I don't have a car, so like many UW students I bus everywhere. I totally understand the feeling of frustration and despair that comes from just missing your bus. There have been more times than I can count where I ran to catch a bus only to have it drive off. I understand I'm lucky that my buses come every 15-30 minutes during normal hours because there are some buses that come every hour (or even just a couple times a day)... But people need to understand the appropriate method for catching a bus.
You can run, shout, wave your arms, hit the back side of the bus (although some drivers would prefer you didn't do this, plus you'll just get your hands dirty), or try to get someone waiting at the bus stop to tell the driver to wait.
You should NEVER (ever ever ever!) run in front of the bus. I can't believe how many times I've seen people do this. If you are going to cross in front of a bus, I would suggest being at least 20-30 feet in front of a bus that is stopped and just NEVER cross in front of a moving bus. I don't even cross in front of buses at crosswalks, I just wait for them to pass. I do this because the drivers cannot see you.
Yesterday a girl at the Health Sciences stop tried to catch a 65 by running directly in front of the bus after it had already started to pull away. She was probably three to five feet from the bus. Fortunately she cleared the bus and made it to the sidewalk, but the bus pulled away anyway.
Do you know why the bus pulled away?.. because she just about caused that bus driver to squash her like a bug. Many bus drivers say that all those near accidents with pedestrians are very worrisome. So if you run in front of their bus, they will not let you on. Unfortunately, they don't always let you know that they aren't letting you on because you ran in front of their bus. In the past I've seen some bus drivers yell out the window at the pedestrian, but most of the time they just angrily drive off leaving the pedestrian to think that they just missed their bus because the driver didn't see them.
It’s much better to be late to wherever you’re trying to go than to be hit by a bus. So please, next time you’re thinking about stepping in front of a bus or trying to catch one, think again. Thank you!