Riya’s school bus has something she calls a “bus cop.” It’s a 4th- or 5th-grade student who helps enforce the rules and keeps an eye on the younger ones. In my day we called it safety patrol.
Minneapolis-St. Paul Metro Transit has clearly recruited a crack team of middle-aged women to fulfill the same purpose. Their duties include, but are not limited to:
- Answering questions directed to the bus driver.
- Telling direction-seekers where (invariably a location miles away from where they are) they really ought to have caught the bus.
- Being the first one in line as the bus pulls up to the stop.
- Glaring at and/or rebuking anyone who 1) walks through the line they have established or 2) *gasp* doesn’t realize there’s a line and boards out of order (not me – trust me, I am too afraid of the bus cops).
- Otherwise instructing others in proper bus etiquette. This week, I saw a stellar example: a 20-something man was sitting in a front seat, his large backpack on the seat next to him. As some additional passengers boarded, the bus cop behind him tapped him on the knee (who touches a stranger on the knee!?) and instructed him to move his bag so someone else could sit. Before the young man had removed his earbuds and comprehended her problem, of course, the new arrivals had simply found seats for themselves behind the bus cop.
God bless ’em.