Bus Etiquette – To move, or not to move?

How do you behave on the bus?

The first few times I rode the bus, I didn’t have much competition for premium seats. While there were quite a few people riding with me, there was enough seating so that no one had to sit directly beside someone. One day, though, the bus was a bit more crowded and a young gentleman took the seat beside mine. A few stops later, when another seat became available, he jumped up and moved. And that’s when my mind began to question the reasons for this unceremonious breakup. Did I smell bad? Did I do something to offend? Was I such an awful seat partner that every second of our brief journey together was a misery? Had he been plotting his escape the entire time?

Of course, I realize that the stranger that sat beside me probably didn’t intend to throw me into a pit of self doubt and insecurity, but still! I had those thoughts, so couldn’t anyone?

This morning it seemed as if everyone decided to take the 700 (they must have heard about how awesome it is!) so I sat directly beside a man at the back of the bus. When the bus started clearing, I moved over to the window seat, thus abandoning my seat mate. I wanted to tell him it had nothing to do with him– it was all to do with me and my desire to have a little fresh air (the window was open a bit), but that’s kinda awkward conversation between two strangers at 7:45 in the morning. I didn’t hear any whimpering from his corner, so I have to assume he took it okay, but is it rude to move to a less crowded seat on the bus if one becomes available? Is it rude not to?

Any thoughts? Apparently, bus etiquette is something that people have a lot to say about. A few weeks ago #ThingsNotToDoOnPublicTransportation  started trending on Twitter. Check out this blog for a compilation of some of the funnier complaints.

One thought on “Bus Etiquette – To move, or not to move?

  1. It’s perfectly acceptable. There is a tacit understanding that people on a bus will move so as to get the most space available. However, there is also the karmic payback. The next stop or two after you move, a boarder will indeed sit next to you in your newly claimed space and said boarder will 1) have on too much cologne/perfume (or none in the summer), 2) have no concept of cell phone manners, or 3) be one of those people that seem unable to sit comfortably unless they spread their legs as wide apart as possible (add that to free wifi and you have a leg person with a laptop, headphones, a book- remember those?- a phone, and their bag open so they can make it through to three stops down the road) Note: I may be overexaggerating a smidge.

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