Ride a Public Transportation Bus

Tired of getting stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic? Is your work too far away from home to walk or ride a bike? Then take the bus! Depending on what city you live in, using the public transportation may be a lot easier than actually driving somewhere, and cabs can get costly, especially when you're stuck in traffic, or your work is too far away.


  1. Find out the bus routes and pickup times for your city. You could do this by finding a bus route map at the local bus depot, or at most public offices, or on the internet.
  2. If you are riding public transit after dusk, be sure you are wearing light colored clothing and/or signaling the driver with a lighted device (for example: a cell phone or flash light).
  3. Find out if you can get a free or discounted pass for buses in your neighborhood by reason of age, youth, student status, or disability, etc. You often can go to the main bus depot and purchase a discounted pass.
  4. Find out if it would be economical to get a pass or multi-trip ticket for your regular journeys.
  5. Find the nearest bus stop with the route that you need, and check the pickup time (both usually indicated on the bus stop).
  6. Make sure you catch your bus going in the right direction. Don't just go by the route number. At some subway or train stations that are part way along a route, buses may use the same bay for both directions of travel so if you just go by the route number you may end up on a bus taking you farther away from your destination.
  7. Dress for the weather so you are not uncomfortable while waiting for the bus to arrive or transferring to other buses.
  8. Join the queue, and get your money or pass ready.
  9. When the bus arrives, check the destination sign and route number on the bus to make sure it is the bus you want. If you're not sure, lean in and ask the bus driver if the bus is heading to your stop.
  10. Move to the door nearest the driver. Let anyone off who is trying to alight at this door, then get on the bus and say "good morning" (etc.) to the driver
  11. Insert your money into the fare-box (little cash machine), or hand it to the driver, or show the pass to the driver. If you need a ticket for a transfer to another vehicle after that bus, ask the driver for one.
  12. If the driver or a machine issues a ticket, take it in case an inspector boards later.
  13. After paying, find a seat. Remember that in some countries, the seats in front are reserved by law for handicapped riders, or elderly people. Only sit in them if you must, but if an elderly or handicapped person comes on the bus, let them sit there.
  14. If there is no empty seat, move away from the doors and find a suitable standing space. Hold on to one of the poles or overhead straps.
  15. If you need to get off before the last stop, then pull a hanging cord or press a button to indicate to the driver that you want the bus to stop. Pull the cord or push the stop button when you're about a block from where you need to get off of the bus.
  16. When the bus stops, check where you were sitting to make sure you left nothing behind and thank the driver as you get off. Be sure to watch your step.


  • If there is one, try to get off the bus by the back door. This will avoid having to push past people in the queue to board at the front door.
  • If you are alone at the bus stop, and you see the bus approaching is not the route you intend to board, indicate that to the driver (for example, by turning your back to the bus, or waving him away), so he doesn't have to make an unnecessary stop.
  • In England, outside of London many tickets may only be used on the company operating that service. If for example you board a Stagecoach Bus and buy a return ticket, and another operator like Arriva takes over at night, you will not be able to use your Stagecoach return unless you purchased a universal ticket, for example System One in Manchester
  • Always take a transfer! You might end up needing it, even if you don't think you will!
  • Whenever you first start riding on a public bus or likewise, consider sitting toward the front, where you can see the route and the place you are heading. Once you get to know the bus's route however, then you can gradually move toward the back.


  • Watch your pockets when you're standing close to someone - it's easy to get pick-pocketed on a bus!
  • Entering through the rear door of a bus is often illegal and, if caught, can subject you to a citation, regardless of whether or not you have a valid ticket or pass.
  • Always stay seated, or holding on to a pole while the bus is moving.
  • If you use a cell phone on the bus, please follow phone etiquette.

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