9 Tips for Rocking Public Transit in Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is renowned for its extensive public transit system. In 2014, the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) was named one of the best transportation systems in North America. While in reality, major time delays, breakdowns, and road construction make the dream of efficient public transit impossible, there are still some simple rules one must follow.

  1. Don’t hit on people on the bus.

    Sure, you might see a cute girl or boy chilling on the bus, and think, Hey, why not?  I’ll tell you why not: once you get rejected (because let’s be real, who’s gonna say yes to a person on a bus?), you’re still stuck sitting next to that person for the remainder of your ride. Talk about awkward.

  2. Greet the bus driver.

    Be courteous! Being a bus driver can be a lonely job. It’s like being on a constant road trip with no one to talk to. Be sure to say hello when getting on, and properly thank them when you get off.

  3. Don’t grouch too much when the bus is late.

    Sure, having the bus be late is a pain, especially when you’re late to work or class. However, that is no excuse to gripe to the bus driver or other passengers! None of them have any more control over the situation than you do, and by complaining you just ruin everyone’s commutes.

  4. Don’t put your backpack on the seat next to you.

    This rule especially applies for when you’re sitting in the front of the bus. While on your commute, it’s easy to zone out and not pay attention to what’s happening. You want to make sure that any elderly or disabled persons that board the bus or train have an available seat without having to embarrass them by making them ask for it. The same goes for taking up too much space by opening your huge binders, books, etc.

  5. Don’t be rude to those with mental disabilities.

    It’s quite common for someone who is mentally handicapped to ride public transit to where they need to go. Always be kind; never be rude or condescending. The general rule is to not engage, other than to be polite. Often attention can make people more agitated and vocal than usual, which causes an awkward ride.

  6. Don’t be afraid of the homeless.

    Homeless people are another demographic that can be found on public transit. In my experience, homeless people are more likely to strike up a conversation than other commuters. It’s always nice to say “hi” and give people a smile, or say you hope they have a nice day when you get off the bus.

  7. Always pay your “fare” share!

    Being at a student at the U, this should come quite easily. All of our public transit is covered by our Ucards, so there’s no excuse for why you shouldn’t be tapping on and off. However, if you have friends, make sure they always pay. By not paying you’re draining UTA of funds while still utilizing their service.

  8. Be prompt when getting on and off.

    As a general rule, people get off of the bus before people are allowed to get on. Wait a couple of seconds, or simply check the front of the bus before boarding. If you’re causing the bus to be late by walking like a sloth, you’re part of the problem!

  9. Don’t take up the whole bench!

    If there’s seating at a bus stop, don’t hog it all! More than one person can fit on a bench! There are people coming home from a hard day of work, and they just want to rest their feet. Scooting over a bit isn’t that hard.

In general, just be a courteous commuter. Through your use of public transit, you are lowering emission pollution, and helping to make Utah a more eco-friendly place. And, hey, you can’t do homework on the way to school when you’re driving yourself!

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