Public transportation has revolutionized the way people travel and make their everyday commute. City buses and metros are usually cheap, convenient, and easy to navigate. They’re also an excellent energy and cost-efficient alternative to a car.

The most important thing to remember when taking public transportation is that you’re sharing it with everyone around you! You need to respect those individuals as well as the public space and service you’re all using.

Make sure you’re not the passenger that prompts a collective sigh of relief when you get off at your stop by practicing proper etiquette when it comes to communal transit. Follow these top ten golden rules to ensure your ride is a positive experience for you and everyone else!

The Top Ten Rules of Public Transportation Etiquette

1.) Let passengers exit first.

This is generally considered common knowledge, but some people seem to forget or discard this cardinal rule. In order to make space for boarding passengers, exiting riders need to get off first—give them room. Stand to the side while waiting to hop on and don’t try to force your way on while others are leaving.

2.) Give up your seat if necessary.

If you get on the bus and see it’s pretty empty you can sit in priority seating areas but be mindful if someone who really needs it boards. Even if you’re not in a designated priority space, it’s common courtesy to give up your seat for someone who needs it more than you—pregnant women, children, the elderly, or injured/disabled passengers.

3.) Only take up the space you need.

Don’t sit down in one seat and put your bag in the one next to you if the bus or train is crowded or starts filling up. Keep your feet and belongings out of the aisles and be careful not to block any doors either. If you’re standing, take off your backpack and put it at your feet so you don’t take up unnecessary space or accidentally hit someone with it. Leave room on the pole you’re holding as well so others can have a safe place to stand.

4.) Be prepared to board.

Have your fare, ticket, or pass ready to go as soon as the bus pulls up. Don’t hold up the line fumbling around searching for it in your backpack—step to the side and let others pass if you’re struggling to find what you need. Streamline the boarding process by forming an orderly line as well.

5.) Keep your business to yourself.

Nobody wants to hear you telling your mother about your last trip to the gastroenterologist while they’re heading to work in the morning. Keep conversations with fellow passengers quiet, inoffensive, and short if it’s with a stranger. The same goes for phone calls. Also, don’t presume to take up someone else’s time—a lot of people use the commute to and from work to decompress and mentally prepare for the day.

6.) Respect transit staff.

This rule applies for bus drivers and all those working in the public transportation service. A friendly greeting and a thank you before you exit is kind and courteous, just make sure you leave it at that. Long conversations can take up too much time and energy for workers and hold up the route for others.

7.) Respect the property.

Using public transportation is a privilege; be responsible when you ride. Don’t litter, smoke, eat or drink, and of course, don’t vandalize anything. Clean up after yourself if you do make a mess and take care to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze—and sanitize anything you’ve touched.

8.) Stand on the right, pass on the left on the escalator.

It’s just like following the rules of the road. Keep all steps of the public transit process orderly and efficient. Stand on the right side while riding the escalator so others walking up or down have space to pass you.

9.) Pay your fare.

Individuals who don’t ride the bus or metro legally are essentially stealing from those who do. Don’t try to swindle yourself a free ride by hopping the turnstile or rushing onto the bus with a crowd—pay your way like everybody else. If the morality of it doesn’t bother you, at least consider the hefty fine you’ll receive if you’re caught riding without a ticket.

10.) Keep your electronics quiet.

Blasting your music on speaker or so loud everyone can hear it through your headphones is rude and obnoxious. Respect other riders by using headphones for your phone, laptop, tablet, etc. and then ensuring the volume is appropriate. Don’t have conversations on speaker phone or FaceTime and be considerate enough to put your phone on vibrate or silent, so as not to disturb others.

Are you looking to add another bus to your city’s public transportation system or commercial business? Head over to Northwest Bus Sales’ website to check out our wide selection of new and used buses, shuttles, and trolleys! We’ve been proudly serving the transportation industry for over three decades, ensuring our customers get the bus they need when they need it!