The Montreal Bus Etiquette We Should All Follow, Especially During Rush Hour
- When it comes to Montreal bus etiquette, it often feels like the people around us don't understand the basics of human decency.
- So, we made a little list of dos and don'ts for you to share with your friend, the person sitting next to you, or the IKEA bag that took the seat you wanted.
- Read our friendly suggestions for how to behave while on a bus in Montreal below!
The everyday necessity of taking public transit can easily become one cup unease, one cup dread, a dash of outraged, “how were you even raised?” and if you're in the mood, finished off with a brightly coloured sprinkling of painful rage. Most of us understand the social contract we're entering when making our way into a Montreal bus, but there are those few outliers who don't care, don't know, or are just oblivious. And unfortunately, we've all shared a bus or metro with that person.
We took a look at basic metro etiquette awhile back, but what about the Montreal busses? While the base respectful rules should be followed on both (no music blaring, no obnoxiously loud phone calls, walk to your left and stand to your right, etc.), the bus can be a whole different beast.
Not to mention, the summer months come with their own list of problems; winter slush, puffy jackets, and cold and exhausted people eager to get home are what we’re dealing with now.
In the past, the STM has launched public awareness campaigns focused on poor transit behaviour like the #ConseilsDeMichele campaign, aimed at decreasing the number of service disruptions and the mind your manners #
Of course, who among us can cast the first stone? Who hasn’t absentmindedly tried getting on a bus or metro before letting others off? It happens, but a little consideration can go a long way.
And maybe, just maybe, we can make those long and painful commutes — if not shorter, at least a little less unpleasant.
There you are. The bus is coming. You're standing in line, waiting your turn (most queuing in Montreal seems to be respected). Your hand flits against your Opus card or change — you're ready. As ready as a dueler at dawn to whip out your fare so the bus and the people behind you aren't left waiting.
If you can't find your money or card, step aside and let others board first.
If you happen to be boarding while others are attempting to get off, step back and let them off. Really, see that person trying to get off? Let them! Easy peasy.
Once you're on the bus, there are three things to do: remove your backpack and move to the back, all while looking up from your phone.
I know, we all want to be by the door so we can remove ourselves from the bus as quickly as humanly possible. But standing at the front interrupts the flow, and makes it difficult for people to squeeze around you.
There are two choices when on a bus; stand or sit. That's it. If you're doing anything else you're probably doing it wrong.
If you manage to find a place to sit, don't choose the aisle seat when the window one is empty. Your bags also aren't special, they don't get a seat either. With the slush on the ground, you can put any bags on your lap.
Speaking of bags, rush hour isn't an ideal time to come back from your quarterly candle visit to Ikea. Leave the big shopping for off-peak travel times. No one, absolutely no one, cares as much about your need for Swedish furniture as you do.
If you’re sitting and there is a person with kids, pregnant, looks like they’re having trouble walking, hell, just older than you, get up. Offer your seat and bask in the glory of having great manners and doing something nice for someone.
If you're standing and your friend is sitting, and the bus is busy or getting busy, don't stand over your friend blocking the aisle. See above: move to the back.
Busses stop. If you're standing, hold onto a pole. The people around you aren't packing material.
If the bus is packed, you and your phone do not get priority. Because you can’t be alone with your own thoughts for 15 minutes does not mean the person in front of you deserves a hand or fist in their back.
Busses are a hodgepodge of germs and bacteria. If you have to cough or sneeze, do it into the crook of your elbow. Just like they taught us in preschool.
The bus is not a kitchen or a bathroom. For the most part, any eating or grooming should remain in the privacy of your home. Please. Most of us understand the concept of being in public.
We understand that small, enclosed spaces shared with (possibly agitated or tired) strangers are not the ideal time for these things.
That also brings us to garbage - whatever you came onto the bus with, leave with. That goes for clothes too. Definitely keep them on and definitely take them with you.
A little decency to the bus driver also never hurt - a "merci" has never been unwarranted. While we may be packed onto an overcrowded bus for an hour a day, being on that same said bus for eight hours is the fodder nightmares are created from.
Just think of the senses; no one else wants to hear you, feel you, touch you, or smell you.
Yes, we have all probably broken a public transportation rule or two, it's inevitable. But if we could try our best to keep others in mind it could make for a much easier and ending of a day.