The Essential Guide to Train Etiquette

All aboard, commuters, weekend travelers, and suburban explorers. You know the drill. You've got the right ticket and have made it to the right platform. You're all ready to board the train and then you see them. They're the people that don't have a clue. They're the ones that will be chatting in the quiet car, clipping their toe nails over the aisles, and letting the stink of their dinner permeate your breathing space. Instead of causing a ruckus, direct them to this essential guide to train etiquette. Be a dream-passenger by following these tips.

1. When you are in the quiet car, be quiet.

There is no excuse for talking in the quiet car, or not knowing that you are in the quiet car when you do not intend to be. Think of it like disturbing a sacred ritual. Beware of signage indicating that you must shut your you-know-what, and also take in context clues. Chances are, if everyone sitting around you is dead silent, you are in the quiet car. (Or you may have gone deaf.)

2. Have your ticket out before the conductor comes 'round.

There is nothing more irritating than a trainmate who is fumbling for his or her ticket and holding up everything. Have a designated spot for your train ticket, like a specific pocket of your wallet.

3. Don't buy a ticket on the train.

Not only are there extra fees, but there's also extra fuss. Plus, everyone will stare at you for causing further delays and disturbing their peace by haggling with the conductor about peak vs. off-peak fare.

4. Choose less fragrant and less drippy food.

If you have to be that person wolfing down a meal on the train, you will most likely bother your trainmates with obscene smells and litter the whole place with drippings, wrappers, and other food detritus. Do us all a favor and try to eat a bagel instead of a basket of hot wings and a gallon of milk.

5. Keep drinking to a minimum.

Yes, on some trains, you are allowed to drink alcohol. This comes with a major warning though. If you start to drunk call all of your exes while on a train, nobody is going to want to be your friend. Also, be mindful of where you keep your drink. It is generally frowned upon to keep your drink by your feet on the floor, because as you continue to get inebriated, the chances of spillage are just too risky.

6. Don't clog up the whole aisle or spread out like it's your living room.

One seat per person, and no lingering around. This train means business. You know those poor souls that are standing by the door because your bags and umbrella and feet are taking up all of the remaining seats? They're secretly making mean memes about you.

7. Don't treat your train like a salon.

No one appreciates you clipping your toenails or brushing your hair or teeth on the train. Just don't do it.

Transportation is going to be a lot more peaceful when you're well equipped with train etiquette. And these tips can also be applied to buses, planes, and boats. Be kind, and keep the quiet car quiet.

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