Norwegian Queuing Theory

On the weekend we bought two monthly travel passes.  These are great and give us free access to both bus and light rail transport throughout the greater area of Bergen. 

 For the queuing enthusiast, they also provide an ideal opportunity to study the behaviour of the local population, often giving underlying insight into their society and culture.

For example, take New Zealand. 

New Zealanders employ the clumping queuing algorithm.    If waiting for a bus, they’ll clump randomly around the bus stop, spilling onto the foot path and blocking the path for pedestrians.  Then, when the bus arrives, they agitate like localised energized particles, without really moving anywhere, making it difficult for people disembarking the bus to negotiate a clear path out and even more difficult for pedestrians just passing through.

 It’s chaotic and unstructured.

NZ queuing theory


Norwegians on the other hand, employ a different algorithm, which seems reflective of their polite and organised culture.  Waiting for the bus or train, they’ll patiently sit, or stand inside the bus stop.  Then, when the bus arrives they all move off to the side in an orderly fashion, leaving space for pedestrians and disembarking passengers, before then boarding themselves.

Norwegian queuing theory

Buses are fun.

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5 Responses to Norwegian Queuing Theory

  1. Simon says:

    Also in NZ queuing theory the person who doesn’t know where they are going and doesn’t have the right change is always at the front of the clump. They then proceed to get on the bus first, have a 5 minute, confused conversation with the bus driver before realising this isn’t the bus they want and having to turn around and get back off the bus past the waiting clumpers.

    This is most often likely to happen when it is pissing down whilst everyone else waits in the rain.

    People have absolutely no thought of others or any situational awareness at all.

    • Brian says:

      Here, the confused clumper at the head of the queue is probably a New Zealand tourist. But it’s fine, since you can just get on at the back door, and scan your travel card with the reader there.

      • Simon says:

        I don’t think they allow anything as advanced as that here. Can only swipe on at the front door. I guess since no one seems to actually check someone has swiped on if they did it here people would just rip off the system.

  2. david says:

    Please help Simon leave New Zealand

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