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How to Be a Courteous Commuter in a Big City

The big city can be a hectic place, but that doesn't mean you should forget your manners. By being courteous, you'll reap the added bonus of feeling less stressed during your commute.


  • TIP: Don't eat, drink, litter, or clip your fingernails on public transportation.
  • Step 1: Watch how you wield your umbrella. Don't swing it when it's closed, be careful not to hit anyone with it when it's open, and don't use a golf umbrella if you have to walk down a very crowded street or other crowded public place. Don't crowd under store awnings with people who don't have one.
  • Step 2: Carry cash in case you need a cab so you don't have to hold anyone up when getting out. Now you can enjoy your trip to the big city.
  • FACT: As of 2009, there were 468 subway stations in New York City, the largest public transit system in the world.
  • Step 3: Wear a headset if you're listening to music, mute the sound on any portable video games, and don't sing aloud if you're on public transportation. Try to stay off the phone, limiting calls to short exchanges if possible. Resume your conversation later with a friend, rather than shouting back and forth if you can't find seats near each other on the bus or train.
  • TIP: Offer your seat to older, impaired, or pregnant riders.
  • TIP: Pass slower pedestrians on the right.
  • Step 4: Step to the right on the stairs or on the escalators when leaving or entering the subway.
  • Step 5: Allow others to exit before you try to enter a train or bus. Stay away from the doors, moving to the center. Don't hog the subway pole if a lot of people are standing around it.
  • Step 6: If you're walking with a large group, leave room on the sidewalk for people to pass, rather than walking shoulder to shoulder. If you're alone, don't read a book or send text messages while walking.

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