Do’s and Don’ts of Public Transportation

Anytime we’re dealing with crowded public spaces our manners are tried and tested. We’re more likely to become annoyed, impatient and ready to snap; the perfect breeding ground for bad behavior. Public transportation is the definition of one of these places.

Not only are we in close quarters with perfect strangers, we’re also probably in a hurry to get somewhere making it a hassle rather than a voluntary enjoyment.

Whether riding a bus, metro, subway, train or even a ferry we are faced with a confined space and often hectic atmosphere.

These challenges make it that much more important to consciously consider our manners.

Read through these do’s and don’ts when in comes to taking public transportation. If all goes well they’ll help you navigate the journey in a more graceful, calmly and overall enjoyable manner.

  • DO offer a seat to anyone elderly, handicapped, pregnant, below the age of 7, or generally sickly looking
  • DO, if sufficient seating, leave the seats nearest any luggage racks available if you yourself don’t have luggage. People tend to like sitting close to their luggage to keep an eye on it.
  • DON’T consume any strong or smelly drinks or food. In fact, try to keep eating to a minimum unless it’s a little snack.
  • DO patiently enter or exit the train, bus, or whatever it may be. No pushing or yelling.
  • DO wait for passengers to exit the transportation before entering.
  • DON’T have lengthy or loud chats on your cell phone.
  • DO use headphones if listening to music, videos or any noisy media.
  • DON’T indulge in overly boisterous conversations with friends. You may certainly chat, but use indoor voices.
  • DON’T partake in personally hygienic habits, such as lotioning your legs, filing your nails, or vigorously brushing out your hair. Little touch ups are fine, but consider personal space and boundaries.
  • DO feel free to give a friendly nod, but don’t initiate a full blown conversation unless clearly reciprocated. (some places, like the NY subway, better to just avoid eye contact all together)
  • DO keep your bags and belongings to yourself and free from taking up any seats unless space permits.
  • DON’T hold up the bus, train, etc and try to board in a timely (but remember patient) manner.
  • DON’T sing aloud unless you have the voice of Sia, and even so it’s not to everyone’s taste during the 7 am commute.
  • DO be mindful to share any poles or handles used to balance during the ride.
  • DON’T think you’re superwoman and refrain from holding on during a bumpy ride unless you know you have the balance of a gymnast. You want to avoid falling and bumping into other passengers.
  • DO stand away from the doors so as not to block the way when others must enter or exit.


HOMEWORK: Do you have any more do’s or don’ts to recommend? Maybe you’ve seen some bad habits worth mentioning… Please share in the comments!


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Photo Courtesy: Louis Vuitton