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Public transport - different countries - do you say "thanks"?

Public transport - different countries - do you say "thanks"?

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Old Jun 15, 19, 11:16 am
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I'm a regular user of buses in Seattle and Portland and it would be unusual to not greet the driver and if convenient, at least wave goodbye when alighting at the rear door. Every once in awhile I'll get a grumpy driver but they are far and few between.

It's been my experience that bus drivers in New York City barely look at you but I did have a friendly driver last time I was there that actually surprised me. It might have been because it was a LGA connection bus with limited stops but because he was so friendly, all passengers greeted him and either said or waived goodbye.

London I've found to be a bit of a mixed bag with the bus drivers. Same in Singapore and Hong Kong. The most shocking to me were the unfriendly drivers in Australian and New Zealand cities I visited, except Sydney - go figure!
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Old Jun 15, 19, 11:25 am
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Originally Posted by kochleffel View Post
In many places you board a bus through the front door but exit through a rear door. Does anyone in any country thank the driver when exiting at the rear door?
"Any country?" The difference between San Francisco (MUNI) and Oakland and surrounds (AC Transit) are like night y day. On MUNI (albeit I rarely ride it anymore) I rarely heard any pleasantries between driver and passenger. (And now, there's rear door boarding with a place to tap card, so even less interaction). On AC Transit, the majority of passengers greet the driver, and then thank the driver from either leaving up front or the rear door. If I leave from the rear door, I'll usually wave and when walking past the front door (if walking that way, and if it is still open) will call out a thank you.
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Old Jun 15, 19, 11:26 am
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I ride busses in Queens, NY in an area with lots of orientals most pax say “thank you” to the bus driver when exiting.
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Old Jun 15, 19, 11:44 am
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Originally Posted by kochleffel View Post
In many places you board a bus through the front door but exit through a rear door. Does anyone in any country thank the driver when exiting at the rear door?
In Portland, not a country but still, absolutely. I greet drivers when getting on and off no matter which door. Totally normal.

Other places, I watch the locals and see what customs are prevalent and follow them.
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Old Jun 15, 19, 12:02 pm
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Originally Posted by MissJ View Post
In Portland, not a country but still, absolutely. I greet drivers when getting on and off no matter which door. Totally normal.

Other places, I watch the locals and see what customs are prevalent and follow them.
Same. It's kind of a Portland "thing" to thank the bus driver, even when exiting out the rear door. My East Coaster GF finds it amusing.
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Old Jun 15, 19, 12:19 pm
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Originally Posted by Low Roller View Post
Hmmm - I might have to look into moving to Switzerland! There's far too many social expectations in Canada
People in Switzerland have very big what I like to call "personal bubbles". It has benefits and drawbacks

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Really? My impression is that at least parts of Switzerland follow German norms and one would be expected to say hello and goodbye in small shops, etc. as well as thank you.

IME it's more in big east coast USA cities where one doesn't talk to strangers (except to thank taxi drivers, etc.).
You sometimes give people a polite nod to acknowledge them when you walk past them, but it's definitely not expected to say hello/goodbye/thank you to employees. I'd probably argue that it might be more common in the French part of Switzerland (since that part is generally more "outgoing"), but I can't speak for that since I've never lived there, only visited. In the German part, it's definitely not a thing to say thank you to bus drivers.


Originally Posted by marke190 View Post
It depends where in Canada and varies by city. For example, saying thank you when alighting is the etiquette in Victoria/Vancouver BC but is almost never heard in cities in Ontario and Eastern Canada.
Definitely possible that there's a west coast/east coast difference (see also MSP's post about big east coast cities above), and again - I've only lived on the west coast, but I've definitely witnessed thank you's across cities throughout Canada. but can only speak for BC when it comes to it definitely being the norm throughout.

And to add: In Vancouver, you're definitely hearing/saying thank you when exiting through the back door. You yell that stuff through the bus!
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Old Jun 15, 19, 4:07 pm
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Originally Posted by kochleffel View Post
In many places you board a bus through the front door but exit through a rear door. Does anyone in any country thank the driver when exiting at the rear door?
Yep! You yell "Thanks driver" down the bus (well, not yell-yell, but say it loudly enough to be heard).

