National Express reveals that #TDFR is the West Midlands’ favourite seat

National Express West Midlands has unveiled that #TDFR (Top Deck, Front Row) has officially been crowned by customers as their favourite seat on the bus.

The bus company launched a video showing four top seats and an online poll asking customers to vote for their favourite:

#TDFR was the outright winner with a whopping 55.2% of the vote:

David Bradford, National Express West Midlands Managing Director, said:

“We started to notice the hashtag #TDFR and others cropping up in our social media mentions, amongst other mentions about timetables and tickets.

“When we started following the #TDFR hashtag we realised it was a really simple game that most people can take part in. There’s clearly a lot of love out there for our buses, so we wanted to put it out there and see which of our bus seats really was the most popular.

“We’ve enjoyed looking at all the photos, videos and comments from customers who took part in the poll. But the fun doesn’t stop there - the game continues…”

Benjamin Kane, from Kings Heath, loved #TDFR (it stands for Top Deck, Front Row) so much so that it became a regular feature on his Instagram stories and a bit of an “in-joke” around the city. Would he get #TDFR or not? Where would he sit if he didn’t get his favourite seat?

Ben is a regular on the National Express 50 route and is featured in the videos above. He said:

“A few years ago I started documenting my attempts at claiming my favourite seat and becoming a commuting champion. I called it #TDFR, which is short for Top Deck, Front Row.

“Over the years, I’ve become quite well known for the #TDFR hashtag and it’s really picked up recently. I knew I was on to something. Something that everyone can relate to - and is fun to do!”

The full results of the National Express West Midlands poll are:

#TDFR (Top Deck, Front Row) scored 55.2%

Considered by some to be the throne. Do you go to the right-hand side and feel like you’re driving? Or choose the left-hand side to kick back and relax. #TDFR gives panoramic views of the bus journey, close to the stairs and sheer wonder, it’s a seat that encourages your own inner child to come out a little.

#BDNTD (Bottom Deck, Next To Driver) 23.3%

Let’s be honest, everyone wants to be mates with the driver. You trust the driver – they know the route. The driver IS the route. Sit here and feel important, like the way a teacher sits near the driver on school trips and shares the odd knowing look. This seat comes with authority. Not as much authority as the driver though, of course.

#BDBRMS (Bottom Deck, Back Row, Middle Seat) 12.2%

The longer legged among us are happy here as it’s the seat where you can stretch out. You might have to move to let people in or out (like a human gate), but that’s quite social and nice. It’s also the perfect position to monitor who is getting on and off. Because we’re nosey like that.

#TDBR (Top Deck, Back Row) 9.4%

Not for everyone, this seat is often the one where teens go with their friends. Everyone knows who the people at the back of the bus are but it’s actually a great seat for families. Think about those school trips when you were a kid, waving out the back window to the people going by. It’s the perfect seat to make someone’s day.  

Midlanders clearly have their favourites when it comes to putting their bums on bus seats. Other seats got some love from customers, despite not being in the online poll: 

#TDMBS (Top Deck, Middle, Behind Stairs)

The Surveillance Suite. The best thing about this seat is the absolute premier view of the CCTV screen on National Express West Midlands buses - for a different angle of the back of that man's head. Uh oh… Is that really Jenny from the Block, two rows back? Check the screen, relax. And stretch out. 

#BDBD (Bottom Deck, Behind Driver)

This is the only seat on the bus that you don’t pick. It picks you. A little lonely and a bit eccentric. It feels like a one-way confessional. We understand that sometimes ruling out the possibility of someone sitting next to you is a plus, but oh my word, this is extreme. Some people even called this the Harry Potter seat as it’s technically “under the stairs”.

Play the game

Public transport users generally have a favourite seat, which is their “go to”. But hearts may dip a little if it’s already been taken.

Want to play along? Upload your adventures on social media with the hashtag #TDFR and tag @nxwestmidlands. 

What’s a game without a few rules:

  1. Never ask someone to move. You only win if the seat is free. 
  2. If you don’t get the seat when you board but a customer gets off, this is known as a #TDFR upgrade. 
  3. Don’t take pictures of other customers.
  4. Smile nicely at those in your seat and be a gracious loser. Maybe even have a chat with them so they know how lucky they are #BeKind
  5. Seats are for people. They’re not for bags or feet

Published 24th February 2020