With public transportation ridership surging due to the recession, many upper-middle-class Americans are riding buses and trains for the first time since that one day in fourth grade when daddy’s chauffer called in sick, the maid was hiding from INS and mommy couldn’t bear to be seen at school driving last year’s Mercedes. While taking public transportation saves money and is better for the environment than flying a private jet 10 miles to avoid driving through “those” neighborhoods, it can be dangerous to board without knowing the unwritten rules of bus and train riding. To help you avoid getting stabbed with an umbrella, bitten by the man who lives in the back row or dumped off in a dark alley by a driver who doesn’t recognize you from the 2005 Forbes 500, here are some Etiquette Rules For Public Transportation:
It’s called a bus “shelter,” not a shanty or cell or outhouse — no matter how much it may smell like any of them.
Running to catch a bus is OK — flagging down a cop to stop it for you is not.
If you lack the correct change, don’t hold things up by trying to convince the driver to take your company’s stock.
Never sit next to a woman holding a baby — she may have just changed it on the seat.
If you step on someone’s foot, apologize in every language you know until you get a nod back.
Unless it’s the kind you need for your colon, don’t put your bag on the empty seat next to you.
Hand sanitizer is for your hands — not the seat, the floor, the window or the passenger next to you.
The window does not open — it’s better to sweat than ask another passenger to blow on you.
If you don’t want it to be placed between two slices of bread and fed to you, don’t talk on your cell phone.
Even if you have a note from your doctor, pregnant women will still kick your butt for a seat.
Never speak to the person next to you unless he says, “Do you want to live?”
If you are standing and your crotch is in the face of someone sitting, it’s better to move before your fantasy becomes obvious to her or the other passengers.
If you’re sitting and the crotch of someone standing is in your face, avoid all urges to lick your lips.
If the bus is crowded and your stop is approaching, “Excuse me” works better than “I’m wearing a bomb!”
If you miss your stop, don’t blame the driver unless you know for certain the recession is ending tomorrow and you don’t need any more rides.