a riddle of sorts…

You’ve been patiently waiting for quite some time at a bus stop for your bus. The bus is late. So when it does finally show up, there is another one right behind it. Both are the same number, therefore they follow the same route and are going to the same place and are presumably driving at roughly the same speed.

The first bus looks a little something like this:

Whereas the second bus RIGHT BEHIND it, looks something like this:

Which bus do you get on?

In my experience, time and time again, the majority of people tend to veer towards the first bus, no matter how full it is or how close behind the second bus is. But why? Why do people migrate towards the first bus? Why do people pass up a practically empty bus in favour of a bus that appears to have nary a free seat?

This happened to me today, two number 7’s showed up – first pretty full the second practically empty – one literally right behind the other, and almost everyone (aside from me and another girl) got on the first bus. I don’t get it, why wouldn’t people want a seat or at least some breathing room!?!

Please note, I enjoyed my seat and the empty seat beside it.


About Lauren W

I am a combination of contradictions and approximately 18 kinds of awesome.
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3 Responses to a riddle of sorts…

  1. Michael says:

    I think the explaination for this is simple: People are self occupied and don’t realize that the bus behind it is the same one they are trying to squeeze on.

    At least that’s based on my observation at bus stops, bus pulls up, people check the number, then mumble under their breath that it is so full and proceed to squeeze on. I hardly ever see anybody checking for the second bus.

    It also doesn’t necessarily help that half the time the second bus follows so closely that you cannot see what is written on the front. It would help if drivers kept a bit more distance / slowed down as they approach the bus stop to give people the chance to see what number they are carrying.

  2. Jacob says:

    Based on my experiences, the first bus is late, and the 2nd is early. If the bus is very early, it might happen to wait a few minutes at the next major stop, while the late bus gets some distance.
    Exceptions are the 25, where CMBC wants the back bus to pass the front bus. This happens westbound in the morning.

  3. The #20 Victoria is notorious for this during the afternoon rush. As I got off the #135 at Hastings and Victoria, I missed the #20 bus, but I knew one would be following soon, and sure enough, it was, but it was full, but the people still got inside it. I waited less than a minute, and two more empty #20 pulled up to the stop. It’s so predictable that it should be in the schedule, yet people still get on the first bus. They may get to their destination five minutes later, standing, but I’d rather sit, thank you!

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