Taking transit is hard enough. Dealing with unpredictable service or lack there of is never fun. That isn’t even considering all of the insane things that can happen when you actually manage to get on the bus. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone followed the same rules? Since there isn’t a handbook (There should be one), here are 11 unspoken rules of etiquette every transit rider should follow.
1. Don’t be a seat hog
Do not put your bag on a seat or sprawl out taking more than one spot. When the bus is empty or there are plenty of seats this rule can be broken, but for the most part keep your belongings on your lap or in front of your feet. Nothing is more annoying that having to stand or awkwardly ask for a seat because someone is occupying two.
2. Don’t take the outside seat
It’s extremely uncomfortable to have to climb over people. If you’re first on the bus, take the inside seat to make it easier nd less awkward for everyone.
3. Be considerate
If the elderly, disabled or pregnant enter the bus and there are no seats, be a considerate person and offer them yours.
4. Don’t crank up your music
Now this one could mean one of two things: you’re playing music way too loud through your headphones or, you’re playing your music out loud assuming everyone is interested in your playlist. News flash, not cool. Keep it at a decent level or wait until you get off the bus. Your eardrums will thank you anyway.
5. Don’t eat smelly food
Sometimes getting busy means not finding time to eat, but this isn’t clearance to enjoy a four-course meal on the bus. The last thing people on a confined bus want is smelly food, whether it’s good or bad. Bring snacks to nibble on that don’t disrupt other riders’ noses.
6. Keep the PDA to a minimum
This one’s for the overly confident couple that can’t stop smooching on the bus — gross. An overload of PDA puts other riders in an awkward situation. Everyone will try to look away, but there’s only so many places you can look on a moving bus. Don’t make everyone feel awkward.
7. Avoid loud conversation
We’ve all been there. On the bus with that one person who talks on the phone loud enough that you know their whole life story and that of the person on the other end. Keep your conversation between you and your company. The rest of the bus secretly thanks you.
8. Pick up your garbage
If you make a mess, you clean the mess. If you don’t, someone else has to whether it’s another rider or the bus driver at the end of their shift. Pick up your trash! It’s only inconvenient for other riders so don’t be that person.
9. Cover your mouth
Regardless if you’re sick or not, this rule applies to everyone. Use your sleeve or your inner arm to cover your mouth to avoid spreading germs. Most importantly though don’t use your hand to sneeze in, then proceed to grab a pole or touch a button. It spreads germs and its pretty cringe-worthy to watch.
10. Have bus fare ready
Getting on the bus can be simple but not when people break this rule. Don’t get in line until your Presto Card or change is ready. Be proactive so others aren’t waiting in the cold behind you.
11. Don’t make conversation
This isn’t a hard fast rule. You can make conversation on the bus with those interested in engaging. If someone has their headphones in or won’t make eye contact, chances are they’d rather be left alone. Don’t intrude into their solitude by forcing your conversation on them. Some people are too nice to just ignore you.
12. Don’t try to pick people up
Don’t do it, just don’t. It’s tempting, you have a good-looking girl or guy in close proximity to you. Maybe this has never happened before. But nobody wants to be picked up on a bus, then have to awkwardly stand beside you after they turn you down.