Have you ever found yourself in a situation where gas and parking is just too expensive, your car is broken down, or you just want to save money and you decide to take the bus? Well there are some things you are going to need to know if your going to negotiate your bus trip with a minimum of discomfort and get where you want to go. Your going to need correct change, know how to get on and off the bus safely, make sure the bus driver knows where you are going and how you can find the appropriate seat.

      Whatever you do make sure your holding the correct change, a bus pass or a bus ticket ready when you are in line. Don't wait until the last minute to scramble for change or rummage around in your purse for your bus pass. Doing so will hold up the line. Pay attention when you get on, the first step is at least a foot off the ground so keep your eyes where you are stepping. The bus can also lower and a ramp pops out for wheelchair access so watch your toes. You will be alerted when this is happening by a rather distracting and repetitive beep warning you to stay back. Always obey the beep. If you miss the step you could end up placing your teeth into the change collector instead of your money. When you approach the driver take the opportunity to ask if the bus is going your way and if the bus driver can alert you when the bus has reached your stop.

     Bus Stop SignCredit: Image courtesy of [anankkml] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net Moving past the handicapped seats , unless your elderly or handicapped, in which case please do sit in the handicap/elderly reserved section, you walk the gauntlet of seats past people desperately trying not to be noticed. If your lucky you will find two seats empty and you can sit in relative comfort (as much as possible on the rock hard seats) by yourself. You can now enjoy what is best in bus riding; watching the scenery. Most of the time however you end up sitting beside someone and therefore must endure the ride facing forward . Trying not too accidentally touch the person beside you lest you catch “cooties”. At all costs avoid the menacing teens that populate the back of the bus.

      Make sure the doors are open and look like they are going to stay that way when you get off of the bus, getting stuck half way out the doors and screaming as telephone poles speed past your face close enough to get splinters can happen. Of course the bus driver can't hear your screams because the part of you making noise is stuck outside the bus. You can only hang on praying until someone mercifully presses the stop button. When the doors finally lay open before you don’t forget that first step, there is a considerable drop down to the pavement and if your lucky enough to hit the sidewalk on the first go you can avoid the soaking wet sock you get when your foot misses and lands in the water filled gutter.

      So remember, have the correct change ready. Know where you want to go and make sure the bus driver lets you know when the bus gets to your stop. Watch your step getting on and choose your seat wisely. Above all watch those automatic doors when your stepping off the bus! They can close in on you. It happens; it happened to this writer. Happy Riding!

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(price as of Jan 24, 2016)