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5 Tips for Using Kent Transportation

You’re a small town boy or girl living in a lonely world. You’d take the midnight train going anywhere if you could, but there are no trains to ride here at Kent State University. Enjoy your fresh country air and quiet nights with nothing but stars in the crystal clear sky and crickets singing because once you’re in Kent, the scenery changes. Dear country gal or guy, say howdy to your most foreign nightmare: public transportation. It’s that ring and ding of the city bus, the whirring tires and large plexiglass windows, the oddly colored carpeted seats, and red “watch your step” sign painted in bold letters on your way off and on. You know where you need to be, but you don’t have the time to walk there, so you jumped on this rectangular beast hoping to find your way about. Have no fear, for this small town girl has some tips for first time PARTA bus riders. Keep reading for 5 tips for using Kent transportation!

1. Don’t be afraid to talk to the bus driver!

“Ask and Ye Shall Receive!” Don’t be afraid to talk to the bus rider. If you aren’t sure if you are on the correct bus, just ask the driver before stepping on whether or not this goes to your destination. It is the bus drivers job to put you in the right direction.

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2. Try and sit in the front of the bus.

Front and center! Have you ever noticed that sitting in the front of the class actually helps you retain information better? You should also try to sit in the front of the bus, especially if you have anxiety about missing your stop. This way, you can see through the wide windshield and always know if your stop is arriving soon. Usually, the front space of the bus is reserved for those with disabilities or are handicapped, so try not to take those seats. Just pick a space with a good view.

3. When all single seats are taken, try this tactic.

“You Can’t Sit With Us!” It’s the worst nightmare of all public transportation nightmares. After a long, rainy day with three tough exams and a stomach growling in hunger, you don’t want to talk to anybody, but, alas, there are no double empty seats. That’s right, all the seats have at least one person, so now you have to choose which stranger to awkwardly cuddle up next too. (I say cuddle up, because space on a public bus is tight.) It’s that scene in Forrest Gump, when all the seats are taken. You’re praying to find Jenny or Bubba, some friendly stranger who doesn’t mind the company.

Tip: You don’t have to make eye contact and you don’t have to make best friends with the person you choose to sit next too. Try picking someone who is looking out the window, not paying attention, someone who has their headphones on, or is playing CandyCrush on their phone. This type of person should not be hard to find. If they do talk to you, just smile and nod.

4. Be kind and remember your public transportation etiquette!

Yes, there is a special type of etiquette required for riding the public bus. Public transportation gets a bad rep for being filthy, immodest, and kind of awkward. You shouldn’t be looking to fit in. Instead, join fellow bus goers with modesty, kindness, and respect. It’s the golden rule: do unto others as you would have done unto you. Smile at strangers. Your backpack or purse does not need its own seat. Sit up straight with your feet under the seat and not in the aisle ready to trip the next person who gets on. Listen to your music, but there is no need to blast it through the headphones. Remember, everyone else just wants to get to where they are going peacefully.

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5. Take advantage of your travel time.

Try and take advantage of your time riding public transportation. This is time for you to do whatever you need to do, which you would not be able to do if you were driving yourself. Finish up some homework, flip through some study notes, text a friend you haven’t reached out to in a while, listen to a guided meditation or music! But DO NOT take a nap. You could miss your stop, and you won’t catch up on much sleep in the span of your transportation time anyways.

Last, but not least, enjoy your ride with the PARTA systems of Kent State University!

What are some other tips for using Kent transportation? Comment below for our student readers and share this article with friends!
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Kathryn Monsewicz

Kathryn Monsewicz is a journalism major at Kent State University. Her goal is to give readers stories they can see, feel, listen to and love. Her focus is in magazine journalism with the ultimate dream of becoming a traveling journalist.

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