Which Kind of Bus Person Are You?


There is a special place, deep in the darkest levels of hell where those people are going to burn for all of eternity.
There's a guy at my bus stop who does that every morning. He almost hurt himself doing it last week, walking alongside the bus, right up against the side of the bus, watching the doors. He nearly hit the ground when he tripped over construction cones that he didn't see on the sidewalk. Part of me wanted him to go down, but he could have rolled under the bus.

The same guy also insists on being the first one OFF once we get to his stop.
So all those 'other' countries with people that don't 'queue up!' are filled with assholes?
These assholes are new to the bus experience. They have yet to learn the etiquette. As ridership increases, we will see many more of them.
Meh, not a big deal, I see it every once in a while, but the driver usually puts his hand out and says that people in the back of the bus are still walking to the front. At times, one those double buses, even I will attempt to board not seeing the person slowly walking from the back to the front of the bus.

What I think are assholes, are the people who eat and drink on the bus. Or find it too hard to resist wanting to pet someones service dog. From Seattle to Redmond, several times a week I would see people trying to bait a blind womans dog to come to them so they could pet it, or sit next to her and try to pet the dog. Constantly would she bellow out "Please dont touch my dog, shes working right now.".
I don't actually see many bus-riders do this, if only because when they try the bus drivers always tell them to wait. Might be particular to routes and times.
Someone needs to publish a map showing at which stops the regular riders expect to form a queue for boarding and at which stops it's every rider for him- or herself. We need an app for this; call it "One At A Time."
There are people who willfully ignore the existence of other people and their potential desires/needs, and then there are morons/punks who simply cannot comprehend the existence of other people. It should be easy to distinguish between the two, generally by where they sit when they board.
These are also people who are terrified that the bus will not stop to let them on or off.
I think the bigger assholes are the ones who wait until the bus is at the their stop, *then* they decide to root though their purse/wallet/whatever to scrape together their fare. Doesn't matter if it's "Pay As You Enter" or "Pay As You Exit" - this happens all the time, and it annoys me to no end.
Even worse @9 are the ones who don't even start to root for their change/ORCA card/transfer until AFTER they've already boarded.
"Even when the bus driver alerts you..."

As some others have mentioned above, usually I see drivers who force people to delay their boarding until everyone is off. Some are pretty aggressive about it (loudly saying "WAIT", etc.). If your driver is simply "alerting" boarding folks that there are still people trying to get off the bus, then perhaps that driver needs to step it up a bit.

Far worse than the boarding stuff are the aisle people who don't move to the back of the bus until half the bus yells at them.
What bugs me are the people who live on Capitol Hill and work downtown or the U District, get in a single passenger vehicle every day, cause traffic, pollution, and a dangerous environment, meanwhile spending thousands on vehicles, gas, parking, insurance, and repairs.

Those people are the jerks, people who don't follow strict manners on the bus are fine.
There ARE two kinds of people who ride the bus. Those who, when a bus is nearing their stop, get up and stand near the exit doors to facilitate and quick off-boarding. These people are nice. Then there are those who wait until the bus has come to a complete stop before getting up off their lazy asses to saunter to the exit doors, often while there are people waiting outside to board the bus, but are being prohibited from doing so, because there's a lazy SOB taking his/her time to walk up to the front door and exit. These people are assholes.
Use the fucking back door people.
Also, people that occupy 2 seats when the bus is full.
Seattle needs to have everyone get off through the back door and on through the front door, all the time. Pay when you get on, split without saying goodbye (or fucking "thank you drive"r, like fucking Eddie Haskell brown noser) when it's time to leave.

Not like randomly switching depending on whether you got on inside or outside some zone that nobody knows the boundaries of. No wonder people do squirrely shit: it's confusing and the rules change capriciously.

