The recent story of a woman who became belligerent after being told to stop talking on her cell phone in an Amtrak train's quiet car is a good jumping off point to discuss public transportation etiquette.
Here are some general rules to follow, and a few lessons in common sense.
1. Don't eat messy food on the train. We would add smelly food as well-tuna, eggs, and Limburger cheese are out.
2. Move in when you are sitting in the aisle seat of a three row seat. If you are not traveling for two or more hours, just do it. Also, you shouldn't have to be told to move for pregnant women and the elderly.
3. No loud cell phone talking! Everyone will hate you and you may be embarrassed on national news with unflattering photos.
4. No one is paying you to be the doorman, so don't hold the doors. Mr. Smith can catch the next train. The obvious exception: Holding the door for a pregnant woman or elderly person.
5. Step out of the way of people exiting the train. If you are at the door then step out and allow the people to enter. Likewise, they should be stepping aside on the platform for you to exit.
6. Don't sing. Don't hum. Don't whistle. Don't yodel.
7. Deodorant is always a good idea and so is gargling some mouthwash.
8. If you missed your grooming opportunity at home, your commute is not the time for nail clipping, hair spraying, or any form of gargling.
9. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. If you feel ill wait for the feeling to pass before boarding a train filled with passengers with open-toed shoes.
10. You went to happy hour. We know you're happy. We're glad you're not driving. Be quiet and respectful of weary commuting passengers.
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