Author Topic: Public Transportation  (Read 30873 times)

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supernova

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Public Transportation
« on: February 27, 2009, 09:00:40 PM »
Here goes.  If I've done/am doing this wrong, please let me know.

The most important part of the phrase "public transportation" is the word "public."  You are sharing a small space with strangers, and standard rules of etiquette apply, but here are a few special pointers when traveling on a city bus, commuter train or other short-distance public transport:

1.  When you are waiting at a bus stop, and the approaching bus is not the one you want, please communicate your intentions to the driver before he or she stops.  You can do this by stepping back from the stop, shaking your head "no," or waving him on courteously.  If there are other passengers waiting, simply step back.  If the approaching bus is yours, please step forward, attempt eye contact with the driver, and smile or raise your hand to communicate your intent.

2.  When boarding a bus or train compartment in which the seats are full, step all the way to the back and find a good, safe handhold.  Please do not stop in the middle or next to the door.

3.  It is acceptable to place your bag, briefcase or backpack on the empty seat next to you only if the bus or train car is less than half full.  It is preferable, however, to carry it on your lap regardless of the number of occupants.  If you choose to set it down, be mindful of the point at which the car becomes half full, and pick it up before being asked. 

4.  When approaching a double seat that already has one occupant, ask politely if you may sit down, rather than expecting your potential seatmate to know your intention.  This is especially important if the seat is occupied by the person's legs, feet or bag.

5.  Exchanging conversation with your seatmate is not required, and may be considered an intrusion, especially if the person is reading, listening to music, or doing a craft such as knitting.  However, a polite social exchange, if kept brief, is not out of place.

6.  It is never incorrect to greet the driver when entering the bus, or thank him when exiting.  In fact, some skills-development classes for the developmentally disabled teach them to always thank the bus driver when exiting.

7.  Most buses, commuter trains, and the like have posted rules about not eating, drinking, smoking or listening to loud music.  It's important to remember that, even if the rules are not posted or there are others around you violating these rules, it's still not polite to do so yourself.

8.  If you're seated in front closest to the driver, don't engage him or her in unnecessary conversation, unless the driver encourages it.  He or she has an important job to do and may not enjoy making conversation while negotiating traffic.

9.  Keep your music, conversations, cell-phone exchanges, and other noises as quiet as possible, as a courtesy to your fellow passengers and to the driver.


Lisbeth

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Re: Public Transportation
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2009, 09:18:37 PM »
10.  Many forms of mass transportation have rules prohibiting smoking, eating, or drinking; even if they don't, it is best not to engage in these activities.

11.  If a sick, injured, pregnant, or elderly person is on board, offer to yield your seat to them.  It is also a kindness to do this for a parent with a small child.

12.  Unless you fall in the categories in Rule 11, the rules of seating are "first come, first served."  Later passengers are not entitled to seats, and while it is a kindness for a child to yield his/her seat to an adult, it is not required and adults should not expect it.  The child may need that seat as much or more than an adult.  Also, adults who are seated are not required to yield their seats to children.

13.  Take all your belongings with you when you leave the vehicle, including newspapers, magazines, flyers, and any trash.  Don't leave them on the vehicle.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2009, 09:21:02 PM by KeenReader »
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kareng57

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Re: Public Transportation
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2009, 09:25:21 PM »
Most of those sound fine to me - except for #4.  If the seat is clearly empty, I really don't see why I have to ask the next-seat occupant if it's okay for me to sit there.  If it was me already sitting there I'd be awfully surprised if a newly-boarded passenger did the same.

Maybe this is one of those regional-etiquette things?

I do very much agree about passengers not hanging-out around the doorway on trains.  They really get in the way of other passengers entering or exiting.

Shores

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Re: Public Transportation
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2009, 09:31:24 PM »
14. The people standing there, staring at you when the train doors open aren't doing it for fun. They want to get OFF the train. If you let them OFF, there will be more room for you to get ON. Pushing past them does not make the process go any faster, nor does standing in the center so they have to squeeze around you. Just take one big step to the left (or the right! Your choice!) and this will all go much faster.
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Dindrane

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Re: Public Transportation
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2009, 10:46:04 PM »
Quote
8.  If you're seated in front closest to the driver, don't engage him or her in unnecessary conversation, unless the driver encourages it.  He or she has an important job to do and may not enjoy making conversation while negotiating traffic.

I would say that you shouldn't engage the driver in unnecessary conversation, period.  I'm pretty sure that the buses in my area ask passengers not to chat with the bus drivers, since they need to be able to put their full attention on driving.


supernova

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Re: Public Transportation
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2009, 12:21:23 AM »
Quote
8.  If you're seated in front closest to the driver, don't engage him or her in unnecessary conversation, unless the driver encourages it.  He or she has an important job to do and may not enjoy making conversation while negotiating traffic.

I would say that you shouldn't engage the driver in unnecessary conversation, period.  I'm pretty sure that the buses in my area ask passengers not to chat with the bus drivers, since they need to be able to put their full attention on driving.

I'd thought about that; but I've had a couple of cool busdrivers over the years that *liked* to chat with the front-seat passenger.  I've been that passenger a few times, too; and the driver was definitely engaging me and spinning out the conversation.  So I think it's best to leave it to the driver to make the call, rather than the passenger.  :)

As for the empty seat thing...  I find that it's pretty impossible to share one of those double seats on a bus or train without coming into physical contact with my seatmate, either at the shoulder or knee or something.  I figure if I'm about to press my body up against someone, the least I can say is, "May I?" or "'Scuse me" or something.  But that may just be my take on it.  :)

Just my two cents.  :)

     - saphie

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Re: Public Transportation
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2009, 09:57:51 AM »
11.  If a sick, injured, pregnant, or elderly person is on board, offer to yield your seat to them.  It is also a kindness to do this for a parent with a small child.