Seattle always wants to be soooooo special. Just run the bus the same way the rest of the civilized world does it.
I'm the type of bus rider who rides a bike and takes the bus about every two years because if I take the time to lower the bike rack on the bus and put the bike on and secure it, I'm adding 45 seconds to everyone on that bus's ride and that seems really impolite so I just ride.
The behaviour you describe is further evidence of the unfortunate Jillette-ization of social discourse.
Yeah all these are valid but one thing I'll throw in is there are a few drivers on the 8 who if you aren't lurching to get in after folks get off will just jet and assume you are waiting for another bus or not just give a f... And take off. Just my personal experience.
do busses in Seattle not have back doors? Cuz in my universe people who slow things up by trying to exit through the front are the assholes.
@16: The upcoming demise of the ride free zone should make things a lot easier in this regard.
I got stuck on the 532 with a meathead loudmouth and his idiot swear-every-other-word girlfriend on my way home yesterday. I thought those people were only allowed on Metro.
@19 It the shenanigans around the downtown ride free zone that cause most of these problems. The ride free zone is about to end though, so hopefully we can move toward a front door/back door system.
@13 Also lumped in your second group, perhaps inadvertently, are the mobility and balanced challenged. Honestly, I struggle with this occasionally myself, but the extra time each time, is so much shorter than the huge delay should they fall and injure themselves.

My public transportation assholes are those who insist on forming a strict line that blocks traffic along the sidewalk/train platform. Certainly people should get to board in the approximate order in which they arrive at the stop, but blocking passers-by in an attempt to "enforce" this sucks.
Similar problem on the Chicago L. Folks who are either ignorant or just don't care where the doors will be when the cars stop invariably cut right in front of the people who do, and hop on the L before the other passengers exit. They then rush to one of the three sets of empty seats and put their packages down on the seat next to them.
This sort of behavior drives me to thoughts of violence far more easily than it should. People being so casually selfish and inconsiderate just gets me there, I guess.
I've noticed the same thing with elevators.
It's not the lack of a line, it's getting on before the people getting off have a chance. I see more of this on the Sounder than I do on the bus.
@19: There are many cases where you have a very crowded bus and if you're in the first half of the bus then it's easier to exit through the front rather than fight through the standing crowd to reach the back door.
Wrong. The worst offenders are those who stand by the driver, even if the bus is nearly empty, and then refuse to move when people want to exit. They stand there, turn this way and that to let people through, and then get all huffy. Sit down and stop blocking other people, jerk.

I've noticed a huge increase in rude behavior. I think my frustrating got one person to take a different bus. Don't get on the bus and then stand there in the aisle choosing a seat. It's a bus, not the opera. SIT DOWN so we all can choose our seat of doom.
The best bus riders are those who jump on before anyone has a chance to get off, and then stand talking to the driver about some arcane crap ("does this bus go up 38th, I mean 27th, past where the big red house where Tommy used to live at?" or fuddling with their fare paid entirely in pennies, thereby blocking both entry and exit.
@ 19, what I'm not sure anyone is explaining is that sometimes you're not supposed to pay until you leave the bus, because downtown Seattle has a "ride free zone." Any bus that travels through it has people board there who didn't pay, so they have to pay when they get off outside the zone. They don't open the back door when that's the case.

I don't know if a lot of cities have that kind of system or not. Denver doesn't.
@13, In a bit of defense of people who wait till the last minute to get off, when you've got a lot of people on the bus and the bus is moving, its difficult to keep your footing without risking slamming into people who then get very pissed about it.

Yeah, people who live in capitol hill and drive downtown or the u district for work are lame schmos.

@27, People on Sounder are generally those who are used to driving and don't know the reality or the rules.

I don't like people who when you sit down next to them, when there are no other seats available or you sit to keep from blocking the aisle, start squirming and behaving like you're a smelly bum even though you are dressed in office dress attire and are freshly showered.
The flip-side of those assholes are the people who won't be the first person to board. If you don't read their minds, you can wind up waiting precious seconds for them to just get on the fucking bus already. Once, the bus driver got so fed up with a group of people clustered in front of a #15 (in the way of everyone else trying to board but refusing to get on in a timely fashion), he closed the doors on them. Only then did those sheeple finally move out of the way.
@19 and @31, Pittsburgh had that kind of system. Nearly all of its routes stopped in downtown Pittsburgh, which was a ride free zone. You paid when you entered the bus going inbound and when you exited going outbound from downtown. The only time they opened the back doors was downtown, or if someone was stuck in the back on a really crowded bus and no one was waiting to get on at an inbound stop.

