Bus etiquette and the metro transit

Natalie Gress

I don’t know how often you use this mode of transportation, but before you go riding let me tell you something important: You don’t own the place.

Whether you are taking a trip to Seattle or just down the road, this convenient and inexpensive alternative commute requires a bit more courtesy than your daily car ride. Recommendation number one: Do not take up space. Don’t sit down in the middle of a seat, put your feet up on the chair next to you, or pretend that your backpack is a person in disguise. Simply place yourself down in one seat and tuck everything you can under your feet or hold it in your lap.

Second, unless you are handicapped, pregnant or elderly, this rule applies to you: Get up.

Number three:  If you are getting on the bus and there are open seats to spare, use the “one-seat rule”—better known as courtesy space.  In the event that the one-seat rule is limited, don’t panic; simply sit next to another traveler, remembering that nobody likes that guy or gal who leans too close to them.

And if you are riding alone and wish to be undisturbed, I recommend bringing a book to read or music to listen to.

Finally, you do not have the “right” to your seat.  Be thankful you are even on the bus. The bus driver is not your chauffer; he or she may just pull over and let you out early. Even if you are an open book who isn’t shy and you don’t care what other people think about you, talking on your phone loudly is rude. Unless you expect to be doing the listening, the hip and modern technology advances of today allow for the considerate alternative of texting.

Remember that we are all in this together.