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Rider's Almanac Blog

Bus Good Question

Good Question: Why go out the back?

| Wednesday, September 11, 2013 12:00:00 PM

This week’s Good Question comes from Ken Paulman (@kenpaulman), who asked: "How much time is wasted by people exiting out the front instead of the rear door?"

Like virtually every transit agency, Metro Transit generally encourages customers to depart buses using the rear exit. This allows customers to step aboard, pay their fares and get settled on the bus quickly as others circulate through the back door. Following this practice where possible adds up into time savings which helps buses to remain reliably on schedule.


“It’s good practice because it helps the flow of passengers getting on and off and, if you’re sitting near the back, it’s much easier to use the back door than to weave through customers who might be standing in the aisle,” said Douglas Cook, a Metro Transit Customer Advocate who helps teach new customers how to use Metro Transit at How-To-Ride sessions. 

Not every customer should use the rear exit, however.

To use the ramp or lift, customers with wheelchairs or mobility devices use the front door for boarding and departing. Customers who board with strollers or large luggage that is kept in the area near the front entrance are asked to exit through the front door to reduce interference with other passengers. Those using onboard bike racks should also be prepared to exit from the front door so they can alert the bus driver that they will be retrieving their bike. In winter, conditions at bus stops may also make it safer to exit out the front door. 

Customers on most afternoon and evening express trips departing the downtowns or University of Minnesota area pay fares at their destination (typically a Park & Ride) instead of paying as they board. This "Pay Exit" approach is another way of speeding passenger boardings and providing more reliable and efficient service.

> How To Ride

Have a “Good Question” that you want answered? Email it to [email protected].