On a weekly basis I ride the rocket – and for those of you who didn’t know, the TTC Subway is often called the “rocket,” which I forgot until I saw a sign on the train yesterday – to and from my Directory Publishing Internship. Unfortunately I travel during rush hour both ways, and I get into the zone by listening to my iPhone during that hour commute – a collection of the classics, soothing melodies by John Legend, EDM (electronic dance music) mixes by Tiesto, Swedish House Mafia, and various country tracks to perk up my groggy self.
I love to people watch, and there is no better place to do this than on the subway. I’ve noticed a few things over the last month, and one is that people are less considerate then they should be. I understand it isn’t always easy to be polite, and that you can’t always be in a good mood – especially during a daily commute in rush hour – but there are some NO NOs that are inexcusable in my opinion.
The subway is crammed with people sitting and standing shoulder to shoulder unable to move unless it is their stop, but here are 5 tips for you to display subway etiquette, and that I deem important for everyone to know…
1. The Escalator: When getting down to the subway and back up again there are two ways you can go. Either take the stairs, or the escalator. Either way there should be a regular traffic flow. (If looking from the top and facing the escalator…) the right-hand side of the escalator is the “standing” side where as the left-hand side is the “moving” side. If you are caught on the left-hand side of the escalator it is polite to keep the traffic moving and walk down towards the trains. It sucks when an individual is trying to keep moving, and there is someone stopped on the left-hand side enjoying the view. I’ve seen it, and people get impatient and angry.
(a) I understand that people like to stay close to the doors in case their stop approaches quickly and unnoticed because you are listening to your iPod, reading the Toronto Sun, or a novel, but during rush hour the rocket (haha subway train) usually stops for longer periods of time so that those standing in the middle of the car/crowd are able to exit. There isn’t really a reason for people to huddle around the doors, and when they do it makes if difficult for people to move to the empty space in the middle of the car, and stand more comfortably. It sucks to see everyone basically breathing on top of one another when there is room in the center of the car… all it takes is for that one person to move away from the doors to allow others to do the same for a less crowded environment, and yet no one wants to do it.
(b) The most irritating (personally) is when people standing lean up against the center poles. This makes it difficult/impossible for people to hold the poll for support while the train is moving. It is rude to put your back against this pole… it’s just not fair, and no one wants to hold onto it while your back is touching it anyways.
3. Give it up: It is simple, and there are signs everywhere. If someone is older, disabled, with a child, or pregnant… just give up your seat.
4. Be aware of your surroundings: Everyone likes to be entertained, and this is especially true once they have finished a long shift at work, a full day of school, or just get bored easily like myself. It’s easy to zone out while listening to music, and reading or playing games, but you need to be aware of those around you trying to get on/off the train. Sometimes people will say ‘excuse me’ and you don’t hear them, or want to squeeze past you and can’t… just look around once in a while.
5. P.D.A.: Public displays of affection are not appropriate during rush hour, or during anytime on the subway where there is more than just you on it. This goes for heterosexual’s, homosexual’s, and ANYONE who is a sexual being, and so EVERYONE. It might just be my personal opinion, but no one wants to see you groping each other when standing on the subway, or facing each other and making-out. When it’s RUSH HOUR and you already can’t move… how are you supposed to get away from people being inappropriately touchy in a sexual way?? YOU CAN’T.
This isn’t to say that I have always been polite, and go out of my way for others on the subway. I too haven’t always been paying attention, I haven’t always been a sober traveller, and neither have my friends. There have been times in the past when my girlfriends (who shall remain nameless) have tried to get onto the subway using one fair for two people – not ending well – they were fined haha, but I too have been rebellious. I stole a subway advertisement from a train a long time ago, and it still hangs on my bedroom wall…