Arm Out at Bus Stops?

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MK Tom

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I've always assumed that when you're waiting for a bus and your desired bus approaches, you hold your arm out to signal that you want it to stop. Here in Milton Keynes, regardless of how many routes serve your stop, if you don't do that the bus simply won't stop, and it's always been that way. Yet I've been seeing a friend living in Rugby lately, and there literally nobody does it. At first I thought it was just because most of the stops on service 4 are only served by that route, but it even applies to the town centre stops that are served by multiple routes. People just stand there staring into space and the bus dutifully pulls in for them. So if the entire town operates that policy, how do you indicate to the driver if it's not the bus you're waiting for? Are there any other towns that don't do it or was I right to assume it was the normal thing to hold out your arm?
 
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Xenophon PCDGS

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Up here in Cheshire East, we always put our arm out to signify to the bus driver that we require the bus to stop. This is the same as when being on a "request stop" at a railway station.

The point concerning multiple services makes this point even more important, from the point of view of the bus driver.
 

Class377/5

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I'm in London, always arm out. However on the route I now live it's served by a single bus so as long as your by the stop it stops.

However you'd be surprised how many don't bother putting arms out.
 

trentside

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It varies in Lincoln depending on stop. Many are only served by one route, and the bus will always stop but on the busier roads most drivers expect you to signal them to stop (I always do anyway) but some seem to deliberately slow down even when someone doesn't signal.
 

anthony263

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You are supposed to put your arm so the driver knows you wish to use the bus.

Despite this I have seen some people dont and they complain when the bus drives past them ( and the OAP's are worse)
 

district

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I always put my arm out for bus request stops, especially at night. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't do it. The bus still stops.
 

Greenback

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Different customs and practices in different parts of the country can be confusing. If I am in an unfamiliar area Iw ill always stick my arm out for the avoidance of doubt, though it isn't necessary in these parts.
 

Dstock7080

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In London there are still officially two types of stop, the red "request" and the white "compulsory" stops, although TfL were rumoured to be ending this soon, regarding all stops as 'request'.
 

aformeruser

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On a lot of routes there are stops the bus will always stop at (such as a bus station or interchange) but for most of the other stops the bus will not stop unless it's requested.

If there's a bus stop which only one route serves then it may be obvious to the driver that you are waiting for his/her bus.
 

WestCoast

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Its standard practice around here, regardless of the operator. Not everyone does it, but you have to make yourself known to the driver.
 

Schnellzug

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I don't know why, but I've always thought it looks kind of rude, I'm not sure why. I just sort of wave, although usually they slow down if they see someone at the stop in any case. If it's not one I want, I'll either stand back or wave them by.
 

Trainspotmatt

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arm out if the bus i want is approaching to quickly just incase the driver doesn't feel like stopping but most of the time just stand next to the edge of the road, and if i don't want the bus that is approaching i take a few steps back.
 

90019

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In some cases, people make it obvious without putting their arm out that they want the bus, usually by walking up to the edge of the pavement, so it's not always necessary. But it is a useful thing to do, as it makes it clear that it is my bus you want.

If you show no sign of wanting my bus, I won't stop for you.
 

Ivo

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You are supposed to put your arm so the driver knows you wish to use the bus.

Despite this I have seen some people dont and they complain when the bus drives past them ( and the OAP's are worse)

What Anthony said.

I got to know several drivers during the Spring term here and one of them repeatedly told me he was not against not stopping should people not signal to him.

Bath seems to have a problem with this on the University routes:

Route 2 [City Centre to Ensleigh]

Arm out before the bus arrives; pass ready before it stops. Board as soon as the door is open and present pass immediately.

Route 18 [City Centre to University of Bath]

No arm out; complain if bus does not stop. If it does, which is most of the time (<(), no attempt to prepare pass or move toward the door until several seconds after bus stops. Bus is delayed.

I'm not saying this out of spite towards WelshBluebird's University - ours are just as bad. But the 18 is more obvious because it is far more frequent, and it is the main route at the stop where it is the biggest problem (Lower Oldfield Park).
 

neilmc

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I've always put my arm out as bus stops - as I've always lived in cities, most bus stops have multiple services and the driver quite reasonably will only stop if you indicate you want his bus.

A particular example is along Oxford Road in Manchester - if I want the 43 bus home, and it's in a convoy of Magic Buses as often happens, I virtually jump into the road with my arms waving like a windmill in a tornado. Or, when there's a bus you don't want on the stand, I walk back down towards the oncoming bus you do want and flag it down so it doesn't overtake.

