I utilize public transit to commute to my job every day, and I have noticed that the behavior of some public transit riders is much worse than ever. There are already some rules posted on public transit vehicles, but people either don’t (or can’t) read the rules or they just don’t care about rules. So here is my etiquette guide for public transit riders:
1. If you are listening to music or watching a video on your phone, please use headphones. No one else wants to hear what you are listening to. Also, please do not turn your music up so loud so that everyone else around you can hear it. Not everyone shares your taste in music. You are also ruining your hearing, although you may not care.
2. If you are listening to music on your headphones, please do not sing along aloud. This is especially offensive when the music you are listening to contains obscenities. I was on the train one afternoon on my way home from work and the guy in front of me was rapping a song with the lyrics, “Get the f*** out of my face, I said, get the f*** out of my face,” and he rapped this phrase over and over again. A public transit vehicle is not a stage on which to sing and/or rap and/or dance in your seat. Thankfully, I had my own mp3 player with me to listen to so I could drown out Mr. Rapper.
3. If you are having a conversation with another passenger, please keep your voice down. I would hope that you would not want everyone to know your business. In addition, some people use their commuting time to study, read, or even take a nap. Loud conversations are very distracting.
4. Please do not curse or use foul language. If you would not use the words you want to say in front of your mother, your grandmother, and/or your children, then don’t say them on public transit. If you don’t mind using foul language in front of your family members, then you have a bigger problem.
5. Do not leave newspapers or trash behind when you exit a public transit vehicle. Take your trash with you and place it in the nearest trash receptacle. Public transit vehicles are not your personal trash repositories.
6. Please use deodorant. I know, you worked hard today and you sweated a lot. It might be 100 degrees outside. But there is nothing worse than to sit behind someone who reeks of body odor and/or cigarette smoke. It does not make for an enjoyable commute. Keep a spare deodorant with you and take a minute to put it on before leaving work. A spare container of deodorant doesn’t cost very much and it will make the ride much more pleasant for all of us.
7. If you smoke, please don’t light up right before you board a public transit vehicle. The strong scent lingers on your clothes and makes the ride unpleasant for the people sitting near you. If someone is sitting near you who is allergic to smoke or has asthma, they could have a medical emergency if they are exposed to the tobacco smell.
8. If you are sitting in a seat designated for handicapped riders and someone comes through the door that looks like they obviously need the seat (like someone walking with crutches or a cane or in a wheelchair), then get up and let them have the seat. Someday, it may be you needing the handicapped seats because you’re using a cane or crutches, or you may be in a wheelchair.
9. Gentlemen, please pull up your pants. No one wants to see your underwear and/or butt crack. The women of the world thank you.
I have been a public transit rider to commute to the various jobs I have held in downtown St. Louis for almost 30 years. Behavior on public transit is worse now than ever before, and it’s because people are more selfish. People want to do what they want to do and they don’t care what anyone else says or how they feel, or even whether it’s legal or not. It’s the attitude of the “me first” generation. If people would put others before themselves and be courteous and helpful, the world would be a more pleasant place.
That’s all for now. Thanks for reading! See you next time!