Public transport etiquette: dos and don'ts to follow on your daily commute

Thursday, 25th July 2019, 3:38 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th July 2019, 4:39 pm
Public transport etiquette: dos and don’ts to follow on your daily commute (Photo: Shutterstock)

We’ve all been there. Stuck on a train in sweltering heat, crammed in like a tin of sardines, trying not to fall on other passengers as you were unable to get a seat, or sat on the bus trying not to catch the flu which is so easily spread on the daily commute.

The lack of train carriages at peak travelling times and recent timetable mean the opportunity to sit down is becoming even more unlikely.

And the daily grind of delayed trains or late buses can take its toll.

Fortunately, there are a few simple things all users of public transport can do - and not do - to ensure the journey goes a little bit more smoothly.

DO...

Use your manners

Say please and thank you when trying to get past, or if somebody lets you go. It’s a simple thing but something which frequently passes people by - and can make a huge difference to a long, busy journey.

Let people go

Allow people to get off of the trains/bus/tram/metro/tube before you get on. It’s so much easier to just let people off before trying to pile on when others are still trying to leave. It helps to reduce the mild panic and tumble dryer feeling of being pushed around in a circle getting nowhere.

Give up your seat

Although it’s a commonly known notion that if you can, you should try and offer your seat to somebody who may need it more, this is something which can easily go unnoticed and some may be reluctant to give up their seat after a long day at the office. If you can do it, it’s a kind gesture that goes a long way.

Move down the train

Even though it can be a pain to have to use every little bit of space at peak times, moving down the aisle and not leaving huge gaps between you and the person in front can ensure that people don’t have to miss the train and wait for the next one.

There’s nothing worse than somebody shouting down your ear whilst they’re on the phone (Photo: Shutterstock)

DON’T...

Push in front of people

If you’re sat down and there’s a queue of people stood up in the aisle, it’s sometimes easier to let them filter past than to elbow your way between two people in the urge to exit. Although, this doesn’t mean that you can’t be courteous to people who have been waiting to leave for a while, and it sometimes aids with congestion, while showing a kind gesture.

Talk loudly - or blast music

Although public transport can be the perfect place to catch up on calls or relax and listen to music, there’s nothing worse than somebody shouting down your ear while on the phone or blaring music at full blast. Be considerate of those around you, check your volume and pop the headphones in.

Leave your rubbish lying around

Although bins on public transport may be sparse and it might be a bind to take it with if you’ve got luggage to carry, when you’re trying to squeeze onto a train or tram and there’s rubbish littering the floor or strewn over seats, it can make for an unhappy commute.

Cough or sneeze over others

Hygiene can be a big problem on public transport in regards to coughs and cold, especially during the winter months. Covering your mouth and trying to avoid sneezing or coughing in the direction of others can reduce the spread of germs and unhappy commuters. It can be difficult when crammed onto a peak hour tube or bus, but it’s always worth carrying a good old hanky or bottle of hand sanitiser with you if possible.