The zombie apocalypse is rough enough on its own. But when shit hits the fan while you’re stuck on a bus or a subway, that introduces a whole other level of hell. What do you do when you find yourself in a situation where you need to escape zombies on public transit like a bus?
It’s not like there’s anywhere great to be when the apocalypse starts, honestly. But some places are a little more ideal than others and some places are absolutely the last place you’d want to be. A claustrophobic vehicle definitely falls on the “no thank you” end of the spectrum. So we need to think about what we’d do in that event.
(Why yes, I do spend some of my commute time thinking about this. What else am I supposed to do on a boring bus ride downtown when I’m only half awake and I’ve grown tired of my playlist?)
Escaping zombies on public transit buses…
Okay. So you’re sitting there, minding your own business. Maybe you’re leafing through the local newspaper or you’re scrolling Facebook on your phone and wishing you’d thought to download a podcast while you were still on your wi-fi at home. You’re yawning a little, sipping on a travel mug of coffee and wondering what fresh hell awaits you at the office today.
Speaking of fresh hell… Little do you know that’s exactly what is about to strike right here on the bus. And you thought that guy who kept coughing without covering his mouth was bad. Not even close.
Turns out one of your fellow passengers obtained a bite, but didn’t realize the extent of the issue. Maybe they don’t drive and they were on their way to the hospital or a walk-in clinic to be treated. Maybe they just thought their neighbor’s kid was being a brat again when he chomped on the dude’s arm as he tried to exit his apartment building. Who knows?
What you do know is that Buddy Boy has suddenly turned. And it’s rush hour so he’s surrounded by a packed crowd of, well, fresh meat. Including you. And maybe he’s right in front of you. Pop quiz hot shot: What do you do?
Your first advantage here is that you know exactly what this is and what’s going to happen next. That’s definitely a step up from the people who are probably screaming and not understanding why some stranger is suddenly trying to bite them.
This is not the time to try to be a hero. Don’t start searching frantically through your bags looking for something that can double as a weapon. I’m going to go with the basic assumption that you aren’t a lunatic who carries big knives or other actual weapons on a regular basis. And this is not a situation where your little Swiss Army Knife in your purse is going to be helpful. Neither is the wobbly steak knife you packed in your lunch bag.
Point being, no, you probably do not have anything of use on you at this moment. What do people normally carry anyway? Some food, a book, a cell phone, and maybe a laptop and change of shoes for the office? I mean let’s be honest here. None of those things are helpful in this situation.
Get off that bus.
No, all you want to do right now is get the hell out of dodge. Like, NOW. If you can help others maybe they’ll always remember the badass who helped them escape zombies on public transit, but there’s no time to waste. People need to just follow your lead. The longer you stay IN the bus, the more likely you are to join the army of the undead.
The best way to get yourself safely off the bus is to look around first. Where is the zombie? At the front of the bus? Then the front door is probably not an option. If it happens to be behind you and people haven’t jammed the aisle in panic, then obviously you should run straight towards it and get out. This is a great time to shout for people to follow you, but if this is the very beginning you need to remember most folks will be in shock. They won’t understand what’s happening. If they’re just sitting there and staring, well, sorry. Bye.
Front door is clogged or inaccessible?
Now if the front door is not an option you do have other escape methods. All buses have emergency exit windows. As per the instructions on the handy-dandy stickers, pull the lever, push the window, and you’ve got an exit. These windows are probably for fire escapes, but hey. An emergency is an emergency, and someone trying to eat the passengers qualifies.
There’s also the back door if you can get it open but if the bus isn’t at a normal stop it may not open easily. The windows beat wasting valuable time and energy trying to force the back door open.
A final option is the emergency hatch in the ceiling. It’s not ideal because it’s high up. You’ll need time to climb on something and open it, then you’ll need the upper body strength to pull yourself up and out (this is why you should be physically prepping for this day now). The hatch is really an escape route if the bus gets into an accident and tips over. Still, as a last resort it can work. This is an excellent time to work with other people so you and others can get a boost and have escapees (hopefully) lift you out.
Take 5 seconds to pause.
There is one very important thing to remember, no matter which escape option you go for. As tempting as it may be, do not just jump out a door or window and bolt. Take a few seconds to make sure that you aren’t leaping directly into danger. This guy-turned-zombie may very well be patient zero, but probably not. Avoid hurtling out of the bus directly into three other zombies that may be shuffling their way towards the vehicle full of screaming snacks.
(Also this will help you avoid running directly into the path of an oncoming truck or car. Because saving yourself from zombies on public transit just to get run over and killed anyway would be pretty sad.)
You won’t really have many options here. It’s not like you can back up and decide to just stay on the bus. That’s certain death. You still need to get out, but knowing where other points of danger are will give you direction.
No time to stick around and chat.
Once you’re out you can shout for others to follow you but keep this in mind – by the time you’ve cleared the bus and gotten yourself into the relative safety of open space, that first zombie has probably bitten at least 2 or 3 more people. That means that bus is quickly going to become a feeding frenzy. Help those that you can but DO NOT get back on that bus.
If there’s nothing else you can do, then go. This is the right time to run.
And good luck to you. You’re going to need it, because this is only the beginning.