Bus Etiquette 101: Surviving Public Transports In Lagos

Violations of bus etiquette are simply unacceptable, but oftentimes, we see people deliberately do this. As far as my guess goes, they most likely do not know the consequences of these violations and due to this ignorance, they consciously assume it is okay to break the rules, or even, according to the majority of them, bend them a little. However, this act has caused more harm than good and it is bad enough that people have refused to learn. So here is a gentle reminder and the possible consequences of flagrantly violating basic bus etiquette.

Do not infringe on personal space. We might as well add that you keep your bags to yourself. Carrying many bags can be really stressful, we know, but making other people uncomfortable with the bags is totally unacceptable. Having people adjust constantly to avoid your bags hitting them is not nice, so put your bags in order, or ask that the conductor help you with putting them at the back (boot) of the bus.

People do not exactly care who you are, every passenger deserves to be respected. Disrespecting younger passengers or people who appear to be lower in economic status is awful. Whatever form it may come in (verbal, physical etc.), don't do it.

Move-in! Allow other people to sit. This cannot be overstated. When you enter a bus, sit comfortably whilst still leaving as much space that will be enough for other people to sit. Don't sit and carelessly spread your legs, other passengers need space to put their legs too. If you use a long bus often (BRT), don't sit on the aisle seat if the window seat is empty, just because you do not want anyone sitting near you until probably when the bus is almost filled.

Keep your bags off the seats, unless you are paying for an extra seat. Why allow other passengers to remind you to remove your bags so they can sit? Some people will rather not have conversations with anyone on the bus, make the transit easy for them.

Move to the back, save other onboarding passengers from having to look the conductor in the eye. This usually happens in long buses (BRT) when people deliberately stand close to the entrance and leave little or no space for other people to pass. Move inside and allow orderly movement in the bus, save other people from having to squeeze themselves through to get through to wherever they wish to stay.

Taking a halt to exchange pleasantries with a friend is an absolute no! Not everyone is patient as to allowing you to finish with greeting your friend before you take a seat. They may be running late, you definitely do not want to be the reason someone lost his job.

Looking into another passenger's phone. What people stand to gain from reading other people's chats when they have not been called to do so, or staring into other people's phones, psychology has not made us know. This is clearly an intrusion of privacy, and you begin to make assumptions about the person based on what you see on his/her phone, avoid it.

Finally, don't insult the conductor, no, don't! You haven't been given your change, remind the conductor without insults. He handles your bags roughly, gently telling him to be careful will do you no harm. Resorting to insulting the conductor should not be anyone's first reaction to what has been done to offend you. Often times, the conductor will not watch you throw insults at him, he'll try to get even and you may get yourself embarrassed. Save yourself from getting into rough situations in the course of your transit on the bus, you never know who is watching.


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