Alternatives include "cheers"
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Old Jun 15, 19, 4:10 pm
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Originally Posted by TEDisgone View Post
I'm a regular user of buses in Seattle and Portland and it would be unusual to not greet the driver and if convenient, at least wave goodbye when alighting at the rear door. Every once in awhile I'll get a grumpy driver but they are far and few between.

It's been my experience that bus drivers in New York City barely look at you but I did have a friendly driver last time I was there that actually surprised me. It might have been because it was a LGA connection bus with limited stops but because he was so friendly, all passengers greeted him and either said or waived goodbye.

London I've found to be a bit of a mixed bag with the bus drivers. Same in Singapore and Hong Kong. The most shocking to me were the unfriendly drivers in Australian and New Zealand cities I visited, except Sydney - go figure!
Auckland drivers are a huge mixed bag. When I catch the bus home, it's usually the same drivers at the same times; if I catch my "earliest" bus, it's a grumpy/silent driver; the next guy is a friendly older guy (reminds me a little of santa claus, no beard though), and the next one is again grumpy/silent.

When you were in NZ, were the bus drivers playing music/the radio?
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Old Jun 15, 19, 8:58 pm
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Originally Posted by akl_traveller View Post
Auckland drivers are a huge mixed bag. When I catch the bus home, it's usually the same drivers at the same times; if I catch my "earliest" bus, it's a grumpy/silent driver; the next guy is a friendly older guy (reminds me a little of santa claus, no beard though), and the next one is again grumpy/silent.

When you were in NZ, were the bus drivers playing music/the radio?
Yes - at least one driver on the bus to/from the airport played the radio. I think it was tuned to The Breeze so at least it was pleasant enough and provided a distraction while we crawled through traffic. More examples of radio playing drivers in Australia, though.
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Old Jun 15, 19, 9:10 pm
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Originally Posted by Smiley90 View Post
Canada: DO say thank you
Switzerland: DO NOT say thank you (just do not talk to strangers at all )
Really? I have never heard anyone in Toronto on a bus thank the bus driver if they are departing from the rear door.

On a recent trip to Australia I was very surprised that virtually every patron alighting from the rear door yelled a loud thanks to the driver.
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Old Jun 15, 19, 9:18 pm
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I say thanks to everyone in a service industry who has helped me;

I thank security guys opening the door for me at a hotel
I thank bus, taxi, tuk tuk etc, drivers
On leaving a restaurant I say thank you, that was nice or thanks the pasta was beautiful
I thank airline counter staff
I thank lounge staff when leaving

I thought that was normal.
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Old Jun 15, 19, 9:19 pm
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Originally Posted by mapleg View Post
Really? I have never heard anyone in Toronto on a bus thank the bus driver if they are departing from the rear door.

On a recent trip to Australia I was very surprised that virtually every patron alighting from the rear door yelled a loud thanks to the driver.
Aussie here. I would thank bus driver in that instance too and call out.
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Old Jun 16, 19, 2:43 am
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Originally Posted by mapleg View Post
Really? I have never heard anyone in Toronto on a bus thank the bus driver if they are departing from the rear door.
Its not very common on TTC busses or streetcars (trams). I hear it all the time on Go busses, but there you exit by the front (only) door

You'll hear it in Ottawa too, definitely not 100% of the time, but its not uncommon.

Last edited by TechnoTourist; Jun 16, 19 at 6:57 am
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Old Jun 16, 19, 5:25 am
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Originally Posted by mapleg View Post
Really? I have never heard anyone in Toronto on a bus thank the bus driver if they are departing from the rear door.
I have lived in Toronto and 4 other cities in Ontario and also never heard anyone thank a bus driver when alighting from the rear door. I would find it odd to have people yelling their appreciation at the driver from the back of the bus. More common is people saying hello when boarding but even then it's far from all of them.
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Old Jun 16, 19, 10:38 am
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Depends on country...I guess no one commenting so far had experiences riding public transport in Moscow...
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