Lifestyle 18.05.18

Public transport etiquette

Commuters have to deal with delays, traffic and overcrowding. But there are some adjustments that can be made to ensure that travelling on public transport is much easier.
Avantika Vaishnav
Avantika Vaishnav

This post was written by an external contributor. Connor Gotto shares the best practices for all commuters  on public transport. 

For many of us, the journey into work or university can make or break the rest of the day. Give us a fairly quick and relaxed ride, and we’ll be ready for whatever life has to throw at us. But, as soon as one thing goes wrong, it starts a domino effect, and you can guarantee it’ll carry on until the day’s over.

There are some things we just can’t control, much to our dismay. But aside from traffic, delays, and the weather, there’s one key factor that we can keep in check on public transport… ourselves!

public transport

The way that we act on our commute can have a major impact on someone else’s day. So let’s be real, no one wants to be responsible for giving someone the day from hell.

Here are what we think are the ghastliest sights you’ll encounter on your journey to work/university. But remember, much as you may laugh at some of them, make sure that none of them are secretly you!

“Deodorant, please…”

Mornings are the worst time to ride public transport. Anyone who’s ever ridden the central line in peak hours will know that. Countless people crammed in a confined space for any period of time is never going to replicate Chanel No.5, but the least you can do is remember to put your deodorant on before leaving the house!

I mean, what’s that about? It doesn’t help that the smell of body odour is so strong it’ll cut right through a thousand spritzes of Dior, Calvin Klein and Jo Malone.

There’s always one, and you can always call them out a mile off – even though they seem totally oblivious to the fact that all anyone can smell is them… Don’t let it be you!

“Manspread alert!”

Anyone who’s ever commuted into the city will know what we’re talking about here. Why is it that some people (typically businessmen?) feel the need to sit with their legs three miles apart? It’s so bizarre! Perhaps it’s a side effect of wearing a pinstripe suit, but it needs to stop.

Not only does manspreading take up twice the amount of space it needs to, it also leads to some uncomfortable sitting positions for the rest of us. Fellow passengers have to contort their bodies to avoid any form of eye contact with a sea of crotches…

Don’t do it. It’s just awkward.

“Too close for comfort”

Yes, we know public transport gets cramped in the morning. However, there’s absolutely no need to be frotting against the nearest person, like a cat against a scratching post. Its totally inappropriate.

There is a serious point here, however, because behaviour like this can make someone feel incredibly uncomfortable, especially when trapped in a confined space. If you do feel unnerved in this kind of situation and don’t know what to do, get off and wait for the next bus or train. It’s better to be 10 minutes late than to have to endure that kind of intimidation.

Remember, if someone is persistently getting close and deliberately making you uncomfortable, this type of behaviour is harassment. It can be reported by the following means:

в—Џ Text the transport police on 61016 (if you’re based in London)
в—Џ Call 101 or 0800 40 50 40
в—Џ Use the passenger alarm
в—Џ Approach a nearest staff member in the bus or tube

“Bacon sarnie to go…”

Eating on public transport can be a real pet peeve for some people. It makes a smell, the sound of chewing is amplified, and you can guarantee you’ll end up with a bit of egg stuck in your hair if you’re within a metre of the culprit. In the mornings especially, the smell of fried bacon and coffee is rife throughout the majority of trains and buses up and down the country.

Now, we’re not saying don’t eat, just give it a bit of thought. Bring your hot drink in a lidded cup, or else you’ll be wearing it by the first bump. The same applies to porridge. If you can, eat your fried feast before you get on or after you get off. Not only will this save stinking the carriage out, it’ll also lessen the after-smell on you!

And, most of all, check for dribbles before you walk into the office. It’s not a good look!


public transport sleeping duck

Last, but definitely not least, the snorer. We’ve all seen them and wondered, should I wake them, or should I leave them. It’s quite the predicament.

Just use some judgement; if they’re dressed in business attire, and you’re going through the business district, a gentle nudge will probably be well received. Similarly, if you’re near the end of the route and there’s only a few stops, better wake them and give them the choice than have them travel back on themselves.

And, please, don’t be the snorer. Get a decent night’s sleep. The last thing you want is a candid snap of you asleep on the train doing the rounds on social media!

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