Taking the bus: tricks & hints

I take the bus fairly frequently because I am super cheap and don’t have parking at my work a super environmentalist who hates pollution & waste, etc.

I have come up with a few tricks for PDX Trimet users who might not be as experienced as me at riding the bus (or MAX).

  1. If you are riding the bus, you will always have to either pay or prove that you have a pass. Every time. Try not to be surprised. (Also, if you lose your monthly pass, why in the world would you think the bus driver would accept an iPhone photo of your pass? And why would you take an iPhone photo of your pass? Don’t you think it’s odd that you pre-planned your bus pass loss that way?)
  2. If you are on MAX outside of the free zone, don’t be surprised if fare inspectors show up and want to see that you paid. Insulting their parentage because you were trying to get a free ride is silly.
  3. If you are not in a super big hurry and really need the bus to show up RIGHT NOW, call the transit tracker and find out when the bus is coming. I guarantee it will show up as soon as your call has gone through.
  4. If you are in a super big hurry, do not, no matter what the circumstances, call transit tracker. That will cause your bus to spontaneously disappear from the route (this is especially true if the bus you are waiting for comes very infrequently).
  5. No matter where you sit, the annoying guy with the super boring stories will always sit RIGHT BEHIND YOU so that you can stay updated in the continuing saga of his lazy-ass son and his co-workers who have too much ambition for their own good.
  6. If you show up to the bus stop five minutes early, the bus will be at least five minutes late.
  7. The bus will never be early. Unless you don’t get to the stop early. Then you will have the pleasure of watching it roll away while you’re mere steps from the stop.

Does anyone else have any helpful hints & tricks?

PS – I actually really like taking the bus most of the time. I get a lot of reading/homework/downtime on the bus, I get to overhear a few interesting questions (not everyone sucks as much as guy from #5 above), and I don’t have to pay $10/day for the privilege of getting to work. Of course there are times when it would be super nice to get to work 30 minutes after leaving home, but all-in-all, it’s not so bad.

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