Small ideas can make Metro greater.

Exit Metrobus using the rear door campaign

Customers should exit MetroBus using the rear doors when possible. This will expedite the onboarding/off-boarding process at bus stops because onboarding customers in the front will not need to wait for off-loading customers coming out the front door.

The message to "exit from the rear" can be messaged through on-bus advertisements, pamphlets, social media, etc. The Portland, OR, are TriMet has instituted and marketed this policy for years and it is quite successful.

This proposal will significantly reduce the average wait time at bus stops for customers onboarding and off-boarding.

Photo by pinelife on Flickr.

Submitted by: Alex L., Washington, District of Columbia


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This is a great idea! It works well in other cities, both in the US and around the world, so DC should try it.

by Becky on Aug 11, 2016 4:04 pm • linkreport

This is a great idea - it's one of the more common surprising lapses noticed by newcomers to the area - but it would require Metro to stop discouraging the practice. Currently the drivers often don't open the rear door, sometimes requiring multiple shouts to get their attention. It only takes missing your stop one to discourage trying again for a long time.

by Chris Adams on Aug 12, 2016 12:03 am • linkreport

Fluid dynamics, path of least resistance, and herd mentality says that this will not work. Persons are going to look for the easiest and quickest way out. They will not go past 6 people to get to the rear door. Why do you think people crowd the doors on the trains and refuse to move to the center of the car?

by Mark H on Aug 12, 2016 10:12 am • linkreport

At a station this seems highly appropriate keeping in mind that Behavioral change needs a goad here or there.

At a Bus stop it may take 30 years to get the Exit Pads installed to make it seem safe too.
Overall this could be included with two or three other Suggestions that are more Signage issuses.

by Keith Bender on Aug 12, 2016 1:01 pm • linkreport

Best of the ideas.

by Kyle E on Aug 15, 2016 1:58 pm • linkreport

This is done in Baltimore. In Baltimore's MTA, when someone rings the bell to get off, the automated announcement asks you to exit by the back. (Sadly, the Circulator there doesn't do that)

For comparison, Pittsburgh's Port Authority transit switched out of a pay-by-zone system on the buses and trains. That meant depending on where you are picked up going into the city, or dropped off out of the city, you had to pay and exit out front. Thankfully, they just switched to a flat-fee system and encourage card use by making it slightly cheaper... and to exit out the back.

by Kelly P on Aug 17, 2016 7:10 pm • linkreport

This is a fantastic idea in that it costs incredibly little and will make a real difference. I agree with posters that it may be difficult to change the bus-exit culture in DC, and it is true that you sometimes have to yell for the rear door to be opened.

The simple solution to this is that you ALWAYS open the rear door, but more importantly, you open it first - just long enough for people to start moving in that direction and then you start boarding from the front. Other bus systems use this method and it is really effective.

by Daniel R on Aug 22, 2016 9:58 am • linkreport

I worry that this would be a problem for disabled and elderly riders. They get on in front, and asking them to go to the back could be a real imposition.

by Hester on Aug 25, 2016 12:34 pm • linkreport

This is safe only on buses where the rear doors open automatically. It's dangerous to exit at the rear when one must push the door open. I'm pretty agile and I've gotten stuck a couple of times and luckily the bus driver hadn't pulled off yet. Also, to echo another comment, bus drivers sometimes forget to open up the back door and one must yell loudly to remind the bus driver to open up the back door.

by SuzyQueue on Aug 25, 2016 3:51 pm • linkreport

This is a bad idea. As an older commuter, I have trouble stepping down from the back door exit. I have seen many metro buses pull up to a stop at an angle so that the front door is against the curb, but the back door exit is actually out in the street. This makes for quite a step down. One evening, I was on a bus that had pulled up at an angle so that the back door exit was out in the street and was also right beside a street gutter opening. If I had tried to exit via the back door that time, I can guarantee that I would have fallen.

by Susan on Aug 26, 2016 3:06 pm • linkreport

Best idea. Buses could make exceptions for the elderly/disabled. They do this in NYC, and it works great. Drivers would need to contribute by reminding passengers to exit at the back.

by Agnieszka on Aug 26, 2016 11:59 pm • linkreport

"Buses could make exceptions for the elderly/disabled"?? Great idea....embarrass us by drawing attention to the fact that we can't use the back door like everyone else. Wonderful.

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