What I always hated about the bus were the people who refused to move to the back of the bus to sit or stand when the bus was crowded. There were always empty seats at the back, but that's where "those people" traditionally sat, so no one would move back there, and they'd all stand kind of huddled in the front so no one else could get to the back, either.

What's even better is when those assholes distract the driver and cause the driver to miss a stop. It happened to me once, and I would've been more than happy to put the guy's head on a pike.


I have to quibble with that. Those awful articulated buses are extremely unstable, especially on any street with a lot of potholes (so, pretty much any street in Seattle). Once, when walking to the back of a 43 in the U District, I got lifted off the floor entirely when the bus hit a pothole. If I had even slightly worse balance, I would've landed on my ass. Someone getting hurt thanks to our combination of shitty buses and shitty streets would hold the bus up a lot more than people taking their time to get to the door.

Besides, the solution to that is to get rid of the free-ride zone (which is finally happening, thank God), so people in the back can always get out through the back door.
#29 Jedifarfy: The front standers are so effing annoying, especially when you are getting on the bus and somebody ahead of you decides to become a one. I understand if you have to ask the driver a question about your stop, but for fuck's sake sit down or move after you are done so everybody doesn't have to squeeze past your dumb ass on the way out.
Some people are completely deaf to social situations like people being in a line to board the bus. They'll walk up to the doors and crowd on first, as if to assert their rugged individuality.

Or maybe they just don't see other people. This might be true of the people who walk in groups three abreast and crowd other people into the shrubs when they pass.
I feel bad for the driver when there's some lonely schmuck sitting in the front-right seat, leaning in and chatting up the driver as if it's his sole daily human interaction:

"Are you Cherokee? The Cherokee are beautiful people."

I don't think I could be a bus driver.
As a Metro driver, thanks for the input. The sixty foot coaches that have steps are the worst. Not even Goliath can see people about to exit those buses. Waiting for people to exit can be tedious, especially when the weather is harsh. You have more seats to choose from if you wait.
That being said, the biggest assholes are those whom not only don't have their fare ready, but insist on being the first person on or off the bus. I often announce "Have your fare ready when you come to the front, or everyone gets to point and laugh at you for wasting their time." when leaving the RFA. I have made others, whom aren't ready with pay-as-you-enter cash fare, get back off the bus and wait in the end of the boarding queue.
On an afternoon rush hour 43, a large woman was carrying on a loud conversation on her cell phone while rooting through her cavernous vagina of a purse. Everyone with an orca card had to squeeze by, because she was taking so long. She actually looked up at this point and asked me how much fare was. I lost it a bit; "Do you realize how fucking rude you are? Hang up your phone and have your fare ready BEFORE you come to the front. Now just get the fuck off, and stop wasting my peoples time!" I was startled that my passengers actually applauded my response.
@ 18. Drivers have a large blind spot beside the length of the bus after we open the front door. The rubber flaps on the edge of the doors block our mirror. We simply can't see you as you wait for others to deboard before you board if yous stand immediately to the side of the front door. I myself have accidentally shut the door in peoples faces, because I couldn't see them in this blind spot. Step 5 feet away from the bus so that we can see you better. Sorry, but some issues are mechanical by nature. I ride the bus and my bike. I drive a bus and my car. I walk quite a bit. It is different perspective with every mode of transit.
Metro also needs to reposition the orca reader so that those with passes can scan and go by those paying cash fare without sticking their hand practically up the cash passengers ass.
Efficient transit relies on efficient drivers, efficient equipment, AND efficient passengers.

@30 agreed.
Direct questions get direct answers. If you ask me "Where are you going?" and I am feeling snarky, I will reply" out for a pint and a movie after work, but you aren't my friend. You aren't invited." If you want to go to Bell Street, ask" do you go to Bell?"
Re: choosing to stand rather than to sit:

Maybe some people feel less claustrophobic when standing in 2 square feet of space than they do sitting in 6 square feet of space but with an adjacent rider controlling aisle access.

