General Question

live_rose's avatar

How does one properly ride on a bus while standing?

Asked by live_rose (1223points) August 31st, 2009

either I have the worst equilibrium in the world or I must be doing something wrong (both are equally probable).

I take public transportation to school every morning and by the time the bus gets to my stop the bus is packed and I inevitably have to stand. The problem is I can’t seem to stop falling and bumping into people . . . I nearly took out 3 people today. I just can’t retain my footing and sometimes clinging to the bar isn’t enough. I seem to be the only one on the bus with such issues.
Is there a trick/strategy to standing on the bus safely?

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18 Answers

barumonkey's avatar

In addition to clinging to the bar, I find that the best foot position is one foot pointing forward, and the other foot behind it and pointing to the side.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Stand with your feet a little further apart than you normally would, and don’t have both feet facing forward in the same plane. Stand with one a little in front of the other. (Edit: The stance barumonkey described [he beat me to it] fits this description and works well). And bend your knees just slightly.

All of these things make it easier to absorb the shocks of the jostling that happens on the bus. It’s not that different from a lot of sports that require maintaining one’s balance.

Also, if you have a bag, put it down if you can, but if you must hold it, try to make sure the weight is distributed symmetrically.

XOIIO's avatar

I position myself by the door, so I can lean against the wall and have a grip on the bars by it, plus it’s easier to get off when you reach your stop. I also place my feet 2 feet apart, my front foot straight and my back foot out a bit and at an angle. I bend my legs slightly to provide a sort of suspention system. When there is a bump, compress your legs on the way up and extend on the way down, and always lean into the turn. I haven’t hut a person in the longest time with this method.

XOIIO's avatar

Sorry for my answer being simmilar to the first two

live_rose's avatar

@XOIIO well if it was way off from the other answers Id be terribly confuzzled so being similar in this case is helpful.

Bugabear's avatar

Just pretend that you’re surfing. Depending on which way you’re standing, stand with your feet at shoulder length then stick one foot out slightly and turn its so it’s perpendicular to your other foot. Then bend your knees slightly. Also grab onto the bar.

Darwin's avatar

You could always just sit on the floor.

JLeslie's avatar

Feet apart, around shoulder width apart, and lean a little forward.

Fred931's avatar

I have enough good balance to just not hold onto anything at all, and even walk about if there’s enough room!

JLeslie's avatar

@Fred931 WHAT?! You have to hold on.

@live_rose one mor ething to add to my suggestion above, if you can hold onto a pole or bar above your head that would be better. If you are currently holding on to a seat back your hand might be very low, hold a bar higher (at least the height of your shoulder) and you will have a better chance of staying standing.

mrentropy's avatar

My answer would be the same for everyone else’s. I always found I did better on subways than buses, though.

Another thing to try is to hold onto an over-head bar and then lift your feet off the ground completely.

Shuttle128's avatar

Maximize the range that your center of gravity can move (move your feet apart in each direction). When you stand with your feet close together you can easily overstretch your bounds and loose balance. Having a tight grip on the rail is also helpful as it can also prevent you from allowing your center of gravity to go beyond a manageable distance.

It’s possible you simply need to work on your balance. Yoga is very good for this, but you can practice balance in many ways. Most sports and exercises help in this.

@JLeslie The only reason it’s easier to stay balanced by holding a hand rail above is because the center of gravity is below rather than above. The further your handhold is above your center of gravity, the more stable the configuration. It takes many small movements to stabilize yourself in a lower grip configuration and hence requires a higher spatial awareness.

Sarcasm's avatar

Just sit on somebody’s lap.

jamielynn2328's avatar

PSA: I advise to please be vigilant of where your butt is. There is nothing more annoying than being a seated bus rider with an stranger’s behind in your face for a half hour. I’d just like to spread the word about ass awareness.

Shuttle128's avatar

@jamielynn2328 I second this notion with enthusiasm!

Darwin's avatar

If you really want to consider the niceties of riding while standing, do not eat beans. Ever.

justin's avatar

You can also anticipate starting, stopping, and turning. Lean forward before the driver accelerates, lean back before the driver gets to a light or stop and brakes, lean in to a turn, etc. This gives you more ‘give’ before you get knocked over.

mattbrowne's avatar

Never underestimate inertia.

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