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20 Etiquette Rules on Public Transportation Every Passenger Should Remember

Each child is taught basic manners: to give way to older people, to not make noise, and to respect other people’s space. But many, having matured, seem to have completely forgotten the rules of behavior on public transport. They won’t be fined or sued for these violations but their punishment will come in the form of a reproachful look or a fellow passenger’s angry remark.

Bright Side prepared a compilation of etiquette rules for public transportation. Check it out and see if you’ve violated any of them.

  • Do not delay the line. This recommendation is especially relevant for transportation that involves verification of identity and documents like trains, international buses, and aircraft. Get the necessary papers ready in advance (medical insurance, passport), so that when the time comes to show them you won’t annoy other people with the famous “where did it go, I just saw it.” At the airport, take off your watch, belt, and shoes in advance. Split the necessities before leaving home, dividing them into carry-on bags and luggage so that going through security and boarding will be much faster and more comfortable.
  • Prepare things that you will need on a trip in advance: snacks, gadgets, documents, money, and maybe a book. Then you do not have to disturb the fellow passengers, forcing them to get up in a moving vehicle. Make sure to remove your suitcases early from the bottom bunk on the train if the trip takes place at night.
  • Don’t forget that other passengers have their personal belongings stored too. Manufacturers of long-distance aircraft and buses reduce the space allocated for luggage in order to save money. While the volume of luggage for a long trip is often quite extensive. If you have several bags, place them on the luggage shelf vertically, so they will take up less space. Make sure that there is free space for the things of other passengers. Otherwise, move part of your own luggage under the seat.
  • By offering to help your travel companion carry/place their luggage, you not only earn the respect of your neighbor, but also significantly reduce the time it takes other passengers to board. Not to mention that it is the duty of any self-respecting person to help the elderly, pregnant women, and people with disabilities.
  • When entering public transportation, take off your backpacks and bulky handbags. They should be placed in front of you. This will also help you keep your personal things in sight and reduce the chance of something being stolen from your bag.
  • It is not acceptable to put on make-up, or comb or tie up your hair in a public place. It seems that some girls have taken the comic recommendation too seriously of putting on make-up on the way to work to save time. Or maybe they’re used to putting it on in their own car. Also, if you prefer strong perfume, use it after you leave public transportation.
  • If you want to help a stranger (especially with limited physical capabilities) enter a vehicle, do not forget to ask if they need your assistance. Perhaps your fellow passenger would be more comfortable and safe managing on their own.
  • Assess your child’s abilities adequately. Of course, you should always give up your seat for a mother with a baby in her hands, but a 5-year-old child is perfectly capable of enduring a 20-minute trip standing up. And the sight of a 12-year-old child sitting in the arms of their mother is pretty strange.
  • Teach your children the rules of etiquette before you travel, so you’re not yelling at them every minute in the subway car (or worse, getting rude comments from irritated fellow travelers). Teach them to try to keep quiet. If the child is already old enough and smart enough, they may be able to understand how to behave in a public place.
  • Be ready to give up your seat. We’re not saying you should give up a comfortable seat on the train, that you booked in advance, in favor of a person who didn’t prioritize their comfort and bought a ticket at the last minute. But if you are flying alone, and family members got unlucky and didn’t get seats next to each other, offer them the opportunity to swap seats.
  • Don’t bring food that has a strong smell. Boiled chicken and eggs on the train, wrapped in newspaper, have long been a legend. On the list of products that are unpleasant for bystanders are: smoked products, sandwiches with canned fish (tuna, sardines), and sauerkraut. Fast food, by the way, also has a sharp smell. Instead, stock up on fruits and dried fruits, nuts, yogurt, or cookies.
  • Don’t make loud sounds that could irritate others. This could include a smartphone ringing every 2 minutes, a movie on a tablet, music on your phone, or a loud conversation (with a neighbor or on the phone). Use headphones.
  • Whether you’ll get to sleep on the road, depends on your chosen type of transport. For example, on the subway you will hardly be able to do this. In addition, you might need to make way for people to enter the car. On trains, buses and airplanes it is usually possible to recline the seat for sleeping, but because of the lack of space, passengers sitting behind you can ask you not to do this. In this case, an orthopedic pillow will help you greatly, allowing you to get a proper rest without disturbing your neighbors.
  • In the rainy season, public transport becomes even more cramped: in addition to bags, each passenger has to take an umbrella with them as well. Open, close, and shake it a few steps from other people. On transport, keep the umbrella in the fully closed position. In order not to drip on yourself and your neighbors, keep it low.
  • No PDA (public displays of affection) on public transport. Think of the feelings of the elders onboard and don’t forget about common decency.
  • There’s only one thing people want to do faster than entering a vehicle, and that is leave it. The same rules apply here. Help those who need it like pregnant women, the elderly, and people with disabilities. And make way for those who run like there’s a fire: maybe there really is one. In addition, crowding near the exit is a dubious venture, not worth the saved twenty seconds.
  • The golden rule of the escalator: stand on the right, walk on the left.
  • Don’t try to occupy other people’s space. On trips, especially long ones, passengers often feel the lack of space, like having one armrest for 2 seats or seats located too close to each other. Make sure that you and your things do not interfere with other passengers. Do not stretch your legs, do not touch the people sitting in front of you, and do not place your luggage between the chairs or under your neighbor’s feet.
  • Keep newspapers and large magazines in a folded position, so you don’t interfere with other passengers.
  • No matter how fascinating your neighbor’s book, newspaper, clothes, and face are, don’t stare at them.

Which rules of etiquette are most often violated in your experience? How do you react to them: do you say something or prefer not to say anything?

Preview photo credit Depositphotos, Depositphotos
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