Why Are Bus Drivers So Rude? (9 Reasons Why)

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Oberon Copeland

Oberon Copeland is a graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, with a degree in economics and HR.

Most people’s experiences with bus drivers tend to be unpleasant. Aside from a couple of odd drivers who are friendly and cheerful, bus drivers can be rude and aggressive. This begs the question: why are bus drivers so rude?

If you haven’t been able to find a valid answer to this question, read on to learn more about the top nine reasons why bus drivers are so rude.

Why Are Bus Drivers So Rude?

1. Bus Drivers Undergo Emotional Exhaustion

One of the underlying causes of bus drivers’ rudeness is emotional exhaustion. Bus drivers work under some of the most demanding, stressful, and unhealthy conditions. They have to remain seated for long hours in a cramped position for low pay.

Not to mention the high turnover rate in bus driving. So bus drivers are always in constant worry that they’ll be laid off.

2. Bus Drivers Have to Deal With Difficult Passengers

A bus driver’s rude behavior may be in response to a difficult passenger. It’s natural for a bus driver to stop being courteous to someone rude, disrespectful, or condescending.

Such passengers will often accuse the fed-up bus driver of being rude and unprofessional, which isn’t exactly the case. The driver is simply reacting to the passenger’s yelling or cursing.

Most bus drivers will remain professional and keep their cool. They’ll also avoid going back and forth with the difficult passenger, which can be perceived as being rude.

Ultimately, you can’t blame a bus driver for being rude in such a stressful situation.

3. Bus Drivers Don’t Have All the Answers

Another reason some bus drivers appear rude is that they don’t know all the answers to the passengers’ questions.

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Bus drivers don’t have the schedules and routes of all buses memorized. So, if a passenger approaches a bus driver with a question about the bus schedule or the route of another bus, the bus driver may respond with a simple “No.”

For some people, this blunt response can come across as rude.

What’s more, when bus drivers are en route, it can be difficult for them to answer any questions. That’s why they may opt for short, direct answers to any questions.

Without making eye contact with the passenger and giving short answers, some people perceive bus drivers as rude.

4. Bus Drivers and Fare Issues

One of the most common instances in which people consider bus drivers to be rude is during a bus fare dispute. In such cases, bus drivers may appear rude and uptight because they expect the potential passenger to pay the full fare.

This rude behavior is usually the result of many cases where passengers attempt to take a bus ride without paying the fare.

At the end of the day, bus drivers are required by union rules to inform passengers that they must pay a fare. They shouldn’t, however, enforce fares, refuse to allow someone on, or throw them off the bus.

So, aside from being rude, a bus driver is unlikely to take any further action. In fact, bus drivers may be held liable if they abandon a passenger.

5. Bus Drivers Bear a Lot of Responsibility

Bus Drivers Bear a Lot of Responsibility

The truth of the matter is that bus drivers have, quite literally, a lot of weight to carry. They need to:

  • Obey traffic laws
  • Follow a specific schedule
  • Pick up and drop off passengers
  • Maintain safety procedures
  • Assist passengers with disabilities
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And so many more. What’s more, and perhaps most importantly, bus drivers are accountable to their passengers. So, if an incident occurred, it would be the bus driver’s fault.

With so many responsibilities, the tension may cause some bus drivers to be unintentionally rude.

6. Bus Drivers Are Just Following the Rules

When passengers think a bus driver is rude, it’s often because the bus driver is trying to follow the rules.

  • Passengers need to remain seated and face forward whenever the bus is moving.
  • They shouldn’t put any body parts out of the window.
  • Their bags and belongings should be on their laps or under their seats.

If any passenger does any of the above, the bus driver has the right to tell them to follow the rules. Some passengers may dislike being told what to do and thus believe the bus driver is rude.

7. Bus Drivers Can’t Give Passengers Their Full Attention

Many people tend to think that bus drivers are rude because the drivers won’t give the passengers their full attention.

A bus driver may be rude because they’re in charge of a large vehicle that transports people. So, they won’t be able to physically turn toward you or look at you if you talk to them.

If a bus driver gets distracted for even a second, there’s a high risk of a crash.

8. Bus Drivers Can Have Cultural Differences

Nationalities and cultures tend to be more diverse in populated cities, particularly capital cities. If your bus driver comes from a different cultural background than you, you may perceive his behavior as rude when it’s not in his culture.

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The opposite can be true as well. If you’re in a new country and are unfamiliar with the culture, a bus driver may respond to you in a manner that would be considered impolite in your home country.

9. Some Bus Drivers Are Simply Rude

In some cases, a bus driver may be so rude simply because they’re rude. Bus drivers are people, so it’s not surprising that some are rude to other people for no apparent reason.

The thing is: people aren’t rude for the sake of being rude. Those rude bus drivers are likely to be so because they’re dissatisfied with something or with their lives in general.

So, when a bus driver is inexplicably rude, it’s best to give them a break, especially if you don’t have to interact with them. You never know what these bus drivers are dealing with.

That said, there have been reports of bus drivers being rude to passengers due to discriminatory ideologies. In such cases, those bus drivers are regarded as unprofessional. That’s why it wouldn’t be inappropriate to call them out on their rude behavior.


Why are bus drivers so rude?

This is a question that many people have after taking the bus. Bus drivers can be dismissive, grumpy, and even aggressive at times.

While such behavior is often uncalled for, bus drivers face several challenges because they work in confined spaces for long periods. When combined with their low pay, it’s easy to see why they’re always in a bad mood.


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