Maybe some people would rather not risk an extra load of laundry for the sake of a 10-minute bus ride.

Maybe some people are used to public transit where a 2-mile trip goes by in a flash, and object to being forced to "settle in" for such distances.

Maybe people want to get on and off more quickly (which standees have been statistically demonstrated to do).

Maybe people have the right to stand, as long as they don't block others.

None of this would be a problem if lazy-ass Seattleites didn't insist on buses with the world's most humongous seats, tiniest aisles, and least standing room.

@34: Yes, us and Pittsburgh. Peas in a pod. Two cities at the vanguard of public transit operations in the '70s and '80s, when people totally knew how to make high-volume public transit efficient and desirable!!
@39: Efficient transit relies on efficient drivers, efficient equipment, AND efficient passengers.


As much as I adore Ms. Seling, it does not make the world better for people to politely indulge the most inefficient system ever.
Judging by the amount of litter left on a daily basis by people waiting for the bus at 23rd and Olive, I've surmised that everybody that rides the bus is disgusting.

Other people actually exist?! Who knew?!!!
What really makes me crazy are the 303 bus riders leaving Northgate in the morning. They all form a giant crowd around the bus door and can't seem to figure out how to form a line. I can be one of the first people waiting for the bus and then not have a seat because people crowd in. Come on Seattle...
Bus drivers need to govern that shit by telling the assholes to wait. I notice that a lot of people refuse to exit at the side door, even when it is closest. They are dicks.
@41: Your snark about Pittsburgh's place "at the vanguard of public transit operations in the '70s and '80s" is misplaced. It built the first BRT line in the US in 1977, and a few years later replaced the downtown streetcars with a light-rail subway that currently is being expanded to the North Shore via a tunnel under the Allegheny River.

It's only actually sucked since about the time I moved here a year-and-a-half ago, largely because of the Corbett administration's cutbacks in state funding for the Port Authority.
People coming OFF of the bus have the right of way, and the uphill advantage. If you can't wait to get on the bus because you're a civilized person with decent manners, do it because the person coming out the door might be just as rude of an asshole as you, with the same tiny amount of patience, and bigger and/or faster... I've seen people trying to bum rush the door to get in laid out on the sidewalk wondering what hit them when the person coming *out* the door just didn't give a shit. It CAN happen to you. So wire your eyeballs so they actually connect to your brain and LOOK. If you can see someone rolling down the aisle towards the exit, then just WAIT. Your turn will come.

I'll see your assholes and raise you the MORONS that think that having a question to ask the driver entitles them to stand in the doorway and stick their backsides in the faces of the people outside in the cold and the rain, blocking the way for all the people who *know* where they're going and what bus they want to catch and *don't* have questions. You've got a question? Great...just get out of the fucking way of the people who don't while you're asking it. I want a firing squad for those idiots.
@47: Meh. Pittsburgh's "BRT" is nothing to crow about.

They repurposed some old freight corridors, turning them into express lanes primarily to allow suburban commuter buses to bypass traffic. Along the busways themselves, the stations are poorly located, the bus schedules are sporadic and unreliable, and many buses bypass the mid-stations entirely. Curitiba and Bogotรก they are not.

And while I'm glad they adapted their streetcars into a light rail system rather than killing them, the subway is three stops long (plus an abandoned spur to Penn Station that they've never figured out how to use properly), the North Shore connection is decades overdue, and the entire payment system is stupid.

Sorry, most "vanguard" public transit ideas from that era have proven themselves counterproductive, and most reasonable cities have rectified them and moved on.
The real assholes are the people who influence political decision making to invest more into road (for cars) infrastructure, allow sprawl and don't want to invest in heavy rail, light rail and cycling infrastructure for a more compact urban form.

Buses are and have always been the most bumpy, cramped and undignified form of public transport. And their design facilitates confusion and conflict.

Curritiba in Brazil has made some improvements with these pre-bus boarding waiting areas for their Bus Rapid Transit; http://wiki.greencitystreets.com/wp-cont…