Not a suggestion but a question : if you really need a seat but don't look like you need it, how do you communicate that? (foot surgery for example)

Lisbeth

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Re: Public Transportation
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2009, 11:41:38 AM »
11.  If a sick, injured, pregnant, or elderly person is on board, offer to yield your seat to them.  It is also a kindness to do this for a parent with a small child.

Not a suggestion but a question : if you really need a seat but don't look like you need it, how do you communicate that? (foot surgery for example)

Just politely ask:  "Excuse me, but may I sit down?  I have a foot problem and can't stand up for a long period of time."  Unfortunately, while a polite person should give you your seat, etiquette can't force anyone to yield their seat to you.
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StaciNadia

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Re: Public Transportation
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2009, 01:38:51 PM »
14. The people standing there, staring at you when the train doors open aren't doing it for fun. They want to get OFF the train. If you let them OFF, there will be more room for you to get ON. Pushing past them does not make the process go any faster, nor does standing in the center so they have to squeeze around you. Just take one big step to the left (or the right! Your choice!) and this will all go much faster.

Definitely.  There are often rules on the bus/train/whatever to allow people to leave first and then people may board.

16.  If your bus has two doors, it's preferable to leave through the back door so people can board through the front door.

AprilRenee

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Re: Public Transportation
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2009, 01:43:04 PM »
This goes without saying, at this board at least but based on my experiences...

If you are going to be riding transportation where you are in close contact with others SHOWER. And wear deoderant

skbenny

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Re: Public Transportation
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2009, 01:51:53 PM »
If your fellow passenger has headphones on or puts them on, leave them alone. 

Headphones = privacy bubble. 

This privacy bubble should only be broken when necessary, and then for a brief time only.

May I sit here? 
Yes, please do. 

End of conversation.

supotco

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Re: Public Transportation
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2009, 03:03:18 PM »
11.  If a sick, injured, pregnant, or elderly person is on board, offer to yield your seat to them.  It is also a kindness to do this for a parent with a small child.

Not a suggestion but a question : if you really need a seat but don't look like you need it, how do you communicate that? (foot surgery for example)

Just politely ask:  "Excuse me, but may I sit down?  I have a foot problem and can't stand up for a long period of time."  Unfortunately, while a polite person should give you your seat, etiquette can't force anyone to yield their seat to you.

With emphasis on the politely. Never, never assume - even if you are old, disabled or heavily pregnant -  that other people are not standing for you out of ill manners or spite. If it is in the early morning or in the rush hour, it is quite possible that they are in a little world of their own and they have not seen you. It is also perfectly possible that they, like me, have an invisible disability and are not standing for you because Meniere's attack + moving vehicle + corners = either passing out or being violently unwell.



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Re: Public Transportation
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2009, 04:26:07 PM »

As for the empty seat thing...  I find that it's pretty impossible to share one of those double seats on a bus or train without coming into physical contact with my seatmate, either at the shoulder or knee or something.  I figure if I'm about to press my body up against someone, the least I can say is, "May I?" or "'Scuse me" or something.  But that may just be my take on it.  :)

Just my two cents.  :)

     - saphie

Maybe I'm cynical, living in Chicago, but I can only imagine saying "may I?", and being told "no."  Then what?  I'll say excuse me if someone has their bag on a seat, but otherwise, I find that it's best and safest to keep to myself.

Kaylee

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Re: Public Transportation
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2009, 04:38:49 PM »
14. The people standing there, staring at you when the train doors open aren't doing it for fun. They want to get OFF the train. If you let them OFF, there will be more room for you to get ON. Pushing past them does not make the process go any faster, nor does standing in the center so they have to squeeze around you. Just take one big step to the left (or the right! Your choice!) and this will all go much faster.

YES!  PLEASE!  This is the thing that makes me insane on the subway at rush hour, along with the "move to the back of the bus or the center of the car" rule that people like to ignore.  I understand some people are trying to stay close to the door because they're getting off at the next stop or whatever, but it is maddening to have the first three or four people get on and just stop there in the doorway when there is clearly room further on in the car.  That puts me in the position of having to shove past them to get on the train, which is also rude.

15.  If you are bringing something of unusual bulk onto the train, it is your job to minimize the effect it has on others.  There are usually rules about when items like bicycles may be brought on board, and strollers should be folded if at all possible, especially when it is crowded.  Large bags or backpacks should be placed on the floor at your feet if it is crowded, not worn so that they bump other passengers or prevent them from standing. 

16.  Small children, for reasons of safety as well as courtesy, should be seated, held on an adult lap or stand next to an adult who is holding their hand.  It isn't cute for them to run up and down the car, swing around the commuter poles, or climb/stand on the seats.

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Re: Public Transportation
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2009, 07:46:47 PM »
Maybe I'm cynical, living in Chicago, but I can only imagine saying "may I?", and being told "no."  Then what?  I'll say excuse me if someone has their bag on a seat, but otherwise, I find that it's best and safest to keep to myself.

I can see your point; however, I also live in Chicago (hi neighbor!) and have never had anyone refuse me when I've asked to sit down.  If someone is sitting in the window seat, and the aisle seat is open, I will just sit down.  However, if they're sitting in the aisle seat while the window seat is vacant (which totally ticks me off, by the way) I'll smile and say "excuse me, can I sit down?"  Same thing if they have their bag in the seat next to them.

People get away with being rude only as long as you let them.  There's nothing wrong with reminding people, via a polite request, that the bus or the El is a shared space.