A couple of months ago I caught a 43 to the airport at a silly hour and it's the first bus I've ever been on which went through Wythenshawe bus station without stopping.
 

MarkyMarkD

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It seems obvious to me that you should always signal the bus to stop, unless (such as at a terminus) it is always going to stop anyway.

One stop I usually use is the terminus, and the other is the railway station where there are always passengers and the buses always stop, so I don't actually have to signal the driver very often around here. But I still would do if I was waiting anywhere where multiple buses stop (or often don't need to stop).
 

4SRKT

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It's only a matter of time before certain posters come on here and talk about how dangerous it is sticking your arm out in front of a bus, with some anecdote about how someone 'who thought nothing would ever happen to him' once lost an arm to a Bristol VR or something.
 

Deerfold

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In London there are still officially two types of stop, the red "request" and the white "compulsory" stops, although TfL were rumoured to be ending this soon, regarding all stops as 'request'.

No, there are not (although some are labelled as such).

All stops are now compulsory - drivers are instructed to stop if there are people at the stop.

I'd still advise sticking your arm out though.

On my local routes I'm at a fairly rural stop in Yorkshire. Until recently some of my buses where times at the same time - I'm always sure to signal the one want. If another bus approaches I shake my head and step back from the stop and they go past.
 

causton

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No, there are not (although some are labelled as such).

All stops are now compulsory - drivers are instructed to stop if there are people at the stop.

I'd still advise sticking your arm out though.

Indeed - what drivers are instructed to do and what happens usually differs. That is a ludicrous policy and it should be the other way round IMO. I was on a bus yesterday where at every stop there were people waiting... for the service behind. We would have been a good few minutes late if we had stopped at all of those stops to determine whether they were for our bus or not!
 

jon0844

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I think all the bus stops around here are request, but there are some stops where a bus has to stop if running early. Since they got GPS fitted, which tracks movements, they actually do stop there too!

Just as in London, there are some bus stops where many buses stop and then requesting can be very hit and miss. Especially if you have to be quick to try and signal to the bus driver behind a bus that has stopped, who will happily overtake you. In these situations, I wonder if you're supposed to leap out in front of them? :)

Mind you, once you're in central London then there's little chance the bus won't be stopping anyway as someone will want to get off at almost every stop.
 

Tramfan

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I always stick my arm out, even at bus stops that only serve 1 service.

Though I remember a couple of years back waiting at a stop behind someone who put their hand out as a bus approached, then shook their head and waved it on as they realised it wasn't their bus. Despite me having my arm out as well, sure enough the bus drove straight past :-x
 

stut

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Trying to stop a Stagecoach Bedford bus, on one of the barely visible lay-bys on the A1, involves running out, and jumping up and down with your arms in the air, only to get it to pull over into the verge a couple hundred yards down the road, and be met with paddington stares by the passengers who have just waited 5 minutes for you to catch up.

A flare would work better. I've often wondered if some kind of light/semaphore signal would be good on routes like that, assuming it's in relatively vandal-free areas.
 

Ivo

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I've always thought about some 'reverse bell' - perhaps some sort of lighting arrangement could work :)

I've thought that too.

I've given up on trying to use the X39 etc from the botton of the University driveway wherever possible because some drivers will still be doing 50 even though the stop is 50m before the roundabout. Instead, I go to the one before, where they have to turn at a set of traffic lights (the stop is immediately after the lights). It is also much quieter there!
 

dggar

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Stagecoach buses in Manchester have information notices inside the buses asking passengers to give a clear signal to the driver if they wish to board.
 

WestCoast

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I've always thought about some 'reverse bell' - perhaps some sort of lighting arrangement could work :)

I've seen that done in Spain with stops in autopista (motorway) laybys and slip roads, a sign lights up on the road requesting the bus to pull into a layby.
 

Badger

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I used to hold my pass out until I dropped it under a bus one time. :lol:

But I'm the only one who holds their hand out here. If you're at the kerb, they stop, if not they don't.
 

90019

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I think all the bus stops around here are request, but there are some stops where a bus has to stop if running early. Since they got GPS fitted, which tracks movements, they actually do stop there too!

On the buses I drive, when the AVL machine goes from on time to early, you stop at the next stop and wait your time (you can get into trouble if it's 2 minutes early or more, and risk losing your job if it's over 6 minutes).
The only exceptions to this are where you'd be causing an obstruction if you stop for longer than necessary (if so you'd wait your time at the first stop where this isn't the case), or if you're between the last stop and the terminus.
 
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