Top Five Public Transportation Tips

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As an avid user of public transportation in the San Francisco Bay Area, I have learned some vital lessons on how to enjoy your ride and let others do so as well. Here are five public transportation tips and how to avoid stress as you hop to your destination.

Table of Contents


1. Turn Off Your Phone

There will be passengers on their phone for potential emergency calls, and eyeballs on most rides. Thus, that element of safety will always be there. There is a fantastic feeling you get completely unplugging, especially if you’re taking it on your way to work or a date. You will feel more rested without having to battle turbulence to see the phone correctly, the hunch you need to cover your screen from others, and the stress of what the notifications might say. Turn your phone off and just breathe. Look out the window, and you’ll always see something interesting. It’s great.

2. Take the Aisle Seat

For some reason, the aisle seats seem to be designated for “bums.” However, most people who have the ‘bum’ aesthetic aren’t bums. In fact, they’re the most interesting people you’ll meet on your ride. Additionally, aisle seats offer more leg space. I’m a big proponent of leg space. De-stigmatize the bum space. Do it. Make it a movement. Let’s go big.

3. No Loud Phone Calls/No Loud Talking

Nothing is more annoying than talking loudly, especially on the phone. It’s rough. The discomfort will definitely come back towards you in the states that you will receive. Lots of stares. There’s something deep-seated about our anguish towards loud talkers in closed spaces. I think it’s because it’s inescapable as if a physical representation of the walls closing in on us.

4. Cover The Cough

No half coughs. None. Zilch. Full covered coughs. People will be happy. When COVID-19 has passed, continue the practice if you feel a cough get the elbow ready pronto.

5. Check the Schedule One Day Before

Although it may seem like overkill, the amount of little problems that occur is exponentially higher than you think. It happens to me once a week. By checking twice, you can prepare in advance. A great mentor of mine once used the expression “there are always boxes in the road” for a squabble he had with his wife about leaving early, only to find boxes from a truck in the middle of the road. Checking once prior and then once a day will avoid being unprepared for little things such as maintenance, scheduling, delays, holidays, and emergency issues.

Bonus - Befriend the Bus Driver

We may have the world in our pocket, but we still live in a community. If you treat the bus driver as a human, you’ll enter into the beginning of a 90s movie where the bus driver always has something to say that will help you on your journey through life. Not to mention, it can be a tough job, and we need them! So let us try to keep drivers happy and acknowledge their vitality - regular passengers or not.