5 Things You Should Never Do On Public Transit…For Your Own Sake

August 5, 2011  |  

If you live in any big city, you know that public transportation is more convenient and often times, more affordable than riding around in a burdensome vehicle with a mad dependence on gas. But that doesn’t mean your buses and trains don’t bring their own inconveniences. However, a lot of the headaches and gross encounters can be prevented. Here are seven things you should avoid doing while getting around town. All these tips are for your benefit though. Whether you choose to do them or not, that’s your business, but girl, you’ve been warned.

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  • These are all hilllllarious, but sooo true!!! I can not stand taking the bus, and hate that I'm commuting to work now. The most weird, scary, dangerous, out of control, people I've even met in life…..I've met on the city bus, on the Greyhound or at one of their stops/terminals lol Def not saying all people who use public trans fit those descriptions, but I can say a trip is never a dull one haha

  • Mama

    The only issue I have ever encountered on public transit was when I was 7 months (and very obviously) pregnant. The only person to offer me a seat was a lady who worked for the DC metro. I’m not really sure what has happened to common decency and manners….

  • Your doing everything wrong. When you don't make eye contact it shows fear, creeps thrive on women who look afraid. No one is saying to stare anyone down, but a glance eye to eye says, "I'm not afraid of you," " i got a good look at you and you don't intimidate me." When a criminal goes after someone, they want that shy, timid person, the one NOT looking at them. No better target than someone who is afraid, they'll do anything you ask. Whenever i'm in a situation like that I make sure I look at everyone around me and I make sure they know i'm looking.at them. Fear is the last thing you want to show.

  • Anna

    Uh… What about not doing your hair or makeup? I've seen women applying the entire MAC makeup counter everytime the train or bus makes a stop. It's not only messy it's unsanitary.

  • Bruce Sanerfeld

    Young women who ride public transportation seem to think their God's gift to earth. They never consider the possibility that some men may not be desperate enough to endure their insecure attitude in the first place and may simply want to get them the hell out of our face! They always try to make a simple bus ride even more humiliating and uncomfortable with their self centered bullsh-t.

  • Ruby

    Never sit by the door with your purse. Thieves will grab your bag and run.

    • And for my NYC folk (and other urbanites) never sit by the door period. People here have been known, and I mean known to do the slash and run. Whoever is sitting by the door gets slashed. 


  • Angel

    While I do agree with some of the things listed here, it's kind of sad reading this article. I would say definitely don't touch your face and other hygiene related suggestions and of course hold on for dear life to the pole. And of course don't be squeezing in if you don't fit (and a few other suggestions that seemed reasonable). However I find it ludicrous that someone should not be alone with their thoughts for more than 15 minutes. It's your thoughts for crying out loud! People no longer take the time to get to know anybody it seems, including themselves!

    I lived in NYC for 15 years and always took public transportation. I remember when you would talk to the person next to you, even if it was a simple good morning. Now everyone has something plugged into their eyes…someone could get mugged and they wouldn't even know it (and neither would anyone else around them) because they are so busy tuning everybody out.

    If people find it so difficult to interact with the people on the train (and no I don't mean potentially dangerous/insane people), then it might be best to buy a car so that you alone could ride in it so that you would never have to interact with people.

    • SoTrue

      "I remember when you would talk to the person next to you, even if it was a simple good morning."

      Absolutely true, well said! Things like this doesn't happen anymore!

    • In Philly, we still talk to those around us. All it takes is one person to make a comment, then the next thing you know, a few people are commenting. Doesn't happen all the time, but it happens. Not only in buses and trains, but any where your standing and waiting for something. IPOD would be horrible for me, i would forget where i was and the next thing you know i'm singing…..no way.

  • SoTrue

    … I've been on plenty of public transport where I've free-willingly – without even thinking twice – given up my seat for a vulnerable person when there are no other seats. It's absolutely shameful how vulnerable people are often ignored!

  • SoTrue

    You really need to get out more…

  • Kayla

    i hate the conversation part. but (this isnt racist) but it seems white people and old black ladies always start conversation with me. and it's cool . when i have nothing to do, but i can have my ipod in and people will still try and talk to me. idk who annoying that is

  • jeri f.

    I cosign most of your points, especially with the germs. I live in western france and I have that awful feeling I'm the only clean person in this world. I might be a little over the top systematically wrapping poles with flyers but I can't help it. You should see these people

  • I lived in DC for a year, took the Metro everywhere and loved it.
    From talking with friends (especially those in NYC) it really depends where you are as to how bearable it is.

    I'd add wearing pants/skirts and shoes you can move easily, keep your balance, walk quickly, stand a lot, not fear ledges/platforms/escalators, and walk fast/run (might have to flee bad weather or put quick distance between yourself and persistent creeps) in. You will get left behind, jostled around, shoved and side-eyed if you're teetering and sashaying while everyone else is bolting home from work.

    Given the unwritten rules of public transport, it cracks me up hearing black dudes use the train as an example of how rude and unapproachable black women are. Everybody avoids eye contact and random conversations

  • miss k.

    Depends on the city. I pretty much rely on public transport at this point in my life and I think the worst experience I've ever had was being felt up by a man sitting next to me. At first I thought he was just trying to get comfortable in his seat, but then I felt his depraved hand inch up UNDER MY THIGH! I jumped up out of my seat and made sure to make him look like the complete CREEP that he was! Keeping a WEAPON might not be such a bad idea JustAshley!

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  • tkb

    LOL @ don't make eye contact. i've taken ny public transport twice and both times were scary i was on the train in and some crazy lady started talking to me. when i looked at her, she started yelling at me and throw something at me. my cousin (native brooklynite) was mortified and moved to another seat, and this other girl was like "you never, Ever make eye contact"

    • The Spelman Dropout

      Wow, upstate you have to deal with men and women yelling at you. Intense.