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The dos and don'ts of transit etiquette

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – You see those hands and noses squished up against the windows on the buses and trains?

Transit is getting crowded as we get through the first week of September, so News1130 is happy to bring you a guide to surviving your trip on transit without annoying your fellow passengers. A lot of it is common sense, but sometimes, sense isn’t too common.

“One of the most important things to remember is that if you prevent the doors from closing on SkyTrain, this can cause problems for everyone. If they’re held open too long, the whole train can shut down and people can get very upset with that,” says Anne Drennan with Transit Police.

“Remember that another train comes in just a few minutes and you can always get on that,” she adds.

Courtesy seats and bags

Courtesy seats are another friction point; Drennan points out seniors and people with disabilities appreciate you offering these seats to them. “But it’s worth remembering that sometimes people have disabilities you can’t see so if someone asks you to give up a seat because they have a disability, please take their word for it.”

Large bags can be difficult for people around you. It is best to remove your backpack and put it on the floor, especially when you’re standing and it’s easy to bump someone.

“Don’t take away a seat from someone by putting your bag on it. That gets people very frustrated and annoyed,” says Drennan. “After all, your bag doesn’t really deserve a seat.”

Keep it down and go easy on the scents

Loud cell phone conversations and personal audio devices are also frowned upon on the buses and trains, along with food and drink.

“Vehicles and food don’t mix. If you spill something on someone, you will get them upset! And remember personal hygiene. We’re talking, in particular, about strong scents, perfumes and colognes; use them moderately if you’re using transit,” she says.

Another way to keep tempers from flaring is to keep doorways clear.

“In order for people to get on the SkyTrain, people first need to be allowed to get off. Before you board, please stand back and allow passengers to exit,” explains Drennan.

The area around an exit door might look like a convenient place to lean, but standing there makes it difficult for people wanting to get off  and can be confusing for the driver.

TransLink reminds us that we’re all it in together (literally and figuratively) and a little courtesy and respect can go a long way in making the ride a lot more pleasant for everyone.