Riding the good old CATA bus is one of the most efficent (well, sometimes) way of getting around MSU’s very large campus. With so many buses and so many routes, the CATA is a great way to travel on and off campus. But for people who are new to the whole bus riding thing, or just need a few reminders on how to act on a bus, this article may be a big help for you. Here are 10 things to keep in mind when using the CATA bus system at MSU!
1. Always Arrive About 5 Minutes Before The Bus Does
It’s totally understandable that you need those five minutes to make sure that you look decent enough for class or to make sure you don’t forget your calculator before your exam. But the last thing anyone wants to do is make a mad dash to the bus because its about to leave and you’ll be late for class. Save yourself the worn-out lungs (and the possibility of slipping on ice in the winter) and just arrive early.
2. Cata Buses Are Unpredictable Time-Wise
This is why it’s always good to arrive early. CATA buses are not perfect, they don’t know your exact personal schedule and usually, due to many things out of their control such as traffic or bad weather, they may not always be there on time. The buses also have many other stops besides yours, so keep that in mind when riding CATA bus system at MSU.
3. The Buses Tend To Be Crowded-Especially In The Winter
One of the nicest things about the CATA bus system at MSU is that it will take you wherever you need to go in just minutes. This can become really convenient during the winter months and when its raining. The biggest downside though is that everyone uses the buses when the weather is not that great, so you’re all packed in the bus like animals. The buses only have so many seats, which means that at points you may find yourself awkwardly standing and holding onto a pole for dear life.
4. Know The Routes
The last thing that you want to happen is to end up in east neighborhood when you were trying to get to the union. Since there are so many buses which go so many places, it can be confusing at first to know where the bus goes. The best advice for this is to download the transit app, which will give you both bus arrival times and routes.
5. Always Be Ready Beforehand
I’m talking about when you see the bus coming. Make sure that you have either your bus pass or money out and ready BEFORE you get on the bus. The bus drivers have places to be, and so does everyone riding the bus. One of the most annoying things you can do is get on the bus and spend a minute digging in your backpack for quarters. Save yourself (and everyone around you) a headache and just do it before it comes.
6. Be Mindful Of Your Surroundings
This applies when there are a lot of people on the bus. Just always be careful of where you move and where stuff like your backpack is. I know it’s tricky, especially when the buses are packed, but try to make sure that you don’t wack someone in the face with your backpack as you turn around. Also during cold and flu season, no one appreciates a sneeze to the face. All it takes is some mindfulness.
7. Don’t Be Trashy
The CATA bus system at MSU is a bus, not a trash can. Trust me, it really is gross walking onto a bus that has trash all over the floor. It’s also really gross to find gum in places where you don’t want it. So make sure you throw your gum in the trash; not under the seat, on the seat, on the floor, or on a pole. Treat the bus how you’d treat any other place, and don’t litter. Seriously, throwing your trash away is not that hard.
8. Be Courteous To Others
This should really go without saying, but sometimes people need reminders. If someone needs to sit, move your backpack off the seat next to you (I promise your backpack does not need its own seat). Also, even though it’s not a huge problem, always make sure to give up seats for people who actually need to sit.
9. Know When To Get Off
This sounds dumb, but I’ve seen many people become frantic when they forget to get off at their stop. The bus tells you where you are going next, so pay attention. Also, always make sure you pull the yellow cord when you need to stop, or there’s a good chance the driver may not actually stop.
10. Always Bring Your Headphones
Trust me, listening to music will make you time on the CATA 100% better. I mean, when isn’t a good time to put in headphones and ignore all of the annoying souls around you. It can also make the time go alot faster, so just put your earphones in (also a great thing to do if you don’t want anyone to talk to you).