Subway Etiquette

I’ve been living in New York for just over three years now. Recently, when I was in a less-than-pleasant mood, small things that generally don’t bother much were making a huge impact - namely, the lack of subway etiquette on a downtown 6 train at 5:30 pm. When I got on, the train was already crowded, with a horde of people pushing to get on behind me. I asked a man to move in and make more room, which he did. Train etiquette really boils down to simply being aware of your surroundings, and being considerate of other people. These helpful and versatile tips can be taken to any public transportation system around the world.

  • Take your backpack off - as a short person, I constantly get backpacks in my face when it’s crowded. This simple act makes so much more room for other commuters.

  • Move down into the the center of the carriage to make space for others. It doesn’t make sense to jam everyone against the doors when there’s free real estate in the center.

  • If you cannot fit onto the train car, wait for the next one. The likelihood of the next train being just a couple minutes away during peak hours is high, and keeping the doors from closing delays everyone.

  • Stop hogging poles by leaning on them; this is just plain rude, and inconsiderate.

  • If you’re sitting on a crowded train, try to keep your bags on your lap or underneath the seat, in order to make room for standing commuters.

  • Check your card balance before swiping in - clogging up the turnstiles during peak hours is frustrating to fellow riders.

At the end of the day, riding sardine-style sucks for everyone, but making it slightly less uncomfortable for yourself and your fellow commuters goes a long way. Further suggestions to making a crowded ride more pleasant are welcome, simply leave a comment below.