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Riding the bus

So it's 17h24 on a Sunday Evening, and I'm waiting at the Civic Centre waiting for the Northbound U1 to take me home. Yes, I know... Public Transport is a popular target for rants, but this is a bit different. To be fair to the Unilink service we have in Southampton, they have new buses, which are clean and frequent (although still suffer from overcrowding at peak times) Thing is, it's not the bus service that bothers me, it's the incompetence of the morons who are using it.

How many times have I stood on a bus and heard the driver shout "Can you please move towards the back of the bus" and nobody moves anywhere. These days, I push my way down the bus saying "Excuse me" at no-one in particular as I go. Why can't people follow instructions? One of these days it'll be you stood on the step to the bus, when the driver says "No, we're full" because people won't fill the space at the back of the bus.

Then there's what the chemists refer to as "Hund's rule of maximum multiplicity" -- for those who don't know, this relates to electrons orbiting the nucleus of an atom. Put simply, electron orbits are divided into sub-orbits, which take up to two electrons. Hund's rule states that sa you increase the number of electrons, they'll take an orbit to themself rather than share one. Sound familiar? Ever got on the bus with a friend, only to discover that you can't sit together because every pair of seats has one person there? And they're always sitting by the aisle too. In this situation, I've taken to asking people to move up, or even asking "Would you mind if my friend and I sit together? There are other seats available" -- If anyone tells you that a seat has been taken, you should say "That's OK, I'll move when they get here"

Of course, the single most offensive thing is the "I'd rather stand than sit next to someone else." This is where the centrepiece for my rant comes from. I'm standing at the front of the U1, crushed in amongst the other folk, watching as the bus driver says "Sorry, we're full now" to the person right behind me in the queue. The bus departs and essentially runs a one-in-one-out policy at every subsequent stop, leaving people out in the cold. Eventually we reach my stop and I disembark, and as the bus pulls away, I see three empty seats at the back of the bus. Stupid, Stupid people!

So for this reason, I'm proposing bus feng-shui -- the process of rearranging the other passengers so that you can get seated. The basic rules are as follows:

  • Don't be shy or afraid, make your way through the bus to seating, ask people to move up, they're unlikely to say no.

  • Remember that it's OK to shove people out of the way, as long as you keep saying "Excuse me" as you go

  • Aim for the back of the bus, even if there isn't any seating available, it'll be less claustrophobic, and if someone gets off, you'll have first dibs on their seat.

  • Standing on the top deck is forbidden, so if you see someone descending the stairs to disembark, it means there's a free seat on top. If you're near the stairs, then go for it!

  • If you are on top deck and are disembarking, and you have to make your way through throngs of people between you and the door, remember to point out that there are however many unoccupied seats upstairs, some of them will be smart enough to get a seat, and make more space for you to get out.

Bon voyage!


One of these days it'll be you stood on the step to the bus, when the driver says "No, we're full" because people won't fill the space at the back of the bus.

YES! I've had this happen and I complained and got a week's free buspass out of it from Mr Waugh. The whole back half of the bus had no standees, and there were even seats goddamnit!

I like the Unilink drivers (well, most of them) and they do try to get as many people on as possible

I like your bus feng-shui and glad to see a rant :)

Get a car.

Public transportation is socialism. You're not a Red, are you?

(Actually, don't get a car, because then I won't be able to nick your car parking space. Get a Brompton or something.)

Re: Get a car.

then you can take it on the bus.

did you know you can take bikes on Unilink buses?[1]

[1] On the two-door ones. If there's room. And not all the conductors remember this so they might try not to let you [2].

[2] Unless it's a Brompton, when you can take it on any bus you like and don't let them tell you otherwise.


One Of These Days....

One of these days rigid adhearance to these rules will force you to sit next to skippy! Yeah, that's right, the form of the idea is just sitting there waiting, and one day it will be called into being, and you'll be there, on public transport hoisted by your own petard and forced to sit next to a ugly narcisistic psychotic (To be fair, if you were an ugly narcisist you'd be psychotic too!) fat closeted cottager, and then where will you be eh? EH? You'll be sat next to skippy, THAT'S WHERE!

Re: One Of These Days....

Except he has a car, and would therefore never be on the bus. Even if he was on the bus, I could choose not to sit next to him. Exceptional circumstances may make standing preferable to sitting, but not very often. Mostly it's just because people are too lame to sit in the vacant seat next to someone else.


I can'tluck


I can't be bothered with anything these days, but shrug. I just don't have anything to say recently.



March 2007

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