What is that loop you hold on to when you ride a bus/subway?

Is it called a loop of some sort? Or handle? In the picture below, an invisible... ?

enter image description here

  • 4
    You mean straps?
    – tchrist
    May 16, 2014 at 4:32
  • 3
    Yes, straps. One who holds on to them is called a straphanger. May 16, 2014 at 4:35
  • 1
    In Jaguar cars, the strap above the door is referred to in the owners manual as a Dowager strap. (circa 1986)
    – Frank
    May 16, 2014 at 4:48
  • @Frank Seems Jaguar is the only one that calls them so (for some unknown but very interesting reason).
    – Kris
    May 16, 2014 at 13:47
  • 1
    @ErikKowal Excuse me, I'll have you know I rarely had a dowager in the back seat of my Jag, but when the occasion arose those straps sure kept them secure. ;)
    – Frank
    May 16, 2014 at 17:11

3 Answers 3



enter image description here
"Here is a bus driver grabbing onto typical straps"

Grab/ Grab Handle

enter image description here
"City Bus Plastic Grab Handle"

  • Bus straps are used on the subway?? May 16, 2014 at 14:04
  • 5
    "Strap" is by-far the most common term used in New York, to the point that the community activists supporting users of NYC's public transportation are known as the Straphangers.
    – KRyan
    May 16, 2014 at 14:10
  • 2
    That guy is enjoying the straps way too much.
    – Albzi
    May 16, 2014 at 14:28
  • @KRyan: But is "straps" the most common term because the community activists are known as "the Straphangers", or the other way around? May 16, 2014 at 21:51

The standing passenger has his own page.

hanging strap: a strap suspended from the ceiling with a handle provided for standing passengers to hold on to

handrails: running horizontally along the ceiling

stanchions: vertical poles

grab rails: smaller hand rails attached to seats, doors and doorways

And whether it is a train, subway car, bus, or car I would probably just call them oh-shit handles.

  • In the Enchanted Typewriter the kings and queens come from Hades and they were having a ball in a trolley car. The author calls them straps as well. NB: I just commented on the wrong comment. Sorry about that.
    – Tucker
    May 16, 2014 at 6:07
  • I've got a concern with this Wikipedia page. Is handrail really only a horizontal bar? Can't I call a vertical one a handrail? I'm also not sure about this stanchion term. When you look it up on Google Images, you won't find any images with long bars used to hold on to.
    – jFrenetic
    Aug 2, 2015 at 22:56

It is called a handgrip in some cities, but the terms bus handle, bus pull handle, bus pull ring, city bus handle are also in use.

  • The pull handles and pull rings are different things. These signal the driver that a passenger wants off at the next stop.
    – Oldcat
    May 16, 2014 at 16:44
  • @ Oldcat, I thought so too but It was included in the term search 'bus handle'
    – Third News
    May 16, 2014 at 16:56

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