Laker Tips & Tricks: How to be a Civilized Bus Passenger

Written by Leah Erben

Posted on September 16, 2019

The Rapid bus system is a free and useful resource for students, staff, and faculty to travel around both the Allendale and Pew campuses and all throughout Grand Rapids. Don’t let its large size and loud noises intimidate you — the bus is helpful and easy to use. Here’s the scoop on all the traditional bus etiquette and ways you can make sure you and those around you stay comfortable when riding the bus.

Step one: how to board the bus

When waiting for the bus, never step in front of the yellow line or step in front of the bus. Always board the bus at the front door rather than the back door to keep the boarding process organized and efficient. After waiting for departing passengers to get off the bus, enter in a single file line so that no one is getting trampled and always practice kindness and patience while filing on the bus.

Students getting on the GVSU Rapid Bus.

Step two: how to find your seat

Buses can get pretty cozy, and for the sake of the other passengers, it’s important to go as far back as you can before choosing your seat. If the front of the bus is too crowded, boarding passengers will have a difficult time getting on, making the process much slower. Make sure you keep your belongings in your lap or under your seat so that you’re not inhibiting anyone’s ability to sit down.

The interior of a Rapid Bus.

Step three: what to do when the bus fills up

When there are no open seats left on the bus, the driver might still let some people on before leaving the stop. If you get on the bus and can’t find a seat, stay standing and grab one of the fabric handles that hang from the metal bars attached to the bus ceiling. If the driver decides that the bus is too full to fit anyone else, they will leave the stop. But don’t panic! The next bus will arrive in a matter of minutes.

President emeritus T. Haas and GVSU President Philomena Mantella in the Laker Line bus.

Step four: how to get off the bus

When you are approximately one to two blocks away from your stop, pull the rope that is above your seat if no one has pulled it yet. This will signal the bus driver that you’d like to get off. Don’t pull the cord if you’re getting off at the Kirkhof Center — the bus always stops there. Wait until the bus has come to a complete stop before standing up and exit out the rear door rather than the front door. Remember to say thank you to your driver before leaving!

The Rapid Bus on Pew Campus.

The bus is a useful and reliable resource that can help you easily commute all around GVSU’s campuses. If you have any questions about bus etiquette or the bus schedules, visit the GVSU Transportation Services website.

Page last modified September 17, 2019