For foreigners who do not understand Chinese, it is a bit difficult to take a bus in Beijing. Because all the signs in the bus stops are written in Chinese. Even if some names are written in Pinyin, it is difficult to foreigners to distinguish the locations. Troublesome maybe, there are still ways for foreigners to take a bus in Beijing. The following are the steps for foreigners to take a bus in Beijing.
Step 1: Find the right bus route.
Find the right bus routes according to your location and destination. Google Map is a good helper. Note down the routes and the names(Chinese or pinyin) of your destination. You have to look into the routes beforehand and note it down, in case you get lost or you need to ask for help.
Step 2: Get on the bus.
Find the right bus stop with your target bus sign. Take a look at the arrow on the sign to make sure whether it is the right direction. Wait in the queue until the bus comes. Check the bus number to make sure you get on the right bus.
For buses of two doors(front door and back door), passagers should get on the bus from the front door and get off at the back door.
For buses of three doors(front door, middle door, back door), passagers should get on the bus from the middle door and get off at the front door or the back door.
Step 3: Pay the fare.
Before you get on the bus, you will probably wonder how could you know whether it is a flat fare bus or not. If there is a coin box at the gate of the bus and there is no conductor, usually it is a flat fare bus. Put the note or coin into the coin box or swipe the transportation card on the card reader when you get on the bus.If there is a conductor instead of coin box, usually the bus is charged according to the distance you travel. In this case, you can buy ticket from the conductor or swipe the transportation card when you get on and get off the bus.
Step 4: Get off the bus.
There will be broadcast on the bus in English, but the name of the stop is still in Chinese. You’d better be familar with the pronouncation of your destination. Or you can count the stops. If you are not sure whether the bus arrives at your destination, you can ask the conductor or other passengers nearby by speaking simple English or show the name of your destination in Chinese or Pinyin.
If you are on a bus of flat fare or you have bought a ticket from the conductor, just get off the bus when it arrives at your destination. If you have swipe the transportation card when you get on the bus and it is not flat fare ticket, you need to swipe the card again when you get off.