In most cities, public transit is frustrating at best – especially during rush hour. Certain journeys on transit are enough to ruin your workday or cause you to return home angry and agitated. There are things that are out of our control, like the fact that the existing infrastructure may not support the demand in certain cities or that mechanical issues and delays are inevitable. But there exists a certain set of guidelines to riding transit, and these go beyond giving up your seat to the elderly and expecting (by the way, make sure they actually are pregnant, we’ve made that mistake ourselves). Perhaps the following will make your commute a little more enjoyable…
Refrain from Eating Messy or Pungent Foods
People are busy and perhaps the only time to refuel with a much-needed snack is on the subway as you make your way between meetings. If you can, however, avoid eating messy, strong-smelling meals on transit. The smell of McDonalds is enough to induce feelings of nausea in some when in a confined space like a bus or subway car. Furthermore, if what you’re eating is messy, not only is the entire act of eating it going to appall fellow transit riders but you’ll likely leave behind some sort of mess for someone else to sit in.
Be Mindful of Where You Sit
Don’t sit right beside someone unless you have to. Similarly, on a deserted bus or subway car, don’t sit in direct proximity to someone when 95% of the other seats are seats left to choose from. If you know you are only going to be going a stop or two, try to get the outside seat. Also, no matter how large your bag is, a person takes precedence over your bag in terms of who get’s the seat.
Don’t Try to Make Friends
Smalltalk is not welcomed on the subway. Don’t try to encourage it. Equally as annoying is trying to pick someone up while on transit. Let’s be honest; nobody actually really wants to be there and are merely focused on getting from point A to B and planning their next plan of action, whether that morning’s presentation or what to make for dinner.
Mind Your Entering and Exiting Manners
Always let the people off the vehicle before you enter it and don’t assume you are the only one getting off at a particular stop and push your way past passengers toward the doors. This sounds simpler in theory than in practice, for some.
Not everybody wants to hear what music you are listening to. Furthermore, on a crowded bus or streetcar, don’t talk on your phone. Nobody needs to hear your conversation with your mother-in-law and the bus driver may just call you out. Trust us, it’s embarrassing. Whatever you do, don't be this girl.