Or… Easy, just follow my four rules and become a suave sophisticated, “I know what I’m doing” with an attitude, rider.
It seems to me that taking a bus shouldn’t be intimidating, because pretty sure the odds are good that we all have taken buses at some point. We got on, we got off and ended up where we wanted to be. Right?
Well, when I became a permanent resident here, the thought of riding a City bus was not only intimidating, but downright scary. Instead I took cabs and car services, a costly way to travel I quickly found out.
So I decided one night to stop being a wimp and just do it. The next morning, after checking the schedule, off I went with my “unused” reduced fare (senior) Metro card safely in my wallet. I took the M66 to Lincoln Center an easy trip across Central Park. I can report now that nothing, absolutely nothing, happened to me. I got on the bus, I got off the bus and gave myself a high-five as I landed on the sidewalk. However, I did begin to learn of the unwritten rules of riding a City bus which helped to reduce my angst from a 10 plus down to a “Hey, I’m a professional bus rider here, people!”
Following are my lessons learned, but first a word of advice. Ignore all the stuff that goes on around you, including the passenger who not only hates the bus, the bus driver and everyone on the bus, but will also tell you why in words your mother told you never to say!
Always, and I mean always, allow extra time. Because anything could and probably will make you late. Those huge delivery trucks seem to be dropping off all kinds of stuff just when your bus approaches and then there’s the ever -popular surprise detour for a myriad of reasons – it is New York you know.
Have your Metro card or exact change in hand when you board.
Otherwise, those people behind you that were nice a few minutes ago will change in a NY second if you fumble – and if it’s raining? Fuhgeddaboudit!
Hit the strip “Stop Requested” after the bus leaves the stop before yours. Otherwise, it doesn’t light up and I learned this the hard way as I watched
wide- eyed my bus driving right by my stop.
No seat available? Grab any strap, bar, back of seat, but never, ever a person.
Unless of course you’re about to fall which could result in bodily harm, which will stop the bus, which nobody wants. Then I can almost promise that your fellow passengers will offer to let you hold on to one of them so that their bus will just keep on moving without any further ado…hopefully.
And not a rule, but just a kind act of civility is to thank the bus driver when you get off – these people have to put up with all of us.
Love this City and have come to love the buses! (I don’t take subways).
Important to know: Just visiting? You can get a reduced fare card as a senior citizen or person with disabilities even if you’re not a resident of NYC. Check out the website – all info you need is there