Some of what follows will be familiar to any teacher or youth group leader who has chaperoned children walking on city streets. Other procedures are unique to travel via public transit.
These guidelines apply to TransitPeople trips in general. Trip Leaders are likely to give additional directions specific to individual trips.
The kids who join us rarely misbehave intentionally, but sometimes misbehave unintentionally when they get excited. Unfortunately -- or fortunately! -- they are very excited by what they do with TransitPeople.
When kids get excited and start to act up, they usually just need to calm down until they're ready to continue. This is more of an issue toward the end of the trip, after the kids have spent the day doing a lot of exciting things they're not used to doing.
To and from the transit stop
The primary danger is from cars. Kids shouldn't walk close enough to the curb to step into the street by accident, and should never go into the street without permission from an adult.
An adult should lead the group, and another should "bring up the rear," to make sure all kids are in sight of an adult at all times.
If kids run and horse around, they are much more likely to trip over potholes, knock each other into fire hydrants, and so on.
The Trip Leader may choose to match up the kids in a "buddy system," in which children are assigned partners and told to look after each other.
Entering and leaving the train station
Train platforms are potentially dangerous, and kids shouldn't go on them unless and until they're acting well. If they're not, the group should stop and wait until they are. Next to safety, the itinerary doesn't matter.
The TransitPeople group should never rush to catch an approaching bus or train! That might be fine for an adult traveling alone; for kids' groups, it's dangerous.
The kids should never run on the stairs or escalators. If some children are permitted to use the escalator and others use the stairs at the same time, the group on the stairs is very likely to want to run to catch up.
The children should never play on the train platform, and always should stay away from the edge of it.
Boarding and leaving the train
If your group is large and the train is likely to be full, the Trip Leader may split the group into two or more sub-groups, which will stand apart from each other on the platform, and board and leave through separate doors.
The children should:
As soon as they enter, the children should either find seats or take a hand hold. If they stand without holding onto anything, they're very likely to fall into someone or on the floor when the train starts moving.
After the stop before the destination station, the children should be reminded that they are going to get out at the next stop, and should be ready to leave the train immediately when it reaches a complete stop, and wait on the platform.
Travel by bus
The children should wait on the curb, and never step into the street toward the bus unless an adult has given permission. They should wait until departing passengers have left before boarding.
The children should find a seat or take a hand hold as soon as they enter the bus. If they stand without holding onto anything, they're very likely to fall into someone or on the floor when the train starts moving.
At the destination
The primary danger is that the kids will wander off by themselves and become separated from the group. So, they need to understand that they must stay with the adult designated to watch them.
Parents are protective of their children, and so is TransitPeople. We don't want the kids who travel with us to be encouraged to behave unsafely, or exposed to behavior that might be considered offensive.
Guidelines like these can't be all-encompassing. We won't say explicitly that Guides shouldn't tell children to play in the street; that doesn't mean a Guide ever should. They are best taken as an outline of behavior ... a set of "guidelines," just like the title says!
Guides should :
Guides should not :