So it seems as if I've become the C-M Patch public transportation guru, so to speak. Want some tips of the trade? Well, here you go!
1. So, OMG I JUST SAW THIS-girl who was talking to her BFF loudly through speaker on her cell about this cute guy who was on the back of the bus. He, (and the rest of the passengers), was glaring at her. "He's checking me out girlfriend, I wonder how old he is??" she said. No, he, (plus the rest of the passengers on the bus, and the bus driver), are glaring at you because you are talking way too loudly on speaker. Please keep your conversations on the phone, off speaker, and quiet. Now you won't embarrass yourself, OK, honey?
2. Have exact change- If you're new to using the bus system, please keep in mind that if you aren't using a week or month pass yet, or transfer, make sure you have exact change. I once saw a guy while I was in school, put in a $50 dollar bill and had to call Port Authority about getting money back (if that's possible) because he didn't know he needed exact change. No joke. Call bus company to be sure.
3. Along with money issues- Right before you get on the bus, be sure to have your bus pass or money out to put in the fare box. It can hold up the line trying to get on the bus, especially if you are in a high traffic area or it's rush hour. This is going to sound like a double standard, but never display money or valuables in public. Carry your wallet in an inside pocket, or a pocket that can be buttoned. So, be careful.
4. Be 10 minutes early- They always say, "Better to be early than late for anything, right?" Even if the bus still ends up showing late.
5. First couple seats- If there isn't a handicap symbol imprinted on the seat or a sign above it. Typically, the first few seats on the bus (those sideway seats) and the first row looking to the front, are typically reserved when someone on the bus is disabled or handicap. Keep that mind and don't make a fuss about it, their lives are hard enough as it is.
6. Doorway- Keep the doorways of the bus clear as much as possible. Sometimes it proves to be difficult but snatch up a seat when one becomes available.
7. Don't take up both seats- With yourself, your purse, your backpack, gymbag, luggage. Other people pay just as much as you to sit on the bus and yeah, the title speaks for itself. Keep your purse or backback in your lap this way you don't end slapping somebody with it.
8. Help one another- You made it on the bus which happened to arrive a minute or two early, but, you happen to look back and see someone running like they were doing a marathon, waving their hand to catch the bus drivers attention. Help him or her out and let the bus driver know to stop because someone is trying to catch the bus. You've been there before, it's not fun.
9. Don't Crowd the Front- Trust me when I say this. I've commuted through Oakland/Pitt traffic, Consol Energy Center traffic, rush hour traffic. Needless to say, it's a pain. You get on the bus, no seats left, stand near the middle of back of the bus if possible. Crowding the front of the bus makes it a pain for both people getting on and off.
10. Plan your route- Whether you are new to public transportation in general, or, you're new to an area that you have to get to for your 9a.m. meeting. Always be sure to call ahead and find out what time and where you need to pick up the bus. Google maps street view is also a wonderful if it'll let you access it to a particular area because then you can see what's around the area for a visual.
11. Cover your mouth- If you're coughing and sneezing, just like anywhere else, mind your matters and cover your mouth. Buses are trafficked with hundreds of people a day, we don't want to start another strain of the flu do we?
12. Don't trip, see you next fall-Stay alert and hold on to railings when a bus or train is slowing down or turning. I too, was holding on to the rail one time and still fell on on my stomach once because of a sharp turn the driver took a little too hard.