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3 etiquette tips for people riding public transportation

By Amanda Taylor | Posted - Apr 18th, 2014 @ 10:51am



SALT LAKE CITY — UTA has been expanding its train and bus services so rapidly, Salt Lake City may eventually become a car-less commuter city like Washington, D.C., or New York City.

With a mass transit that is as young as it is — the majority of the stations are less than two years old — it’s easy to understand if some riders are new to public transit.

However, because of the newness of public transportation in Utah, many people may not know good etiquette for riding buses and trains. The rapid expansion has gotten passengers excited, and they hop on and off the train, sometimes without thinking about other riders.

Translink Vancouver took a survey to determine the biggest pet peeves of its passengers’ and created graphics with clever names like “Hungry Hamster” and “Disco Dog” to nicely remind riders that food is discouraged and loud music is annoying. These universally disliked practices on trains and buses can be applied anywhere.

Here are some quick tips on how to make sure you mind your manners on public transit and become everyone’s favorite travel companion.

1. Wait for people to get off the train before you get on. There’s room for everyone, and a quick orderly exit will ensure safety. Don’t push or jostle.

2. Don’t talk on your phone. Out of courtesy to others, keep the volume to a minimum — including while wearing headphones. All noise should be soft and non intrusive.

3. Confined spaces heighten smells. Scented lotion, perfume, nail polish, food — it all becomes a nuisance when you’re trapped in a small space. Eat before you ride and keep your hygiene confined to your bathroom.

It's not all bad. Regular rider Sarah Stevens said she has been impressed since moving from Phoenix at the general good manners of fellow passengers.

"They're much more willing to move their bag to let someone sit if the bus is crowded," Stevens said. "There's a blind gentleman who takes the same bus I take to work in the mornings, and people always let him get on first at our stop, and the driver makes a point of pulling up right in front of him so it's easy for him to find the door with his cane. I think a lot of that is the culture — Salt Lake is just a really friendly, happy city."

UTA has an official list of rules, and reserves the right to ask someone breaking those rules to leave the train or bus.

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