How To Handle The Crowded Buses During Winter

By Atoosa Sayeh on January 20, 2015

If you’ve ever spent a spring semester at UIUC, then you know how extreme the winter season can be. Champaign-Urbana’s severe cold weather can be stressful for students, especially when they have to deal with walking to their classes.

Instead of walking, most students rely on buses for their mode of transportation, leading to overly-crowded buses. Here are some tips for how you can handle these overwhelming situations.

1. Be Prepared To Get Uncomfortably Close To A Stranger

Being on a crowded bus can mean losing your personal space. People will be constantly shoving and pushing to get a spot on the bus, and they will not care how they do it.

This might lead to you standing directly in front of someone who is sitting down, making it an awkward encounter between the two of you. It may also result in you standing really close to someone to the point where you can smell their cologne or perfume. At least you’ll be warm!

2. Make Room For People

This goes along with the unwritten rules of bus etiquette. When you’re on a crowded bus, make sure you are doing your best to make room for the people that are getting on. This means putting your backpack or groceries on your lap and not the seat next to you, sitting in the inner seat and moving to the back of the bus when the bus is full. This will allow more students to get the chance of getting on the bus and staying away from the cold.

3. Plan Ahead

A crowded bus can sometimes be over capacity and lead to the bus not stopping at all at its regular bus stops. To prevent yourself from being late to class, plan ahead and go wait at the bus stop at an earlier time, preferably one that has less passengers.

This would ensure you a spot on the bus and that you make it to your class on time. The best times to get on the bus would be when other students are in class, so you miss the rush period.

4. Listen To The Bus Driver 

A bus driver may be more stressed when he or she has to deal with a crowded bus. To make things easier for them, listen to what they have to say. The most common mistakes passengers make when on a crowded bus is not standing behind the yellow line and not waiting for the passengers to get off first before getting onto the bus.

By following the bus driver’s instructions, things will be less tense on the bus and the ride will be more enjoyable.

5. It’s Going To Be Awkward Either Way 

There’s no getting away from it. A crowded bus is unavoidable during those cold, winter months. Be prepared for the invasion of privacy and awkward stares. Of course, there’s always the option of walking to class.

Hi! I'm Atoosa Sayeh, a current junior at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I am pursuing a degree in News-Editorial Journalism and a minor in French. I enjoy writing, especially about cultural topics. I also like watching movies (anything directed by Wes Anderson or with Bill Murray is my favorite) and drinking coffee on a regular basis.

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