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Friday fun polls: Exit strategies for the window seat

Last Friday, I ran a poll asking where you like to sit on the bus.

After 143 votes, we have the results at right — an almost dead even split between the middle and the back, with a minority picking the front.

Who’d have thought this? I always thought the back was way more popular than the middle. But commenters pointed out that they avoid the front to give the seats to others, and that access to fresh air, smoothness of ride, and time of day are important seat-choice factors when deciding on middle or back seating.


Anyway, for this Friday’s poll, here’s a transit behaviour question I’ve always pondered.

Here’s the situation:

You’re on a bus that isn’t full, and you have the aisle seat in a two-seater bench facing forward. A passenger that you don’t know has the seat next to you, at the window. There is also another two-seater seat in front of you.

Suddenly, the passenger beside you has to get up and get off the bus.

Vote away: I’ll keep this one open until next Friday!


  • By Holly, January 30, 2009 @ 4:01 pm

    These polls are fun, thanks! I definitely think you should stand and let the other passenger pass. And when you sit back down, you should move over to the window spot!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, January 30, 2009 @ 4:04 pm

    Ooh, I totally agree about moving over to the window seat. Now there’s another poll topic for next week!

  • By Sungsu, January 30, 2009 @ 4:36 pm

    It really depends. If there are people standing in the aisles, it’s often better to just swing your legs because there’s no room to stand. If you are an elderly person in the aisle seat and person in the window seat is younger and agile, there’s no need to stand up.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, January 30, 2009 @ 4:39 pm

    Oh, of course. I did say it wasn’t full on the bus to try to avoid exceptions like this, but you can’t cover them all :) So, what if we say everybody in this scenario is an able bodied adult? Would you have a preference then?

  • By Rob, January 30, 2009 @ 11:59 pm

    I wonder about the people who vote for the second option… it suggests that standing up is not ok (if it was, they’d pick the third option). Who are these anti-standers? Do they walk (sit?) among us?

  • By Marissa, February 1, 2009 @ 8:59 am

    Maybe it comes down to how much room the exit-er needs to get past you. I mean, do you really want someone’s bags, coat, and rump brushing by your face as they exit their seat pass you.

    Yes-and then the question of moving over to the window seat. Bring on the poll!

  • By LisaB, February 2, 2009 @ 11:59 am

    Oh you hit on my pet peeve – the people who just rotate their legs!! Do me the basic courtesy of getting your whole self out of the way please! Otherwise… if my bag whacks you in the face as I squeeze by… well, not much I can do about it since you refused to move!

  • By :-|, February 2, 2009 @ 3:53 pm

    Well said LisaB & Marissa.

    Perhaps this is a message to Translink to give us more single (or bench) seats and standing room. The double seats are not practical, especially with limited legroom.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, February 2, 2009 @ 4:19 pm

    I don’t know if we need to change the seat configuration entirely because of this situation. I personally like the double seats in buses — it’s just the negotiating of personal space that can be tricky.

  • By Steven, February 2, 2009 @ 10:11 pm

    The buses in the evening are so crammed it’s difficult to do either. However I prefer to stand up where ever possible.

  • By Eugene Wong, February 3, 2009 @ 11:46 pm

    I think that just rotating legs is okay when the person doesn’t need much space. In general, though, the correct thing to do is to stand up, and give the person more space.

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