Action for Public Transport (N.S.W.)


Rules for travel on Sydney buses are not just those that you read on notices inside the bus - no eating, no smoking, no prams, no this, no that, and certainly none of the other. There are also unwritten rules which regular passengers soon learn by observation. A few such rules have been codified here for your education. Follow them, and you will blend unnoticed into the legions of daily bus users.

They should prove useful for kids who want to become independent of mum's four-wheel drive, or for current drivers for whom finding a parking space is no longer a topic of excited coffesation.

  1. Women boarding the bus without a prepaid ticket must wait until they talk to the driver before getting their handbag out of their shopping bag, their purse out of their handbag, and their money out of their purse.
  2. Two or more young men must not sit together on the same seat. They must sit one behind the other, and a third one must sit in an empty seat across the aisle.
  3. Groups of teenagers boarding the bus for a night out must not use TravelTens or allow one person to pay everybody's fare. They must each pay the driver individually, preferably with a five or ten dollar note.
  4. People unfamiliar with Sydney buses, especially family groups, must not take the nearest seats but must stand in the aisle choosing their seats like a child in a lolly shop.
  5. No more than three people may occupy the back seat in the bus, spreading themselves across a space that was built to accommodate five.
  6. People answering their mobile phones in the bus must, after they have said hello, say "I'm on the bus". They have the optional extra of giving their precise location and estimated time of arrival home or for an appointment. Failure to do so causes nervous apprehension in the person sitting beside them, waiting on edge to hear the expected statement.
  7. Elderly passengers must not get out via the centre door, but must leave by the front door, no matter how many other people are trying to get in there.
  8. People sitting in the window seat who know they are getting out at the next stop must allow a new passenger to settle in beside them before pressing the bell and trying to get out.
  9. Schoolchildren must place their kitbags of books, cricket bats, art portfolios and science experiments in the aisles and doorways.
  10. People travelling to the RPA Hospital on the route 412 bus must press the bell as soon as they catch sight of the hospital, thus ensuring that the bus will make a unnecessary halt one stop before the hospital stop.
  11. Passengers boarding a bus which has "via Norton Street" quite clearly shown on the front, are allowed to ask the driver "Does this bus go to Norton Street?" but only up to a maximum of three passengers per trip.
  12. People of a nervous disposition must press the bell for their stop as soon as the doors have closed when the bus leaves the previous stop.
  13. On the other hand, passengers of a laid-back disposition may wait until the bus is about to sail past their stop before pressing the bell, thus ensuring either a screeching halt (from an obliging driver) or a long walk (from an unforgiving driver).

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