Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Bus Etiquette

When I first started travelling by bus the etiquette of bus travel was rather different than today. Most noticeable, perhaps, is the disappearance of the concept of passengers forming  "an orderly queue facing the oncoming vehicle" - or any sort of queue at all!

More interesting is the recent change in the way passengers leave the bus at stops. It used to be that as the bus approached your stop you left your seat, caught the conductor's eye so that he could signal the driver to stop (or if he was otherwise engaged you might dare to ring the bell yourself) and then made your way to the (open, unguarded) platform to be ready to alight as soon as the bus came to a halt. Bus crews and passengers both recognised the need not to delay the bus any more than necessary in the interests of good timekeeping.

There have been many changes since those days. Buses have become faster and have tighter schedules to keep. One-person-operation has meant that drivers no longer have to take account of the safety and comfort of their mate walking round the bus collecting fares - and have not had the experience of doing it themselves - so therefore drive accordingly. And fear of litigation has led some bus companies to put up notices instructing passengers "to remain seated until the bus stops".

Nevertheless those of use who have used buses for years still adhere to the old standards and it's not uncommon to see elderly and infirm passengers, or those laden down with shopping, struggle to the front of the bus whilst it is still in motion, whilst at the next stop younger, fitter, passengers will delay the bus by waiting until it has come to a complete stop before even leaving their seats.

And don't get me started about people using mobile 'phones. . . !


No Direction said...

Oh yes, open rear platforms with a chrome bar to grab hold of, endless schoolboy fun, and if you fell off it was your own fault.

Sarah said...

Interesting, I'm having to learn bus etiquette from scratch but certainly if I try to stand up before the bus has stopped I generally end up being thrown about - and I'm an old tube hand so not exactly unsteady.

Jim said...

I did. At least twice!

Do you "hail the oncoming bus" by putting your arm out? At least with modern buses there's no need to "mind your head when leaving your seat!"

Halfie said...

Jim - I've found you again! I obviously neglected to update your URL. All sorted now, like your stove and electrics. How's the engine room ceiling?

Jim said...

Still got a hole in it - I'll have to get Hilary to get her carpentry tools out!

Mark Doran said...

I had a bus driver at my Tesco checkout yesterday who fumbled to find his money. I couldn't resist teasing him to have the correct change ready!

Anonymous said...

As a bus pass owner I find it wrong when the bus moves off before I or any other passengers are seated.
I once missed a vital connection because another leaving passenger fell over due to braking before the stop.
However, the absolute WORST thing the 'other' olds do is NOT to have their pass to hand before boarding!! what the tiddlywinks have they been standing waiting for? And yes to your tesco reader - who are the dumb clucks who wait till the bill is totalled before starting to search pocket/bag/BRAIN for the means to pay. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!