The riders on the bus go #@$^&!!!

Maria Nann

“Keep cell phone conversations to a minimum and speak quietly.”

Is there a reason this thought isn’t clearly associated with riding the bus?

Probably because it happens – a lot.

This cell phone statement is only one of the many rules in place for PARTA transportation.

But, according to Brittney Orcutt, adherence to this “rule of the road” is far from the case.

“There are so many people on the phone,” said Orcutt, a freshman deaf education major. “They talk really loud. Sometimes, it’s personal, and I feel bad because I can hear them.”

Of all the annoying habits people display on the bus, these Chatty Cathys seem to be the most worthy of eye-rolling by other passengers.

“It annoys me when people glare at you when they see you listening to their conversation,” said freshman psychology major Bethany Schlotterer. “What else is there to do?”

“I guess I can’t really say anything, because I’m probably guilty of it sometimes,” said Lauren McMaster, sophomore public relations major. “But I try, when I’m in a place like that, not to talk so loud.”

There are other instances involving busing, however, that may rub people the wrong way.

“I find it hilarious that people have to sit by themselves,” Schlotterer said. “I do it, too. I’ll walk all the way to the back of the bus to be by myself.”

RULES OF THE ROAD

Unknown to most bus riders, PARTA has a set of rules in place to help keep riders safe and happy on the buses. Although the following rules seem to be common sense, many riders fail to adhere to them.

• Passengers are to treat others and drivers with respect.

• Keep cell phone conversations to a minimum and speak quietly.

• The front seats are to be reserved for seniors or those with disabilities.

• No children are to be in strollers, and strollers are to be folded up and children held by parents.

• No smoking.

• No eating.

• No drinking.

• No radios or portable televisions.

• No profane language.

Source: PARTA

McMaster said that she likes sitting by herself, too.

“I don’t like it when there are a lot of empty seats and people sit next to you,” she said.

Sometimes, annoyances surrounding the busing system don’t actually happen on the bus.

“I hate it when people smoke in the bus stop (shelter),” Schlotterer said. “It just fills up with smoke.”

Some, however, have had good luck with the bus system.

While waiting for the bus one day, freshman communications studies major Miranda Reed suddenly found herself in the middle of a conversation with someone she didn’t even know.

“People are really friendly,” she said. “You’ll probably never see these people again in your life, but they talk to you for the four minutes you’re riding together.”

Other than personal pet peeves, however, no serious offenses are recorded for PARTA on a daily basis, although it hasn’t always been that way.

“We’ve had instances where the police have had to come and arrest kids – not Kent students, but younger – for being unruly,” said Frank Hairston, PARTA’s Marketing, Equal Employment and Customer Service Director.

According to Hairston, no instances of “unruly behavior” have been reported lately, or even within the last few years.

“Students have really been pretty good on our buses,” he said.

Contact features correspondent Maria Nann at [email protected]