Chart of the Day: Where Should I Sit on the Bus?

Today’s Chart of the Day contains useful instructions for sitting on a bus. Remember: Don’t be the worst.

Bus Map

Nick Magrino

About Nick Magrino

Nick Magrino grew up all over the place but has lived in the Loring Park neighborhood of Minneapolis longer than anywhere else. He has a new cat, Sweater, and does not use hashtags at @nickmagrino. He is probably on a bus right now.

19 thoughts on “Chart of the Day: Where Should I Sit on the Bus?

    1. Matt Brillhart

      Yes! Enforcement of the rear exit needs to happen*. If not by Metro Transit, then simply by changing behavioral norms, one passenger at a time. Sit somewhere near the front and make it a point to exit through the rear door whenever possible. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen folks sitting immediately forward of the back door go all the way to the front of the bus to exit (and delaying passengers who are trying to enter/pay).

      *Obviously exemptions to rear door exit are granted for the disabled and those unable to scale mountains of snow in the winter. And “pay exit” routes.

      It could be one of those automated announcements, but given only on local bus routes, rather than posting signs/stickers inside the bus, which would be incorrect when that same bus is used for express/limited-stop routes.

      1. Monica Millsap RasmussenMonica Rasmussen

        Yes! To any person who passes the back door just to exit through the front door, if you don’t have a bike to get off the front bike rack, why do you pass up the back door? I am never bold enough to out right ask these people, but I think it every time.

        1. Kassie

          I do this almost every day. Why? The back door sucks. It sometimes doesn’t open right away. It sometimes swings shut too early. Often someone is standing in the way. The place I get dropped off puts me in a snowbank if I go out the back door. Plus, the sidewalk on the other side of the snowbank is very icy and getting out the front door means less walking on the crappy sidewalk.

          Granted, I get off at a stop where no one gets on AND I get to the front door before the bus comes to a complete stop, but I still do it.

        2. Molly

          I exit out the front when the bus stops in just the perfect way to run the back door exit into the bus shelter causing the exiting rider to have to squish between the bus and the shelter in the short period of time before the bus pulls away from the stop.

          Also when there is a gigantic bank of snow at the back door, particularly when it causes the door to get stuck.

      2. Nick MagrinoNick Magrino Post author

        One time, I was on a Nicollet Mall bus and the driver made announcements at every stop to exit out the rear door. That lady is going to heaven.

        There are certainly some circumstances in which you can’t exit out the rear door, but generally, that’s not why people are going out the front. I mean, on Nicollet Mall, you need to exit out the back.

      3. Sean Hayford OlearySean Hayford Oleary

        I have to wonder if part of the problem with people exiting out the back doors is how unwelcoming and difficult they are to open. When I first moved to the metro, I attempted to follow the posted instructions — “touch here to open”, assuming it was somehow touch capacitive. I quickly learned that “touch here” actually means “shove here with all your might”.

        On some doors, it’s just a minor inconvenience. But on others, it is actually physically difficult to open the door — and I say that as a relatively fit, 20-something man. I can’t imagine an older or frailer person negotiating those.

        And what really gets me is that most of the new buses seem to have motors to open those doors — because the driver opens them for downtown commuters who can get on the express buses in the back.

        Simply opening the existing doors — or in the future, offering a touch-to-open option like light rail — might help encourage people to use the back door.

  1. Walker AngellWalker Angell

    Another advantage to trams and trains I think. Many fewer problems getting on/off (though they do have their own set of problems like they guy who hasn’t showered in some time wearing a sleeveless shirt grabbing as high up as he can and sticking his armpit in some poor gals face).

  2. Bruce Jacobson

    long time bus rider and fortunate on most trips to get on early in the route, so I always take my back corner seat whenever possible. often amused at the number of seats available toward the back while at the same time, people stand (packed) into the aisle. the back-of-the-bus crowd can be pretty intimidating (hah!)

  3. Aaron IsaacsAaron Isaacs

    Also, on the new low floor buses, please don’t stand between the front wheel wells and block everyone trying to enter or exit.

  4. Ethan Osten

    The back door is, unfortunately, the only really practical place to stand on a full bus. I know, because I have to stand on the 18 every. single. day. The back standing space is always full already; the front standing space will get you yelled at (“move back! move back!”), and standing in the aisle is no-go because it usually means you have no room to maneuver to let someone out. At least in the door well you can move forward or backward, depending on who’s coming, or press against the side.

    I mean, don’t get me wrong, the real problem is that the buses are just too full. But this is too strident.

    1. Nick MagrinoNick Magrino Post author

      Assuming it’s not absolutely a cattle car, I’ll stand on the stairs, you have more range of motion.

      In any case, that rule is…mostly? aimed at specific people who may/may not fit into your average manhole (24″ diameter) and stand in the rear doorway on their damn phones with their earphones in and make it physically impossible to use the door. But that’s a little mean, so, you know.

  5. Matt SteeleMatt Steele

    I have no idea why we tolerate SRO urban buses alongside talk of speculative high-dollar “investments” in transit to the exurbs.

  6. Janne

    I just pulled this up to show to a nonconforming man on the bus. He’s still taking up three seats while the yellow seats are filling.

    If I weren’t penned in, I’d polite him into moving. A man taking up to much space on the bus.

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