…the greatest unspoken rule of bus travel is that if other seats are available you shouldn’t sit next to someone else. As the passengers claimed, “It makes you look weird.” When all the rows are filled and more passengers are getting aboard the seated passengers initiate a performance to strategically avoid anyone sitting next to them…

Kim found that this nonsocial behavior is also driven by safety concerns, especially for coach travel which is perceived to be dangerous with ill lit bus stations.

“In a cafe, which is more relaxed, people often ask strangers to watch their stuff for a moment,” said Kim. “Yet at bus stations that rarely happens as people assume their fellow passengers will be tired and stressed out.”

“Ultimately this nonsocial behavior is due to the many frustrations of sharing a small public space together for a lengthy amount of time,” concluded Kim. “Yet this deliberate disengagement is a calculated social action, which is part of a wider culture of social isolation in public spaces.” –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a scene set on a bus.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about using public transit?

Art Prompt: Crowded bus

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write about how public transit can be made more appealing to more people.

Photo Credit: Susan Sermoneta on Flickr

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