Etiquette Rule #50: Take it with You

Smooth Reading and Riding!
Over the past two years, we’ve shared our public transit tales and tips with you--hoping to strike a chord, or at least elicit a chuckle. When we started blogging about the different etiquette infractions--from eye-popping to stomach-churning--we couldn’t believe how many fellow riders commiserated with us! We were thrilled that you came to our site again and again to check out the rules, so we pulled together the ones you loved. We chose to do a Muni Manners book rather than the ever-popular iPad app (after all, we Ladies have a soft spot for tradition). So, pick one up and who knows--a fellow passenger may look over your shoulder and learn a thing or two. It’s been a fun ride!

Muni Manner: Carry the rules with you. It’s the safe and courteous thing to do.


Etiquette Rule #49: Respect Cultural Differences

We are the World

Board the bus in a foreign country and it's immediately clear that cities around the globe have different mass transit norms. Along your travels, a window seat may mean dangling off the side of the bus or sharing leg space with livestock. But you have to look no further than your own city’s system to experience cultural differences. Notice new riders navigating your line? Lend a hand as they get the hang of how it's done in your neck of the woods. While we all apply our own versions of etiquette when we ride, some universal rules are sure to translate across any border: giving up seats to those in need, keeping volume low, picking up trash, or moving your bag for a weary rider. Share your rules for transit etiquette with fellow riders, and you’ll see that it’s a small world after all.

Muni Manner: Follow local transit rules while practicing universal civility. It's the safe and courteous thing to do.


Etiquette Rule #48: Mind your Umbrella

Blame it on the Rain
Every year, we transit riders put away parasols and pull out umbrellas in anticipation of seasonal precipitation. While riding the rails on downpour days can be a safer alternative to driving, annoyances like crowded vehicles and wet seats can leave riders feeling drenched. In the absence of appropriate racks and bags for umbrellas, etiquette states that those riding transit should carry with care. Close your umbrella before entering the vehicle, and shake off any excess water before boarding. Once on board, stow it on the floor by your feet - not on a seat. If standing, hold your umbrella with the tip pointing down to avoid jabbing fellow riders. When you're ready to brave the rain, open your umbrella carefully after de-boarding the train. Keep these simple steps in mind, and you'll be appreciated come rain or shine.

Muni Manner: Carry and stow your umbrella with care when riding transit. It's the safe and courteous thing to do.


Etiquette Rule #47: Control Emissions

Spare the Air
We aim to leave no stone unturned when it comes to transit etiquette. That's why we aren't too bashful to address the issue of flatulence or belching during your ride. It may be socially unacceptable in most situations to talk about passing gas or burping, but we feel it's especially important when commuting in an enclosed space. The truth is it can happen to the best of us. With all the noise pollution on transit, it's likely that any audio evidence will be muffled. But, the nose always knows. Therefore, etiquette states that it is appropriate to wait until you de-board to release air. And if you're guilty of letting it slip, you might as well own up to it by offering a polite "excuse me". When you're tempted to blame it on the squeaky wheels of the bus, just remember it’s better to clear the air.

Muni Manner: Limit air pollution on mass transit. It's the safe and courteous thing to do.

Etiquette Rule #46: Don’t Use Transit as Your Soapbox

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Peace
We the people, in order to ride public transportation, willingly relinquish certain liberties. While giving up commodities like personal space and tranquility are par for the course, we refuse to be held hostage by those exercising their freedom of speech on mass transit. Publicly airing your views on politics, religion, or philosophy may be a protected right, but subjecting fellow passengers to your divisive discourse is wrong. Whether you’re preaching to the choir or creating controversy, using the train as your podium makes others uncomfortable, as most riders just hope for an uneventful journey to their intended destinations. If a conversational commuter happens to ask about your stance on a topic, feel free to engage in dialogue with a willing participant. Just don’t force your ideas on those who have no interest - and no escape. Save those tempestuous tirades for more open spaces, and you’ll have us talking the talk.

Muni Manner: Let fellow passengers ride in peace. It’s the safe and courteous thing to do.


Etiquette Rule #45: Keep Delays in Perspective

Mass Transit Meltdown
Delays. They inevitably happen and most often when you can't afford them. Whether they make you late for school, work, or a hot date, unforeseen time on the tracks can be infuriating. As other passengers grow restless, the packed train's temperature rises along with your blood pressure. While it's fair to be frustrated with a situation outside of your control, try to take it in stride by seeing it as the gift of time. Temper your tension through tasks (make a grocery list?), or share your annoyance via a tweet to your sub-par transit agency. If all else fails, you can pass the time by commiserating with fellow riders. Regardless of your action, your reaction can help or hinder the situation. Negative energy will only fuel the anxiety of those around you - not the train. So the next time -- and there will be a next time -- give in to the delay. Better late than never!

Muni Manner: Pass the time productively during delays. It's the safe and courteous thing to do.