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Etiquette for Transit Riders?

A friend of mine from Baltimore who takes the MARC train to Washington asked me whether we've talked about the standards of behavior in crowded cars. Like other MARC riders, and VRE riders and Metrorail and Metrobus riders, she's used to traveling in vehicles where there is little or no room for passengers to maneuver.

Who stands, who sits, and where? Which way do you lean to get out of the way of a conductor or passengers moving along the aisles? Can you save a seat for someone?

The commuters who form the slug lines to carpool into Washington have their own standards of behavior for riding in groups, such as: Only the driver should initiate a conversation and talking on cell phones is not allowed.

Who's got some practical advice for transit passengers during the everyday crowding we encounter? I'm trying to be focused here: I don't mean stand to the right on escalators, or when you're boarding a train, don't stand in the doorway admiring the interior design. In this case, crowding is the issue, as in: If you've got the window seat, how much warning do you need to give the aisle passenger on a crowded train that you're getting out at the next station? And if you're the aisle passenger on a crowded train, is the best move just to swing your legs to the side, or do you push your way into the standees to let the other passenger out? That sort of thing.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 11, 2007; 8:57 AM ET
Categories:  transit  
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