News & Politics

How Not to Be a Complete Jerk on Metro

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Mike D

You may have noticed the traffic—or lack thereof—due to Pope Francis‘s visit. With enough people flocking to rival a presidential inauguration, there’s going to be a lot of hustle-and-bustle on public transit. For those new to the city, and those who are too pope-focused right now, here are ten reminders on how to behave on Metro, regardless of whether there’s a pontiff in town.

1. Don’t Sit in the Reserved Seats

Those inward facing seats near the doors are for elderly, pregnant, and physically disabled passengers. If there are no other available seats and you are able to stand, you should. And if you really have to sit for a second, you should at least be prepared to give up your seat for someone who actually needs it.

2. Go Easy on the Perfume or Cologne

It’s the Metro equivalent of a taxi driver reeking of cigarette smoke or the woman painting her nails next to you on an airplane. Just don’t do it.

3. Don’t Fart

People who fart on Metro are the worst.

4. Save the Lower Hand Rails for Short People

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Daniel Lobo

Speaking from the perspective of five-feet-three-inches, if you hoard the only rail I can reach, you are asking for bad karma. It’s bad enough that when you grab the overhead rail on a 90-degree day during rush hour, I will most likely be face-to-face with your body odor, but it’s (slightly) better than rubbing up on everyone as I bounce around the car.

5. That Pole Is Not for Your Butt

Hogging the pole by leaning on it is rude enough, but when you lead with your butt, you’re just creating a health hazard. And let’s not even talk about that annual No-Pants Metro Ride nonsense.

6. Watch Your Backpack

When you enter Metro, take the backpack off and keep it between your legs. This allows more room for the people around you. When you exit, do not swing that bag around blindly. You will hit someone if you do. Same rules apply to large purses and small children.

7. Keep Your Hands to Yourself

No touching, pickpocketing, or inappropriate gestures while in the car, on the platform, or really anywhere in public, please. No pull-ups, running, or pushing. And when you go to aggressively mack on your partner in a crowded train, know that there is someone directly behind you that is too squished to turn away.

8. Mind Your Tongue

The pope is in town, after all.

9. Know the Escalator Rules

Photograph courtesy of Shutterstock

If you’re riding the escalator up, stand to the right so those walking up can pass on the left. We have a name for the jerks who block the escalator.

10. Follow the Rules of Metro

Eating food, playing music loudly, and blocking the doors are discourteous to other riders as well as Metro employees. Know the rules, and follow them.