I have a few pet peeves when it comes to bus riding etiquette, but the thing that bothers me most is when lots of people exit the bus from the front door. As I explained in my post on possible solutions to making the 51 faster, alighting through the front door increases dwell time at the stop, particularly on crowded lines. But I didn’t need a report to tell me that – it’s so apparent every day!
Like yesterday, I was riding the 1R, and even though it was rush hour, for some reason the bus I was on was a single length bus, which was very crowded. Since it was rush hour, there were people getting on and off the bus at every bus stop on the route. For some reason, everyone on my bus was determined to exit through the front door so at most stops more than 5 people would get off the bus, and then more than 5 would board. This whole process nearly doubled the dwell time because everyone had to wait to board the bus, and this added dwell time often caused us to miss green lights.
The 51 report recommended putting signs up in buses that would encourage rear door alighting. I think it’s pretty clear that we need those signs not just for the 51 line, but for all AC Transit buses or at least for the busiest lines. It would not cost very much money, and would make both bus riders and bus drivers happier – riders would get where they’re going on time, and drivers wouldn’t be in as much of a rush to keep to their schedules.
But until that happens, I’m asking all bus riders out there – please, use the rear doors. They’re there for a reason!