We’re getting real right now. Unless you’re lucky enough to live within walking distance to your place of employment, chances are, you have a bright yellow Metro Card that you use almost daily. With it, you can access the whole of New York City, by bus and by subway. There are some – interesting – human actions and characteristics that occur on the MTA, and we need to talk. They have to end.
A bus or a subway car is a confined space with little to no access to a breeze. If someone opens up smelly food to eat, everyone is going to smell it, and that stink lingers. Even though foods that don’t smell might be tempting, crumbs encourage critters New Yorkers can’t stand to come out of hiding. Plus, you never know if the person you are sitting next to has an allergy. Really, the only acceptable food to consume on the subway is a protein bar, and even that’s dicey.
This goes hand in hand with don’t eat. In case you didn’t know, The New York Times released an article explaining that subway cars are cleaned by hand every eight to ten weeks. If you leave something, there is a real chance that it will sit there, on the floor for weeks. There are trash cans and recycling bins everywhere throughout the city. Use them. And please, do not put your gum under the seat. Just don’t do it.
Don’t Play Loud Music
Every single time someone comes on the bus or the subway with a speaker, blasting their music, everyone cringes and scrambles for their own headphones to drown it out. Commuting on public transportation is the bane of a New Yorker’s existence. Let’s be kind to each other by not making the travel time worse. Headphones are a godsend, and you can find a really cheap pair in a pinch. There are options.
Let People Off First…
There is even an announcement for this one. To make more space for people to get on, let people off first. It’s common sense.
…And Move In
Then once you’re on the bus or train, move into the car, don’t crowd the door. Part of why it seems like there’s never any room is because people don’t like to stand in between seats. Be a risk taker, stand in the empty space.
Give Up Your Seat
This is probably the hardest one. We are all guilty of pushing people out of the way to find a newly vacated seat on a long commute. However, we should all start giving up seats to the elderly, differently abled individuals, pregnant women, and children. It’s civic duty at its finest. As much as it may feel great to sit, chances are their need to sit is far greater than yours.
The key is, none of these points are particularly difficult to manage – if you set your mind to it, you too can be a great MTA rider. And for all of you who are the cream of the MTA riding crop. NYgal hopes this spoke to your soul.