How To Survive In Ireland: #3 – Public Transportation

Hi reader,

welcome to How To Survive In Ireland! This time our topic is public transportation, but not any kind of transportation. I’m speaking of the Irish way of transportation. When first considering to travel somewhere, you need to know if you even need anything besides a pair of solid shoes. The reason for that is that the best part of public transportation is when you don’t have to use it here in Belfast. I’m not even kidding, when you can walk to your destination in 20 minutes or less, you should just walk there and use your good old feet’s. Besides of that, there is one other way you can get where you want without straining your physical condition.

The Bus – General / Ticket
If you expect something like a subway or tram in Belfast, you will get pretty disappointed, because the only way to travel in the town is the bus. Now you would maybe think something like: „Well, if this is the only kind of public transportation, it sure has to be good!, right?“. Wrong. You will even be shocked before you enter the first bus, because of the absurd price of the tickets. A Monthly ticket here in Belfast costs about. 62£ which are roughly up to 80€, every month. Keep that in mind before choosing to buy one.

The Bus – Getting Started
Now you got your ticket but how do you find the right bus? This can be pretty confusing at first. Often busses even change their name and destination when they arrive at a bus station in a matter of seconds. You have to know your destination and where your journey is going to start. Also keep track of the time, because if you miss your bus you will most likely wait half an hour for the next one.  So be prepared. Otherwise chances are good that you are going to be late on your first day of work. Here is an example of how not to do it.

The Bus – Getting a Seat
What sounds easy at first will be a big hurdle for beginners, but lets start at the beginning. Once you enter the bus you have to be quick, really quick. I haven’t  quite figured out if every bus driver in Ireland is crazy or if this is just plain normal. Anyways, in the moment you put your „monthly ticket card“ on the scanner and receive your ticket, the bus driver will just hit the accelerator as hard as he can and completely ignores if you are still standing near him or in the middle of the stairs. That means, if you don’t want multiple bone fractions in your head, some unintentional intimate situations with strangers or worse, you should grab yourself a solid handle as soon as you enter the bus.

The Bus – Getting Out
As you probably already expected, the madness does not stop after finding a seat. It will be the first time you want to get out and realize: „this bus only got one door?“. When you are sitting in the very back of the bus this could really become a problem. The thing is, that you basically need to stand in the front door the moment the bus stops. Otherwise the bus driver will just continue to the next stop. To accomplish this you have to stand up and walk to the front while the bus is still driving at full speed. You can be lucky and this will happen on an straight and even road but I haven’t seen one since we live here in Belfast. You will get shaken to the left and right and try not to get: quote „… multiple bone fractions in your head, some unintentional intimate situations with strangers or worse“ on your way and better grab the next safety handle really tight. AND don’t forget to thank the bus driver for the adventurous ride before you step out.

So, that was all. Congratulations, you survived your first ride with the bus!
Stay safe, stay warm and stay in the god damn queue…


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