Pixie’s Guide to Public Transportation

For those of you unaware, I am currently not a licensed driver. Even if I were to be one, however, I have no access to a vehicle. Since I work, that leaves me with two options. Bum a ride or take the bus. Bumming a ride isn’t always feasible, so I resort to daily use of public transportation.

It’s very easy to empathize with those who loathe, and even fear, the city bus. You really never know what you’re gonna see, find, smell, taste (yep, taste), or experience on your trip from Point A to Point B. Since I travel on several buses a day, 5 days a week, here is my handy guide to riding (and surviving) the public transit system, and a guide to good bus etiquette.

  • Check the bus schedule – Listen, we all run late sometimes, we understand. But when you chase after the bus every single day because you were “running late”, it’s time to re-evaluate your routine, home girl. When the bus has to stop and wait for you to haul ass over to the door, and then wait while you proceed to dig out your change, it holds up EVERYONE on that bus. We have shit to do, get your shit together. They have the schedules right on the bus, and if you’re not sure, just ASK SOMEONE at the bus stop, providing you get your ass there ON TIME. On time is 5 minutes earlier than when the bus is due to arrive, by the way, and not running out the door when you see it drive by your house.
  • Be prepared– If this is your first time riding the bus, you’re excused. If not, dude, you KNOW how much it costs to ride the bus. Have your money ready. It takes up so much time while the 5 other people waiting to get on the bus who have their pass or money READY have to stand outside while you dig through your pockets for a quarter. If you’re not ready, get in back of the line, don’t rush to be the first on the bus and hold everyone up!
  • Respect the bubble – If the bus you’re on seats 20 people, and there are 5 other people on the bus, there is NO REASONABLE NEED to sit RIGHT NEXT TO ME. In general, when space allows it, a minimum of one seat separating strangers is the social norm here, space invader. And when I move because you’re all up in my bubble, don’t look at me like I’ve personally offended you. I don’t know you, so I have no need to try and figure out what you had for breakfast by smelling your breath. Speaking of breath…
  • Hygiene matters– You never know when a bus is going to be crowded. And even if it isn’t, stanky people need to walk or cab it! You’re in public, inside a closed space. People will notice if you decided deodorant wasn’t important that day! Nothing ruins a day like then smelling your B.O. from the back of the bus.
  • I do not care- More and more, people are throwing old school cell phone etiquette out the window. Do not be THAT person. You know the one. The person who shouts, loudly, on their cell phone about what was for dinner last night, that their boss worse brown shoes with black pants, or that D’Andre done just got outta lockup and guuuuuurl he was wantin’ him some last night! While the other person on the phone may care, no one else on the bus could give a damn. Cell phones aren’t outlawed, but don’t abuse the privilege! Oh, by the way, welcome home D’Andre.
  • Unce, Unce, Unce – Music is awesome, I’m sure many people agree with me on that. However, what is awesome to you, Mr. Eminem fanatic, is not so awesome to me, the girl at the other end of the bus who is trying to ignore your ignorance. I’m pretty sure the 80-year-old sitting next to you that just turned off her hearing aid isn’t impressed either. Keep it to yourself.
  • If they’re crazy, they don’t need encouragement– It’s no secret that crazy-ass people ride the bus. I’ve seen the most interesting things in the world riding the bus. If you see something crazy, just look away and distract yourself. Since what you see cannot be un-seen, that is the best way to keep the brain scabs to a minimum and to survive without brain bleach.
  • Pay Attention, Mary Poppins – I know what it’s like to have to do your shopping without a car. It’s not easy. However, if you have bags and bags of crap, and the bus is full, PUT YOUR SHIT ON THE FLOOR. You do not need a seat for your ass, and 4 seats for your stuff. It’s in bags, it will survive! Put. It. On. The. Floor. Someone else needs the seat more than your milk and bread.
  • Hey, Rudeness– On every single bus I have ever been on, there is a sign proclaiming that the front seats are to be surrendered if, at any time, an elderly or disabled person boards the bus. This is to provide them with a seat close to the entrance and exit. That means, get the fuck up! That does not mean watch the poor old lady hobble to the back of the bus and try to find a seat quickly.
  • Do you ALWAYS Drive Like This? – Bus drivers, this is for you. You do know you are operating a multi-ton gigantic metal tube full of people, yes? Do you NEED to whip around corners and ride the ass of the guy in front of us? Or how about slamming on the breaks? Necessary? Methinks not. Also, we get you are a public service employee. In case you haven’t looked at your license in awhile, there is not a Class D for Dick. You don’t have to be an asshole when someone asks you a question, or even knocks on the door before you pull away. Unless they’re #1 on this list, then by all means, drive off.

All in all, if you just keep to yourself and be respectful to those around you (and the driver, too!) you will survive your journey on the public transportation system. Now, I have to shut up, and pray for the best for my bus ride tomorrow.


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April 2011
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