Living off-campus, I’ve gotten quite used to the comfy chairs of the London Transit buses and the overwhelming sense of frustration when a full bus passes you by. Below, I’ve compiled a list of top tips to help students who commute make the most of their travelling experience.
1. Check the exact time of your bus arrival before you leave.
This is especially important if you don’t have a data plan on your phone. You can go to ltconline.ca/webwatch to see when the next three buses will pass by your stop. I like Webwatch more than the actual bus schedules because a) I have no idea how to read the schedules and b) It is much more accurate in terms of time since it is updated live.
2. Leave early.
Don’t leave your house 5 minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive, especially if the bus stop is a bit of a walk. It’s not fun trying to frantically run after a bus as it whizzes past you. Trust me; I speak from years of experience.
3. Always carry spare cash.
You never know when you might accidentally leave your bus pass at home or at school. Avoid a major panic attack as you frantically search for your bus pass by having a back-up. You don’t want to risk missing an important lecture or your favourite TV show because of a silly mistake.
4. Be respectful on the bus.
Don’t play really loud music, even if you’re wearing headphones. Just because you want to jam to Miley Cyrus’ new single doesn’t mean everyone else has to. Don’t have a full meal on the bus either, especially when it is crowded. The person next to you doesn’t want to smell onions and ketchup for a 30-minute bus ride.
5. Make sure you’re holding on to something sturdy before the bus starts moving.
Falling onto a complete strangers lap on a crowded bus is not a fun experience. I recommended the yellow bars on the sides, especially if you’re short (like me). Unless you’re above average height, don’t hold on to the silver top bars. It is super uncomfortable if you have to stretch your arms for the entire ride, and you might unexpectedly lose your grip.
6. Sit as close as possible to the exit doors.
This is crucial if your bus is always crowded and you’re stop comes quite early. You don’t want to be that one person who’d pushing through everyone to get to the back door, only to have the bus start moving again right as you reach the door. Super embarrassing.
7. Be patient.
I know staying calm and keeping your patience is extremely challenging, especially if you’ve been waiting in the cold for 20 minutes and another full bus passes you by. Accepting that there is nothing you can really do at that precise moment except for wait is the only way to prevent feeling overly frustrated. So play Candy Crush on your phone, stay warm and stay patient.