Ziel: Rams, remember your bus etiquette

Renee Ziel

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

While it’s unknown when we’ll return to a campus full of people walking into each other on The Plaza, lunch breaks in the Lory Student Center and a library so full you can’t find a place to sit, the Transfort buses continue to run during this difficult time. While it’s doubtful they’re as crowded as when in-person classes were in session, it’s still important to keep bus etiquette in mind. It’s even more important to be mindful of it for when we come back.


When things were normal, I would ride the bus every day. There were numerous mistakes I saw people making daily. If not making mistakes, people would either be completely oblivious or incredibly rude.

Getting on the bus

One common thing I see is problems with getting on the bus. There’s a sensor by the driver that is a sort of check-in for students to hold up their IDs. It will indicate whether it properly scanned your card or not. Sometimes the sensors act up and don’t take it.

This is advice I’ve received from a bus driver when this happened to me: Wait a moment before trying again. It seems simple, but I’ve watched way too many unfortunate students put their card in front of it over and over again in a desperate rapid-fire attempt to get on the bus.

Now, if the bus driver doesn’t push the little button and wave you in with assurance, just wait and try again. It will take about three seconds of your lifetime and is less likely to make the people behind you impatient. It has worked for me every time, and that’s a lot of times.

Picking a seat

Also, pay attention to your surroundings before you sit down. Too often, people are too invested in their phones, music or conversations to realize they are holding things up. This isn’t a “you’re on your phone too much” speech, either — this is a call for common courtesy.

I’ve witnessed an absurd amount of people in the aisle not realizing they’re blocking someone who needs to get on or off the bus, which leads me to my next point.

It costs you nothing to be considerate of the driver and of other people who rely on the bus system to get to school or work.”

It’s a good idea to make it clear whether you’ll need to get out before the person sitting next to you. Most people get off at the Colorado State University Transit Center, but not always. Because of this, some people sitting at the window will need to ask the person next to them to get up.

It’s a great rule of thumb to make it clear as soon as you can whether the person next to you will need to get up. If you’re in the aisle, maybe even go the extra mile to see if the other person is getting off before you.

Further, you can prevent this interaction from happening in the first place if you have problems with socializing with strangers. You could sit in an open seat or stand somewhere so you don’t have to deal with making someone get up because you couldn’t plan your bus ride for maximum efficiency.

For the love of all things good, fill in the seats first. Also, fill in the back.


It’s impossibly frustrating to watch someone who is waiting for an inconsiderate person to move to the back because they’re in the way of people getting on the bus. There’s also a special place in hell for people if they intentionally make a pathetic side step just to keep their place in the front, forcing swarms of people to uncomfortably squeeze their way through. Going to the back is literally the least you could do.

Being considerate of the bus driver

It costs you nothing to be considerate of the driver and of other people who rely on the bus system to get to school or work. The driver cannot always see whether there’s space to move in the back or if more people can fit in the bus.

Look, I know you’re cozy right by the back door, but there’s about 4 feet of space for you to move so three more people can get on the bus.

Closely related, if the driver asks you to move back, just move back. They’re driving you to your class and deal with this laziness all day. They are also sitting down for several hours a day with few breaks, especially on busy routes like the 31 and 3, and are therefore at higher risk for certain diseases and conditions. So, do the bare minimum and move a few measly feet. After all, believe it or not, the center of the world is not your belly button.

Don’t be lazy

Speaking of lazy, if you don’t have a genuinely good reason (e.g. snow, disability, injury) to not walk from Laurel Village to the main campus, you should be walking. There are so many students who live off campus, particularly on the well-traveled routes, and the freshmen who can’t handle walking a quarter mile to and from the closest dorms are just taking up space.

This is more a matter of courtesy, considering students are paying for the buses and do have a right to use them. But it’s annoying watching buses skip stops or leave 10 people waiting for the next bus because it’s too full due to freshmen.

These are just the most prominent issues I and other exasperated upperclassmen have seen over our time riding the buses. This column is simply a reminder that solving these habits and staying prepared and considerate will make a lot of people’s lives easier.

Renee Ziel can be reached at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @reneezwrites.