Manners & Public Transport Etiquette – Everyday Life

It seems quite ironic that everyday life seems to have gotten in the way of this months blogging topic. I have been having so much fun (alternating with being so tired I can’t move) with life that I have barely had time for this blog. But there are a few posts in particular that I wanted to cover with this months topic of “Everyday Life” and manners is one of them.

You can think of this as a follow on to my column in the June issue of Hey Doll Vintage Magazine (available to read for free HERE). I covered the “magic words” Please & Thank You there, but I wanted to cover two other basics as well.

Hey Doll - June Issue

As well as Please & Thank You, people seem to be lacking in the ability to say “sorry” and “excuse me”. If, like me, you find that you are extremely clumsy and accidentally poke someone with your umbrella (or repeatedly do it….sorry Jacinta & Veganopoulous!), tread on their toes or walk into them please, please apologise. You don’t need to get on your knees and beg forgiveness, a simple “I am sorry” will do. The same goes for “excuse me”. Please don’t just push and shove your way through. It isn’t hard to say “excuse me”. Most people will move aside for you. It is very basic and takes no real time or energy.


Now onto some basic public transport etiquette (aka Miss Fairchild ranting about stuff that annoys her) for everyday life. Now I use public transport a lot. I don’t drive and neither does my husband. If we go anywhere it is on public transport. Here are a few tips for using public transport and not offending everyone…

  1. Do not stand right in front of the door until people have gotten off the bus/train/tram. HINT – if we can’t get off, you can’t get on. 
  2. Do not sit in the seats set aside for people with mobility issues (especially the folding seats on the bus for prams/wheelchairs) unless you actually have a mobility issue or there are no other seats available. If you are sitting in one of those seats and someone gets on with a wheelchair/pram get off your butt and give it to the person it belongs to (if you have teens who use the bus please let them know this – they are the worst offenders).
  3. Do not play your music without headphones. Even if you think that band is the world’s coolest band, no one else wants to hear it. Use headphones.
  4. Try to moderate your language. In Melbourne it is actually an offence to use profanity on public transport, but I have yet to see it enforced. I personally don’t care if you swear/talk about sex/talk about drug use ect. but do my kids need to hear about your threesome in graphic detail? I think not.
  5. Bags do not need seats. Again the worst offenders of this one seem to be teens. If the bus/train gets crowded move your bag off the seat.
  6. On a packed bus/train/tram please move to the seat closest to the window so people don’t have to climb over you for a seat. If you don’t want to, then prepared to be accidentally trod on (and don’t start huffing and rolling your eyes or it will be less of an accident on my part when I tread on you). I will climb over you for a seat as I can’t stand for long periods of time.

I feel better now I have gotten that off my chest. What manners/etiquette are missing from your everyday life?

Miss Fairchild xoxo

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16 Responses to Manners & Public Transport Etiquette – Everyday Life

  1. So true! I’ve had plenty of commuter rage in my time. People with no manners on public transport infuriate me. There is a definite etiquette for travel and so many don’t adhere to it.

  2. Teresa says:

    It really is the little things like “please” and “thank you” that make the every day difference. My pet peeve is the lack of “excuse mes” too. It really is just common politeness!

  3. At Aldi the other day, myself and a man in front had a half loaded trolley. A woman (probably in her 50s) came up to me and said “I only have one item, can I move in front” and I said sure. Not a please or thank you from her. She asked the guy in front and he let her go through, again not a please or thank you. Not only would I have said please and thanks when asking, I would have turned around as I was leaving to thank people again.

    A friend of my mum’s was on the tram and a bunch of teen schoolkids had their bags all over the floor and blocking the aisle. She asked if they could please move them and they just laughed at her. So she picked up the bags and threw them out the door 🙂

    • Urg. I mean I will always do the same at aldi – let people go ahead who only have one thing – but a please and thank you would be nice. What is the world coming to?

      LMAO – go mums friend. I would do the same on a bad day. Damn teenagers!

  4. Retro Chick says:

    in the UK we’ll apologise to a lampost if we walk into it!

    Music outloud on public transport is one of my bug bears though. We don’t all want to hear it!

  5. What a poignant post. I’m constantly surprised by who does and doesn’t use these common courtesies. When I was pregnant (in Sydney) I used to visit my Obstetrician via the train and very rarely did anyone give up their seats for me…it was mostly the high school students who did, not the middle age men and women. Please and thankyou’s are rapidly disappearing from most people’s vernacular and people are becoming so self centred and self involved- it is so sad. xx Shauna

    • Oh Shauna – I had the exact same thing happen to me in Sydney when I was pregnant and there for my grandmothers funeral. I was huge and not a single person ever gave up their seats for me.

  6. And don’t bash people in the head when they ask you to take your feet off their seat. And don’t rant at someone and yell racial abuse at them for not being the same race as you. Gah, Australian public transport, I hang my head in shame at you…

  7. jennadee222 says:

    I know exactly what you mean, I too live in Melbourne and am offended daily by the rudeness of fellow Australians. Thanks for letting me know there are others who think the same way as I do. Love Jenna

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