There are many reasons to ride the bus; it’s free for students, you save the environment a little, and you’re less likely to get hit by a car than by riding your bike. However, there are certain unstated rules to riding public transport that no one seems to tell you about, but are obviously deeply ingrained in the bus riding community. Prepare to be enlightened!
1) Punctuality concerns: The bus is a free spirit. Sometimes it will be 5 minutes late, 5 minutes early, or right on time. Excuses surrounding the bus’s unpredictability will not warrant a late pass to any class or job.
2) Emphasizing the importance of rule one: There are few things worse than having to sprint to the bus and watch it pull away… Then, having to wait an inconvenient length of time for the next one, feeling like you might cry, just a little. Not that it’s happened to me at all.
3) Proximity: You must not sit next to other passengers if possible. Standing is preferred to sitting within a foot of someone else. Your comfort is not worth sitting next to a stranger. God forbid that!
4) Communication: While traveling, everyone enters their own bubble on the bus and does not wish to be disturbed. Headphones mean don’t talk to me. Texting means don’t talk to me. Or look in my direction whatsoever. Don’t even think about small talk.
4) Volume: Do not, under any circumstances, talk loudly (or at all if possible) on the phone. You will have people wanting to murder you. Such action is annoying no matter what kind of day you’ve had. This also applies to loud music. Give your ear drums and fellow passengers a break and turn down your obnoxious tunes.
5) Meals on the Bus: Don’t be that guy who brings food on the bus, a.) because I’m pretty sure you’re not allowed to, and b.) no one wants to smell your food/watch you gorge yourself while they are disgusted and/or super hungry. You can wait.
6) Bus driver: All bus drivers are saints—think of what they have to deal with every day! Make sure to thank your bus driver as you leave, even if they only drove you two blocks. Good karma.
As for specifics to Eugene?
–Wear suitable shoes. I’m serious. Sometimes you’ll have to sprint to catch the bus, get caught in the rain, or just have a day when you’re prone to tripping. It happens to the best of us.
–Don’t pet the homeless person’s dog. Even if it’s cute. Just don’t.