In preparation for the cold season, here are some tips to make riding the bus easier for everyone involved.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst bus system is one of the most convenient programs on campus. Walking around campus can be daunting, but the bus system offers an alternative. It is convenient, to say the least, and when it is below freezing or raining, students may share the same thought process.
If someone is waiting outside for the bus when it is 15 degrees, they are immediately getting on that bus when it arrives. Unfortunately, everyone is in the same boat, so more students pack on until no one else can fit, and the bus moves onto the next stop. This can be a difficult thing to deal with every day and it is important to have proper etiquette when riding the bus.
First off, make sure to install the UMass Bus Tracker App—it offers schedules and live updates on the bus routes. When waiting outside for the bus, try to position yourself near where the doors will be when the bus pulls up. This may seem like an obvious tip, but when the bus arrives, step aside and allow those exiting the bus to leave first. This makes everything easier for everybody.
Oftentimes, if the bus is full, the bus driver will ask for everyone to remove their backpacks. Follow these instructions, and even take it off without being asked, as removing the backpack creates a lot more space. If standing, be sure to grab onto one of the yellow poles or rails. The bus may have to make frequent and unexpected stops, and being thrown around a bus is not how anyone wants to start their morning.
Try to move in as far as possible when boarding the bus without shoving people. Everyone is just trying to get around, so be understanding.
When traveling off-campus, if the bus starts to fill up, be courteous of the non-UMass students taking the bus. Giving up a seat so that someone who needs it more can sit down should be common practice. The buses are not going to get less full, so remember that most people are in the same mindset, and being polite goes a long way.
The bus system is an incredible tool that UMass provides for its students, faculty and community. Using it properly is beneficial to all.