Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Etiquette Wednesday: MBTA Etiquette


On numerous occasions I sense that there is something about the T that brings the Masshole out of people. I'd like to offer a few pieces of etiquette for the T:

1. Don't jump on the train right when the doors open. Be considerate and move out of the way for people to get off the train first. (I once received a thank you from a woman strictly because I let her get off the train first.) The conductor usually checks to see the doors are clear before he/she closes it. Relax-you'll make the train if you're standing right in front of it.

2. As a small female I don't think I've ever had the luxury of a gentleman allowing me to board first. Whatever happened to women and children first? Furthermore if anyone would let me board first I wouldn't be taking their seat since it's far healthier to stand (plus it's inane to race for a seat for a 5 min ride on the T.) Let's all take a stand to stand on the T and be healthier! Even in little instances every bit helps.

3. Please don't sit in the priority seat. You're sort of a schmuck if you're an able-bodied individual sitting in the designated priority seat when there's old people forced to stand. I find that as offensive as parking in handicapped parking.

4. If you are sitting, please be mindful of your surroundings. If there's an empty seat next to you and people are boarding the train at least make some kind of effort to keep to yourself so another person can sit.

5. I try to do this on the trains, but it's easier on the buses. When departing always say "Thank You" to the person driving the bus or (conducting?) the T. These kind people of the MBTA are doing a service for us so we can get to where we need to go and a little thanks is more than well-deserved. Speaking of, THANK YOU MBTA for your hours of efficient service and hardwork!

6. When exiting the T station, please get out of the way of the entrance gates. Nothing is more annoying than missing a train just because people are loitering in front of the gates and you can't tap your card to get into the station when a train is sitting right there. (The worst is when the doors do close right as you get through the gates.)

7. This has only been an issue at Park Street because it's so busy, but when rushing to board a train please be careful so that you don't knock someone down the stairs or off the platform. I've been pushed to the side because someone was trying to descend stairs to catch a train while I was ascending. Getting thrown back is actually one of my biggest fears. Most of us are cognizant of this and veer to the railing so others can descend--there's no need to push. Here's a good Times article:

8. On standing: On a packed train, please be considerate to those around you so that everyone who is standing has access to grab on to a handle of some sort and that you clear the exits. Some people just don't move and others are left trying to balance which is hard if the train is making hard stops/starts.

Final note: Our public behaviour impacts everyone involved. Let's be courteous citizens and make sure we are all being safe while enjoying our rides on the T.

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