The 18 cardinal sins of commuting
Talking loudy on your mobile phone
If your phone rings or you need to make an urgent call, consider those around you and how interested they are in what you have to say. Most of us don’t care how your Tinder date went or how annoying, lazy or narcissistic your boss is. If you must make or take a phone call, keep it short, sweet and, above all, quiet.
Leaning on the poles
Leisurely leaning against the support poles is fine if the train, tram, or bus is empty, but not when you're catching peak-hour PT that's standing-room-only. Allow your fellow commuters something to hold on to if the vehicle hits a rough patch or has to brake suddenly. Also, if you’re a tall person who can reach the overhead bars but you’re using the pole or seat rail, swap with that awkwardly teetering shorter person.
Wearing your backpack or handbag
It’s uncomfortable enough being packed in on a peak-hour train without someone’s backpack jabbing you in the ribs, face, or back. If you're toting an oversize handbag, hold it in front of you or put it on the floor. If you don’t want to put your Armani arm candy on the ground – don’t bring it. Sitting down? Your handbag/backpack belongs on your lap, not in the aisle or the seat next to you.
Hitting the volume without headphones
Public transport is not a dance club. Nobody wants to hear the oontz-oontz of your pop music crackling from your phone speakers, nor do they care about whatever bombshell was dropped on last night’s Love Island. If you want to listen to music or catch up on the latest TV episode on your commute, by all means feel free to do so - with your headphones in.
Not giving up your seat
Some transport sins are unforgivable and this one is up there with one of the worst. If you're sitting in the priority area and someone who needs it more than you boards, stand up and let them take it. You don't need to make a big deal about it. Pretending you’re too busy on your phone to notice the elderly, pregnant, or disabled person is no excuse.
Hanging by the doors
Moving down the aisles instead of crowding near the doors will maximise standing room. You don't need to wait for the driver to announce this; it's just common sense.
Eating on the train
We get it, sometimes you just need that little pre or post-work pick-me-up, especially if you've got a long commute ahead of you. If you're hungry, and you absolutely can't wait until you get home, eat your food on the platform while you're waiting for the train to arrive (or catch the next one). Because there's nothing nice about being in a confined space with someone who's eating tinned tuna.
Over-the-top personal hygiene, or not enough
Use deodorant but don’t reek of perfume/cologne. People have allergies, so save your Lynx Africa for the weekend.
Not wearing a mask
You may not be required to wear them on public transport anymore but, if you're feeling a bit sniffly, it is strongly recommended that you do. If people can't physically distance, they probably don't want front-row seats to your symphony of snorts.
Using public transport like it’s your bathroom
We can't believe we need to say this but, please, no clipping your toenails on public transport (or, in public, just generally). And, yes, this happens.
Being impatient to get on or off the train
During peak-hour we all need to disembark the same way we do when we’re leaving an aeroplane – one at a time. This goes for those people who try to board while a stampede of people is trying to alight. The driver knows you're there and isn't going anywhere immediately. Step aside and let people exit the vehicle before squeezing on. This also includes shoving along the aisles before the vehicle has arrived at the station. It doesn’t matter how many times you say “excuse me”, there’s nowhere for people to move. Even if yours is the next stop, be patient and move when the doors open.