After far too many uncomfortable bus rides, I bring you this list. We all know the basics, don't push and give up your seat up to the old, pregnant and infirm. However it seems many, especially the younger and older generations are forgetting a few basic common courtesies. So to anyone old enough to own and handle a mobile phone I implore you to adopt the following 20 point guide to bus etiquette to ensure a nice journey for everyone concerned:
1) If the bus is half empty, please don't sit next to someone sat by themselves unless you know them, especially if you are a smoker or haven't washed in 5 days.
2) Not everyone wants to know what you did last night-like or what you discovered from the gynaecologist, if you're talking on your mobile phone, consider what you're telling the bus as well as your mate on the phone.
3) If you have earphones that aren't noise-cancelling consider that we can hear your grunge, trance and gangster rap at 8am and really, most of us don't want to... we don't want to as much as you don't want to listen to your grandma's favourite Daniel O'Donnell songs.
4) Playing voice synthesized music or any music from your mobile phone so that everyone around you or even the whole bus can hear... is not cool.
5) Signing along (loudly and badly) to said media player 'music' is obscure and we're not thinking 'wow she can sing' or 'how cool', we're thinking WTF-LMAO-OMG and wondering if we should call social services because you have no self awareness or shame.
6) Although maybe uncomfortable, talking to a stranger or being sociable (as long as both parties seem comfortable with it) is fine BUT preaching to the person next to you and giving them leaflets for your church is crossing the line.
7) Remove feet from seats if someone is looking to sit on it and if you've wet or dirty shoes please don't do it in the first place.
8) Food and drink is fine but try to take your rubbish off the bus with you.
9) If the bus is pretty empty, please don't sit on the seats right behind someone, sitting on a bus isn't an excuse to loiter in someone's blind spot and whilst behind someone don't repeatedly knee the seat in front.
10) Could bus drivers please consider that some passengers don't have reflexes of a fly or the balance of a seal. When we get on, accelerating before we're 2 feet from the ticket machine and have our hands full doesn't necessarily speed up the seating process even if we do fly down the bus at a higher speed.
11) Please consider that not everyone wants to rub themselves against your backside to get on or off the bus. If there are seats free, please use them.
12) If it's busy don't hog the whole pole, we're all in this together, if I fall, I'll bring you down with me anyway should I happen to fall your direction because I'll have no choice.
13) If you know it's going to take you a while to obtain your ticket (say if you've only a note, need to find if it's the right bus or don't have your pass to hand, please consider letting other passengers go before you, especially if its inclement weather.
14) Please don't assume other passengers on the opposite deck of the bus will provide free child care for your kids.
15) Sneezing and holding onto something without wiping your hands is considered unhygienic, scratching your genitals and holding onto the pole is considered gross.
16) If you're going to people watch or stare, please use the windows. Directly staring strangers out is not good crack.
17) Sitting on the isle seat when the bus is busy is just rude unless you have some good reason, not wanting to sit next to strangers isn't good enough on public transport, they've technically paid to use the seat your bag is using - unless of course 1) overrides the scenario.
18) Using the seat in front as a hand-rest feels awkward for the person in front. Unless it's a rough ride, consider the fact you're not on a roller-coaster. Please only use the seat in front sparingly for support. Having strangers touch your shoulders, neck or head without permission or reason is weird.
19) Try to keep the bus in one piece. If you burn it, smash it and just generally trash it it's only tomorrows bus ride you're making that little bit worse. If you smash your own windows at home and pull your sofa apart seek psychiatric help.
20) Any other activity which invades someone else's personal space is generally frowned upon, especially if it involves anything near the face or groin, even worse if that anything IS their face or groin near your face or groin.