Having involuntarily had to ride the bus for many years, I’ve gotten to know the experience very well. One thing I’ve learned is when to pull the cord. While most people probably don’t give much thought to the timing (and I know this to be the case), it is not as simple as you would think.
The ideal time to pull the cord varies depending on several factors, but there are two main things you need to consider. Don’t pull it too early and don’t pull it too late.
Too late is obvious, it means that you shouldn’t pull it when the bus is too close to your stop since it will be difficult or even impossible, and certainly dangerous for the driver to stop in time, particularly if it’s snowy or rainy.
You may wonder what’s wrong with too early; what could be bad about pulling it immediately after you pass the stop before yours? This one’s not a safety issue, it’s a convenience issue. If you pull it too early, then the driver will start slowing down too early and it will take a little longer to get to your stop. Granted it may only be a few seconds more, but that’s still a few seconds you get back which can add up day in and day out, also anyone who’s missed the bus, train, or anything else by just a few seconds can attest to the importance of a few seconds.
There is no simple number such as four seconds before the stop, ¾ of the way between the two stops, etc. that can be used universally. It’s really just up to each person to use good judgment and common sense to figure it out. If you ride the same route often then it will be all the easier to figure out.