We’re all used to chatting on the phone while doing something else, but is it ever acceptable to talk on the mobile in public? Is it rude or not?
It is not rude to talk on the phone on the bus as long as you are considerate of those around you and speak quietly. However, if possible, you should postpone the conversation.
This post will help you understand how to use your phone in public places. It’ll also give some examples of phrases people use when they want someone else not to talk on their phone while using public transport.
Many People Prefer It Quiet on the Bus
It’s quite common that you might not even think about it, but some people don’t like when you talk on the phone on the bus. 
It cannot be very pleasant for them, because they want to focus on their own thing and now someone is talking loudly in front of them.
Even if they don’t say anything and just look at you while gritting their teeth, this might be uncomfortable. 
How You Are Perceived by Fellow Passengers on the Bus When You Are on the Phone
Make sure your volume is turned down as low as possible. This way, other passengers won’t hear what you’re saying anyway!
Ask if they mind if you use your phone while riding the bus/train/etc., unless it’s a crowded commuter train between 6 am-9 am. You could also ask before boarding in case someone got on earlier but didn’t know how to tell you they want some more silence!
But most people believe it’s not rude to talk on the phone on a bus.
There are three main reasons why talking on your cell phone on the bus is not rude:
- The bus is not a private space, so it’s not like people can tell what you’re doing or say anything about it if they don’t want to. As long as you’re sitting somewhere, that doesn’t block someone else from getting off at their stop. You can do whatever you want during your ride.
- It’s not like everyone needs to hear what you’re saying because who cares? There are more important things going on than some girl telling her friends about how she has no idea what her life will be like after graduation next year because she hasn’t even started applying for jobs yet (true story).
- If someone has something they want to say about how rudely you’re acting while on the phone in public transit, then chances are they have just as much right to complain as anyone else would.
Helpful Phrases When You Need to Make a Call on the Bus
If you’re on the bus and feel that someone does mind when you pick up or make a call, don’t be afraid to use some of these phrases:
“Sorry, it’s importan.t”
This is a no-brainer. You should always apologize when you disturb someone else.
“Thank you for understanding.”
If someone has been kind enough to understand when you talk on the phone, take the time to thank them at the end of your call.
“Am I disturbing anyone?”
If people are sitting around, reading, or looking out their window, ask whether they mind if you talk on your phone in front of them.
“Can we switch seats?”
If someone does mind, don’t hesitate to switch seats or go into another part of the bus where there aren’t any passengers nearby.
What If Someone Talks Loudly on the Phone on a Bus?
Don’t be afraid to voice your concern. If you’re on the bus, and someone is talking on their phone, don’t feel like there’s no way for you to make the situation right.
You could take a deep breath and tell them that it’s distracting for you, and would they mind lowering their voice. They might not listen, but at least then, you know where they stand.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed!  If someone is talking loudly on their phone while walking down the street near your home/place of work/school etc. don’t hesitate to ask if they’d mind moving away from where people are trying to study/work/relax, etc., because we all deserve some peace & quiet!
Tips for Talking on the Phone on a Bus
When you’re on a bus and you have to talk on your cell phone, there are some things to consider.
- Keep the volume low.
- Don’t talk on your phone if there are other people around.
- Use a good headset where you don’t have to speak loudly to be understood.
- Better yet, wait until no one else is around before making any calls.
- Activate your voicemail to make calls later.
To be polite on the bus, you will want to ask for permission before picking up your phone. A simple “mind if I take this?” should suffice.
If the call is urgent and cannot wait, go ahead and say:
“Excuse me, I’ve got an emergency.”
If it’s important, try saying:
“I’m sorry, but this is highly important.”
Do Not Wake Sleeping Passengers
When traveling overnight by bus, try to keep it as quiet as possible to not disturb other passengers. They might need their nice dream. If you’re trying to sleep and someone is talking loudly on the phone right next to you, it’s almost impossible not to be woken up.
Even if there’s a noise-canceling headset attached, which is supposed to prevent outside noises from reaching your ear canal, they still won’t be able to block out all sounds.
This is especially true if the person sitting next to you decides that talking on their phone in public should be done at full volume with no regard for anyone around them-or even worse: if they’re using speakerphone!
Have Some Empathy
If you decide to talk on the phone, consider that some people might be annoyed. If you’re one of them, please move as far away from the person talking on the phone as possible and enjoy your ride in peace.
This way, they get some privacy so they can talk freely without feeling they must explain themselves.
If you are the one talking on the phone, please keep the volume low and mumble say something to excuse yourself as a form of courtesy.
You know, it’s not always easy to be an adult. We have many responsibilities, and sometimes we need a little break from everything. That’s why we love our phones so much!
They are there for us when we need them most, but this also means that sometimes they become an annoying distraction from all the important things in life-like riding on buses or trains without talking loudly into them. Keep these tips in mind when you talk on the phone on a bus.
Sophie Hammond is a journalist, psychologist, and freelance speechwriter for people in politics and business. She lives on the edge of the Rocky Mountains with her dog and a lifetime supply of books. When she’s not writing, she can be found wandering through nature or journaling at a coffee shop.