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Friday fun poll: if you already have a seat, do you jump to a more empty seat if it becomes available?

If you like, you can skip to the end of this post to answer the empty seat poll.

Results from last poll: signalling to a driver that you don’t want their bus

Last week I asked about how you signal to a driver that you don’t want them to pick you up.

The winning strategy: step back from the bus stop, which swept the poll with 71% of votes. “Use some sort of hand signal” was a distant second with 16% of the vote. Hide behind the bus shelter (5%), just ignore the bus (4%) and “other” (4%) were less popular options.

In the comments, some said they try to really not look at the bus to indicate they don’t want it. Here’s Holly:

I step back, turn around and start admiring the building behind the bus stop. I don’t even look in the direction of the bus!

Others try to shake their head “no” as the bus approaches. Joseph Bilac wrote:

I normally shake my head, it’s the most universal signal there is for no, no chance of them getting confused.

And as a side note, Dora mentioned the different strategy applied at London’s request stops.

Something I found really confusing the first time I visited London is that some stops (generally ones in less busy areas) are “request stops”, meaning that if you’re waiting at the stop you have to wave to the driver if you want the bus to stop and let you on. It takes a bit of getting used to if you’re more familiar with our system here, where the driver will always stop if there is someone waiting, unless you indicate that you don’t want to be picked up.

In other words, if you don’t signal for your bus, at a request stop, your bus will just pass you by! Very interesting.

Again, you can find everyone’s full comments at the original post!

This week’s poll: do you jump to an empty seat if it becomes available?

So here’s the situation:

You’re in an aisle seat on a two-seater bench facing forward, with someone you don’t know sitting beside you. All the other seats on the bus are occupied.

However, at the next stop, two people leave and now one of the two-seater bench seats is entirely empty.

Sometimes I see people leap for those seats like crazy, and in other cases nobody seems to mind. What are your thoughts?


  • By ;-), June 5, 2009 @ 5:03 pm

    Yes I do, especially if that’s on the side of the bus that offers shade on a hot sunny day. Other popular seats to move for are the singles.

    Like you, there are times I’ve never seen seniors move so fast. Some switch seats when the bus is moving they almost injur themselves on the poles.

  • By Dave2, June 5, 2009 @ 11:21 pm

    As a SkyTrain commuter I usually stand, but it can be awkward trying to get out of the way of people trying to exit the train from two directions at Gilmore; sometimes I have to let people know to wait for people to leave before I can dodge out of their way…

    If I’m sitting in the aisle I’ll usually swich to the window seat if that person leaves…
    and I’ll usually remain seated until the train stops… no point in standing if there’s a tonne of people standing waiting to get off.

  • By Steven, June 6, 2009 @ 8:01 am

    Not really for me either unless…

    1) There is an odd person sitting next to me and I don’t feel safe etc.

    2) If it isn’t a comfortable position to sit in

    3) I can spread out a little more if I need to a bit of work on the way to a meeting

  • By David, June 6, 2009 @ 11:40 pm

    I thought this blog was moderated. Adverts for prostitutes are not welcome.

    I would not move to an empty 2-seater unless the person beside me signaled that they were getting off at the next stop and by moving I would give them a clear path.

  • By Tsushima Masaki, June 7, 2009 @ 4:29 pm

    I would move to that set of free seats if it was relatively close to me and I still have a while to go before my stop.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, June 8, 2009 @ 8:41 am

    PS to David: That other comment was just plain old spam: deleted now though! The blog doesn’t moderate your comments as they are posted: it’s just slow, and so that’s why your comments don’t show up for a little bit. I moderate after the fact if needed. (I’m told we can move the Buzzer to a new server though, which should clear up the slowness and the awful email problem.)

  • By Philip, June 8, 2009 @ 1:30 pm

    I think 2 things mater when jumping seats: 1) The person you are next to, 2) how long your trip ahead of you is.

    If my trip ahdead of me is long, and on the Skytrain, I like to look out at the beautiful scenery, so I would jump to an open seat next to a window.

    But if I’m on the bus, and the person next to me isn’t offending me somehow, I’ll stick with them. You never know who might come sit next to you when you move, and you would be stuck there.

    Sitting next to someone quietly reading is better than sitting next to someone yelling in their phone or listening to really loud music.

  • By Eugene Wong, June 9, 2009 @ 10:51 am

    I usually don’t move unless the person next to me stinks, and/or I need more room. I also consider the other passengers who want that seat. I usually try to let somebody else have a chance at it.

    After somebody else sits there, I slide in next to that person, and smile. Just kidding. :^D ;^P

  • By Nimo, June 11, 2009 @ 3:30 am

    Well, this is an universal behavior, so I can do the poll.

    If I’m using a reserved seat (for people with reduced skills as old people, disabled people, pregnant ladies, women carrying babies or little children, etc) then I give them the seat at the moment.

    If I’m not using reserved seats (there is 4 or 5 in every transport unit), I give my seat if all the reserved seats are being used for people with reduced skills. If not, i claim the unpolite person, until he/she do the right thing.

    And if someone apears and seat besides me… I look if is a pretty girl, if yes, then i smile and… that could be the start of nice story ;)

  • By isabellasum, June 16, 2009 @ 5:55 pm

    Magnificent idea and it is duly

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