ask the people in front of you, “Excuse me are you getting on?” If not, proceed to the bus. Courtesy goes a long way.
  • Rule Number Two-Seating Arrangements– If you are a morning person who loves to chit-chat with your new bus friends, sit in the back please. The front is generally for sleepers and resters. The quiet folk. The type of passenger who wants to relax and enjoy the 45 minutes of time before their day really beings. If you are going to talk, remember, indoor voice only. Shouting and cursing will get you dirty looks, head turns, and in some cases a loud “Shut Up!”.
  • Rule Number Three-iPods & Cell Phones– I listen to my iPod everyday on the bus, starting with NKOTB’s Step by Step (ooo baby!!) first thing in the morning. I recognize that not everyone appreciates my superb musical taste so blasting my iPod like I would at home is not something I do on the bus. If I can hear your music while my iPod is on, you clearly need to tune down the volume a bit. This is a small bus, not the disco, and not everyone wants to jam to gospel or the yodeling sensations before 8am. Now if your phone rings, by all means answer it. As I said before inside voice.  I don’t care if the person on the other end can’t hear you. Hang up and text. Shouting or speaking louder, especially in a foreign language, is not the music to my ears I wanted to hear.
  • Rule Number Four-Baggage- Everyone carries at least one bag or in some cases a few of them. When getting on the bus it is not acceptable to place those bags on the seat next to you, especially if the bus is crowded. Unless your prada also paid $5.50, keep it on your lap. Traveling with a few bags? Try the overhead storage. 
  • Rule Number Five- Personal Space- This is by far the most important rule of them all.  There isn’t much space on the express bus so making sure to keep to yourself is critical. There is a clear division which identifies what part of the seat if for your bottom only. Crossing over that line and pushing your tush into my seat is a problem. I didn’t pay $5.50 so I could be squished against the window. You want more room, take the subway or better yet I hear walking does wonders for the body.

Avid express bus riders, and I’m sure drivers too, will agree that adhering to these rules will make everyone’s trip more a little more pleasant. A horrible commute can really set the tone for the rest of your morning. Do you really want to be the one responsible for potentially ruining someone’s day? I think not. For those of you who don’t care to adhere to the rules, in the words of Ralph Kramden,“… one of these days … Pow! Right in the kisser! One of these days Alice, straight to the Moon!”.

At GAI ( we would love to hear any other tips you have for proper public transportation behavior. Stop by or give us a call at 212-979-6830. Travel safely and courteously my fellow New Yorkers!!

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