What not to do on the Huskie Bus

By Colin Remes

Many students at NIU use the bus system to get around campus. One of the largest “bus-utilizing-student-populations”, are those who dwell in the Eco Park area and use the 05 bus. I am a member of that populace.

This is my senior year at NIU, and I am still baffled by how many people seem to have a temporary brain dysfunction while using public transportation. My biggest pet peeve is the inexplicable inability to use the advanced technology known as “stairs.” When the bus gets crowded, as it does everyday on bus route 05, there is often still space at the back of the bus that students fail to use.

Don’t stand on the first step or directly in front of it, stop and wonder why people are pressing ever closer to you or flashing you dirty looks. It’s because you’re an idiot who can’t be bothered to climb the extra step so that as many as five or six additional people can get on without feeling like they’re being packed-in like sardines.

Also, bus seats are not cup holders. Shocking, I know. So when you place your soda, coffee or milk shake on the seat while the bus is moving so you can text your friends or talk too loudly on your cell phone (no one wants to hear how many times you threw up last night), don’t be surprised when it spills.

Try showering and applying deodorant before riding the bus. When the bus is really crowded, and you’re standing six inches from someone who smells like garlic, that’s not a good day for anybody.

Talking on the bus, of course, is perfectly fine. Acting like no one else can hear you when you talk is not. I suggest staying off cell phones all together. We have texting for that, and I’ve learned things as a result of people talking on their cell phones that I could’ve gone my entire life without knowing. And when you are talking among your friends who are on the bus with you, keep it to a reasonable volume level.

Finally, don’t yell at the bus driver to wait for your friend when your friend is nowhere in sight and the driver needs to keep on their schedule. There are 40 other people on the bus who couldn’t care less that your friend is late because they all have to be places.

Now, I have been guilty of some of these things. Sometimes I’ll be engaged in a conversation with my father and, even though I’m getting on a bus, I’m not getting off the phone. I’m sure I’ve probably talked too loudly on one occasion or another and probably annoyed some people. But I’m still smart enough to understand how the bus stairs work.