Bus Driver Explains Proper Bell Etiquette

Photo by Marcelo Moreira

It seems that there’s a bit of a bell-ringing dilemma on buses. People are so desperate to get the driver’s attention, that they don’t seem to realize they’ve already accomplished their goal – in the worst way possible. Here’s a breakdown of the unwritten rules:

What to Do

  • Ring Once, Ring Right: When you know your stop is approaching, give the bell a single press. That’s all it takes to let the driver know you want to get off at the next stop.
  • Advance Warning Is Key: It’s courteous to give the driver some advance notice, so they have time to safely stop the bus without having to hit the brakes abruptly.
  • Patience Is a Virtue: Once you’ve rung the bell, sit tight. There’s no need to rush to the front while the bus is still moving. Wait for it to come to a complete stop before making your move.
  • A Little Gratitude Goes a Long Way: As you disembark, a simple “thanks”  to the driver goes a long way in acknowledging their service.

What Not to Do

  • Bell Overload: Some passengers have a tendency to repeatedly press the bell as if each press will somehow expedite their exit. The driver heard you the first time. Pressing it multiple times only adds unnecessary noise and can be irritating for both the driver and fellow passengers.
  • Dashboard Illumination: When you ring the bell, an icon lights up on the driver’s dashboard, indicating that a stop has been requested. So, rest assured, they know you want to get off at the next stop.
  • Panic: If you’ve rung the bell once, trust that the driver has seen it. There’s no need to worry or panic. Your request to disembark will be acknowledged in due time.
Photo by Jakob Scholz

The next time you’re on a bus, remember these simple guidelines for a smoother and more pleasant journey—for both you and the driver.