Exit through the rear, damn it!

Why is that so hard to understand?

I take the bus to work and back every day. I also ride it on the weekends to get where I need to go. So it’s safe to say I take at least two bus rides every day of the week. About every two or three miles, on every one of these bus rides, a recorded announcement is made:

Please exit though the rear door.

The announcement is played in English, then in Spanish. In case you are deaf, the message is also displayed in red, flashing lights above the front door – again, in both languages.

There is a reason for this: when people board the bus, they do so through the front door, so they can pay their fares, show their bus passes, etc. The door and walkway are only wide enough for one person at a time; passengers board in single file. If people are simultaneously trying to exit through the same door, not only does it slow the process, hold up traffic, and annoy people who are in a hurry or running late, but there is also unnecessary pushing, shoving and running into people.

But fear not! Every singe time the bus stops, people inevitably exit through the front, needlessly obstructing the flow of passengers boarding and exiting the bus. I watch, every day, as people stand near the front door as the announcement plays only to completely ignore it and exit through the front door, shoving past people who are trying to board.

What part of “exit through the rear” is so difficult to understand? And why should people even need to be told this? It seems like so much common sense and courtesy to me. If you’re paying the slightest bit of attention to what’s going on around you, and have an IQ of at least 50, you should be able to see that exiting through the rear is the only sensible thing to do. Nevertheless, thousands of people will shove their way through the entrance every day, in spite of blaring announcements, and flashing red lights instructing them to exit through the rear!

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