How NOT to behave on public transport: 15+ annoying things people do on public transport

In many countries public transport is great and it is used by locals and tourists alike. While public transport is the cheapest way to go from one place to another in many cities, there are things people do on public transport that should be avoided.

Let’s see the most annoying things people do on public transport and why everyone should stop doing them right away.

Yes, this is an article about how NOT to behave on public transport, and I’m writing it because I see many of these behaviours in my own country, but also abroad.

Some of these bad behaviours on public transport have been around for decades, others are new and they are often related to the technology we have access to nowadays.

annoying things people do on public transport

I had made that it is because of many of these worst behaviours on public transport that I prefer to travel by car as often as I can – I have an electric car.

How NOT to behave on public transport: 15 annoying things people do on public transport

1. Some people forget to shower / use deodorant

One of the worst things that can happen is to be by first to sit next to someone who didn’t shower.

If it’s rush hour, then it’s very hard to go elsewhere – and doing that with only help you avoid that awful smell, but someone else will take your place and “ enjoy” it.

I know that there are some people with allergies to different types of deodorants, but I also know from doctors (dermatologists) that there are options that people with such allergies can use.

No one should have to travel next to you and discover that you smell bad.

2. (Sexual) Harassment / Inappropriate touching or talking

I’ve had my share of harassment on public transport (another important reason why I prefer to travel by car) that I can begin to convey the feelings that such an inappropriate behaviour generates.

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It doesn’t matter if the harassment is done by a man or a woman, if it is inappropriate touching or talking, it should NEVER happen.

3. (Video)calls on speaker

This is one of the most annoying behaviours on public transport – and a more recent one than the others.

No one should hear about your problems, family or friends news, office gossip, etc. People just want to go where they need to be, in silence.

Everyone has their issues, and no one needs to hear other people’s lives unfolding.

4. Eating (especially with an open mouth) or drinking

Even if the means of public transportation is empty, it’s still considered bad behaviour to eat or drink.

Ok, I get drinking a bit of water or juice to keep hydrated especially if it’s hot outside. And that is not about behaviour, it’s something you do to prevent you from fainting.

But eating should be avoided on public transport.

5. Drinking alcohol or using public transport while being drunk

Another element on this list of how not to behave on public transport is drinking alcohol. This should never be a thing while traveling by public transport.

Another annoying behaviour on public transport is to travel while being drunk. I saw many people doing that, and they obviously bothered other passengers – they talked loudly, some harassed women, some couldn’t even stand up straight.

Plus the smell which was – and always – horrible.

6. Listening to music or movies/videos loudly on headphones

Sound leaking from headphones is not something that bothers only me, but some things that bothers a lot of people.

In fact, this comes up in surveys about inappropriate conduct on public transportation.

You can listen to whatever you want on your headphones, but mind the other people may not have the same musical preferences or who would just like to enjoy the silence.

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7. Lack of spatial awareness

No means of public transport has been created with personal space in mind. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

So, regardless if you’re travelling by plane, train, bus, tram, etc., please mind the space you’re occupying and the people next to you.

Please don’t spread your legs and arms, do not recline your seat all the way, don’t use the people next to you as book stands or pillows.

8. Having loud conversations

If you’re travelling with your family, friends, colleagues, please don’t have loud conversations. Try to keep in mind that there are other people in that bus/tram/plane/train etc.

9. Consistently tap or humming

It may not bother you but it can definitely bother other people. Be mindful.

10. Failure to give up the seat to those who need it

I remember being a child, leaving the hospital with my leg in a cast (no money for taxi) and yet no one gave me a seat in the tram.

No, not even on the seats specially reserved for pregnant women/women with a small child/ older people/injured person. And no, those seats weren’t occupied by people who were from one of the previously mentioned categories.

If you see someone older or even younger who’s not feeling well, you should give up your seat. (obviously, this does not apply to trains where you pay for a specific seat, but to other means of public transport).

11. Coughing or sneezing with no regard for the others

What is not something related to covid-19, it should be a common sense rule.

You should use a napkin or something to cover your mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing.

But please don’t cough into your hand and then hold the rail with that hand.

12. Having romantic “activities”

It’s wonderful to have someone to love and who loves you back, but please get a room for romantic activities.

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Kissing, touching should not be done on public transport.

13. Failure to hold on

OK, I admit, I’ve been once in a subway that was so crowded that I had no chance at reaching a rail to hold on to.

But I also saw people who were hanged holding on to a pole – in various means of public transport – because they have good equilibrium and they won’t fall.

I also witnessed situations where the driver had to press the brake harder, to avoid an accident, and some of these people who weren’t holding on fell on other passengers (who were holding on or were sitting, and even injured them.

14. Leaning on the pole

You may think it’s more comfortable to lean on the pole instead of holding it, but, you see, you’re not the only one using public transport. Other people manage to hold onto that pole.

15. Blocking the flow

You need to move while using public transport. You shouldn’t block people who want to get off the train/tram/bus. You should try to advance – do not block the access areas. Yes, there’s a flow: people will come aboard and get off at every station.

Get closer to the door when you’re approaching the station you want to get off at, not before.

These are the most annoying things people do on public transport.
What bothers you the most when travelling using public transport?

15+ annoying things people do on public transport. How NOT to behave on public transport #publictransport #badhabits

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