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RIPTA Etiquette

If you are a URI student, you are well aware of our campus shuttles we commonly refer to as “the RIPTA”. It’s that time of year again where every student spends what seems like a lifetime in the Church or Fine Arts parking lot in hopes of finding a prime parking space.  If you are having an off day and don’t luck out, you’ll find yourself parking at the bottom of campus in Plains Lot and then taking the RIPTA to class.

The RIPTA is a struggle in itself.  You will find all types of URI students who take the RIPTA. Some are quickly trying to study for an exam, some are clearly hangover, and others just rolled out of bed and are still in their pajamas.

Once you finally get on your way to class, there is a certain etiquette about being a passenger on the RIPTA bus. Follow these rules to guarantee you won’t be the subject of an angry tweet by a stranger on your way to class.

1. Don’t ask the driver where the bus goes. It’s simple… The shuttle, or the small bus, goes to Upper College Road then circles around the Quad to the front of the Memorial Union. The hill climber, or the larger bus, climbs the hill to Upper College Road then takes a quick turn back down the hill behind the library.

2. Do not freak out if you think you will miss your stop.  All you have to do is pull the yellow string if you are on the hill climber or press the yellow strip on the shuttle to tell the driver to stop at the next stop. Don’t pull the string or press the strip if someone has already done so for your stop. It makes an awful noise and you will become that awful person on the bus.

3. Yes the bus is always overpacked in the morning. And yes, it definitely exceeds the legal amount of passengers. Don’t worry about this, just get yourself to class.

4. There is a rumor that the RIPTA’s are on a continuous schedule of arriving every seven minutes. This is wrong, so wrong. The RIPTA arrives when it arrives.

5. Do not sit in the back of the bus if you know you will be getting off at the first stop.  Weaving through people is annoying for all parties involved.

6. If you do get pushed to the back of the bus, when your stop is coming up, refer to #5 and slowly make your way to the front.

7. Always double check your deodorant status before you leave the house. This one is self explanatory.

8. Don’t mess up the flow of traffic; wait for people to get off before you get on.

9. Make room for others in the bus stop shelters, especially if it is windy, snowing or raining.

10. No one will judge you for running after the RIPTA if it failed to pick you up at a specific stop. Run, Forrest, run.

11. Always, and I mean always, thank your RIPTA driver! It’s the least they deserve after putting up with URI’s crap all week.

URI- marketer/ social media PR major with a business minor Class of 2016 URI sailing
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