For many people globally, riding on a bus is a large part of their daily reality – or it used to be at some point in their lives. Even those who use a car throughout their adult lives likely took the bus to school.
It is no wonder that all that lifetime of bus rides commonly finds a way into our dreams.
Interestingly, although bus rides are supposed to be casual, they can be uncomfortable in dream scenarios. That is especially true if there are plot twists such as accidents, missing bus stops, or other unpleasant events.
What does dreaming of a bus mean?
First, a little disclaimer: like a car dream, not all dreams about riding a bus are meaningful. This is especially true if you use public transportation daily. Dreams tend to replay scenes from everyday life. That means that if you take a bus daily or often enough, the bus may be just a background, familiar setting to develop a dream scenario that has another meaning.
However, if regular bus rides are in your past, or you take the bus only seldomly, then the bus itself is highly likely to have a meaning. Even if you still take a bus regularly, if the bus is always featured in a specific context (e.g., always the wrong line, always late, etc.) it can still hold a distinct meaning.
But, what kind of meaning? Is there a deeper truth behind the bus rides through the dream realm? What does dreaming about traveling the bus symbolize?
Let’s find out.
Dreaming about riding on a bus
A bus is a collective means of transportation, so the meaning of a dream in which you are a bus passenger can have something to do with your feeling of belonging to society or your peer group. Specifics can vary.
If you are feeling comfortable on the bus full of other passengers, it can mean two things: either you are comfortable and in tune with your social relationships, or you crave to be a member of the crowd. How you feel inside during the dream or after it ends can tell you which option is right. If you feel a hint of sadness and longing after the happy ride on the bus – the answer is clear.
Suppose you are uncomfortable when riding the bus with the rest of the crowd. In that case, it can signalize the opposite of the former. You may feel uncomfortable in your community or with society in general. Also, this sort of dream can represent former trauma related to your work or school collective.
Of course, the interpretation of such a common symbol also depends on the interpreter. As a proponent of individual development that culminates in his Individuation theory, C.G. Jung said that dreaming of riding on any form of public transportation suggests that you may be overly conformist in your real life. Your subconsciousness might be trying to remind you that you should try to be more independent and proactive.
Other interpretations bus dreams point out to other specifics but also come down to collectivity. In Big Dictionary Of Dreams, Martha Clarke says that “as means of public transportation, the bus symbolizes the need to share projects, ideas, or thoughts. Dreaming of this vehicle shows that you should have to relate more often with loved ones, fleeing from negative isolation.”
Dreaming of a double-decker bus
If the bus in your dreams is always a double-decker, that can symbolize that the problems you are facing can be multi-level and not easy to comprehend. It may also mean that some important details remain hidden from your view.
As a take-away message, consider taking a different angle on the problems you are facing in your daily life.
Dreaming about riding on an empty bus
If you are dreaming about riding on an empty bus, it can symbolize isolation and loneliness. You are alone, but you believe it should have been otherwise.
Clarke states that if you are the sole occupant of a bus, it can mean that you have either great shyness or selfishness.
Dreaming about missing a bus
Dreaming of missing your bus ride is one of the more uncomfortable bus-themed dreams. According to Theresa Cheung, author of The Dream Dictionary From A To Z, missing a bus or train in a dream falls into the fear or loss category of dreams. The fear can be one of abandonment, loss, conflict, or of losing control.
Cheung states that “dreams about missing a bus, train, or plane all point to some kind of tension in the dreamer about failing to achieve a goal.”
Also, missing a bus points to frustration, possibly missing an opportunity for a change, or escaping unfavorable life circumstances. You are unsure of your direction or what comes next.
Dreaming about taking the wrong bus line
Dreaming about catching the wrong bus can be highly unpleasant and can be a projection of feelings of anxiety and hopelessness you feel in your waking life. Also, your unconscious mind could be sending you a message that you are going in the wrong direction in your romantic or professional life – or at least that a part of you thinks so.
People you are interacting with during your “wrong bus” dreams are also important for interpretation.
For example, if in your dream you were supposed to meet with a loved one before catching the wrong bus, or you are talking on the phone to the person during your attempts to get off, it can mean that you feel like you are drifting away from that person and that life is taking you into opposite directions.
You can also dream about being stuck on the wrong bus. A hostile bus driver who won’t do you a favor to stop the bus so you could get off and catch the right one can mean that you don’t trust in the good intentions of people who you feel are in control of your life.
Dreaming about a bus stop
Dreams about waiting for a bus at the bus station are interesting. Bus stops are transition points, so if you are standing on a bus stop in your dream, it can mean that you are at a transition point in your life.
Pay special attention to the people you are meeting at the bus station. These are often the figures that have an unstable relationship with you. Your relationship can be at some sort of turning point or crossroad. Dreaming of a bus stop can facilitate a resolution of these relationships.
Dreaming about driving a bus
While being a bus passenger is largely a passive experience. However, a bus driver is a complete opposite. As a bus driver, you are not only in control of the vehicle, but also the lives of your passengers depend on you and your decisions.
Driving a bus confidently can mean that you are a leader and a decision-maker in reality – or you think you would make a good one. You possibly have a lead role in your career, directing and guiding others (e.g., your subordinates) along their path in the company or an institution. Also, it may indicate your leadership in your family or your local community – especially if you are driving a school bus
However, feeling like an incompetent bus driver in a dream can mean you are overburdened by responsibility and that you feel out of control. Also, driving a bus can remind you of responsibility towards others that you suppress in your reality.
In any case, dreaming about being a bus driver signalizes that you have taken responsibility for the lives of other people.
Dreaming about a school bus
Ah, the school bus. So many memories and so many emotions are tied to this iconic vehicle. For people picked up by a school bus daily as kids, it can become a stage for all types of drama. That is why the yellow bus can later embed itself in our dreams, bringing back memories of various types – of relationships with peers, insecurities, and love.
Dreaming about the school setting is usually a part of deeper emotional processing when we need to reach out to our past selves to resolve some basic issues or feelings.
It doesn’t have to get that deep, though. The school bus is also a prevalent cultural symbol, so its dream interpretation might be less personal. For example, dreaming of yourself on a school bus can mean you’ve been feeling the weight of authority in your daily life. You may even be feeling rebellious!
Dreams about a Scary Bus
Up until now, I’ve covered dream bus situations which you can consider pretty usual. They were not always pleasant but non-threatening nevertheless.
However, there are other, weirder, and scarier bus dreams.
If a bus ride in your dream is frightening, ends with a crash or other type of accident, or the bus is driving itself or has other supernatural properties, it means that during your waking hours, you feel like something you are involved in out of your hands, controlled by others. It all seems to be going wrong, but you feel like you can’t do anything about it. A dream like this can warn you that you should do something to get yourself out of the situation before it’s too late.
As you can see, something as banal and standard as a bus ride can have various intricate meanings in a dream context. The exact meaning depends on details, your dream role, and other characters.
If you feel uncomfortable upon waking up from a bus-related dream, don’t sweat it. In fact, you may have integrated some suppressed feelings or received an important message from the all-knowing Unconscious. Safe travel!
Tell me your bus dreams. Did you ever have an impactful bus-related dream? Are you curious to know more about it? Let me know in the comments.