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We all like the shopper who travels before or after rush hours
July 11, 2012 2:26 PM   Subscribe

Transit etiquette of yesteryear (courtesy of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and blogto.com). We may no longer think that shoppers - inevitably depicted as women - have no place on the rush hour streetcar, but some things never change. Move to the back of the car, please!
posted by jb (63 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
some things never change

Good lord, you're not kidding. The most frustrating thing about living in Toronto is trying to get on a crowded subway in the morning, and seeing it pull into the station - in the centre of the cars, people are standing comfortably, lots of shoulder room, but you can't get on the bloody car because everyone crowds together in the doors and they don't move into the car! People who are already on the car don't move in to let people on, and people who get on grab onto the stupid poles by the door and just stand there, rather than moving in. It's totally infuriating. I push my way it, saying "Excuse me!", often to the apparent shock of people who can't believe I'm moving past them to the cavernous spaces on the other side of their stupid backpacks. A few steps and I have a comfortable journey, while people are left stranded on the platforms because they can't get on the train.
posted by Dasein at 2:36 PM on July 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


The modern Chicago version would have to feature suburban sports fans crowding trains and busses during rush hour.
"Suburban sports fans! Walk in the direction your face is pointing!"
"Do not stop walking when walking in a large crowd!"
posted by bleep at 2:38 PM on July 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Nothing about strollers or shopping carts, which seem like the biggest bottlenecks I see these days—I wonder if what the situation was when these were made.
posted by enn at 2:45 PM on July 11, 2012


Mrs. McTush??
posted by scottatdrake at 2:46 PM on July 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oh boy a ten spot
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:48 PM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I really want to print out a bunch of these on laminate sticker material and stick them all over MARTA now.
posted by strixus at 2:50 PM on July 11, 2012


Walk Left. Stand Right.

Doesn't matter that the sign's gone. Do it.
posted by samhyland at 2:52 PM on July 11, 2012 [11 favorites]


I was disgusted by the anti-Pachydermist sentiments.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:53 PM on July 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


However, I have to admit Rhode Island bus riders pretty much do all these things. It's like they ahve never seen a bus before....
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:54 PM on July 11, 2012


bleep, there was a blurb in the Chicago Reader's "best of" issue this year that touched exactly that: the best moment of unity on the Red Line is when the Cubs fans finally exit the train at Addison.

My favorite part is: "the car is so packed with besotted blond people who are always shouting to their buddies on the other side of the car. They seem to be new to public transportation."
posted by andrewesque at 2:57 PM on July 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Move to the back of the car, please!

Around here, we have a lot of buses that have the little step up to the back section. It may as well be a hundred feet tall. Nobody seems to want to step up and fill out the bus. And what's more, when the bus driver calls out and asks people to move to the back of the bus, they get angry! You see this annoyed look cross their faces as though they've been asked to get on their hands and knees and act as seats for the other standing passengers.

I also get irritated at (young, fit, able-bodied) riders who take the bus for one stop when the bus is so crowded that some people get turned away. Happens regularly on the buses leaving campus here. It'd be actually be faster to walk to the next stop.
posted by synecdoche at 3:03 PM on July 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Along those same lines, check out the totally awesome vintage Japanese train etiquette posters, as well as the modern campaign.
posted by zardoz at 3:04 PM on July 11, 2012 [11 favorites]


We have the step up back section too, and as it is mostly populated by young men with their legs spread wide across two seats and a grouchy look on their faces, I often feel rather brave going back there to sit.
posted by Peach at 3:05 PM on July 11, 2012


Weird usage of quotation marks within speech balloons.
posted by goethean at 3:15 PM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


In DC it's not so much a matter of the front of the car as the front of the train - you'll have a 15-car subway with ten or eleven of those cars completely packed, with people standing through the entire aisle...and empty seats galore in the leading and trailing cars, because everybody gravitated to the middle of the platform before boarding.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:15 PM on July 11, 2012


Here's QueenslandRail's new campaign. And of course, here's the parody.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:16 PM on July 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Also: let riders off the goddammed subway before you try to get on the goddammed subway car. Fucking Harvard Station, every bloody time.
posted by maryr at 3:22 PM on July 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh, that Know Your Meme page seems to be missing the best one.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:23 PM on July 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


The most frustrating thing about living in Toronto is trying to get on a crowded subway in the morning, and seeing it pull into the station - in the centre of the cars, people are standing comfortably, lots of shoulder room, but you can't get on the bloody car because everyone crowds together in the doors and they don't move into the car! People who are already on the car don't move in to let people on, and people who get on grab onto the stupid poles by the door and just stand there, rather than moving in.

It's a self-perpetuating problem. The reason the constant wad of people in front won't move further back is because the presence of a constant wad of people in front is just as obstructive when you're trying to get off the train.

The modern Chicago version would have to feature suburban sports fans crowding trains and busses during rush hour.
"Suburban sports fans! Walk in the direction your face is pointing!"
"Do not stop walking when walking in a large crowd!"


I live on the outer fringe of the GTA and take the GO train to get downtown, and, well, yeah, sports fans clogging up trains is definitely a thing up here, too. I will never understand it. Our teams aren't even kind of good.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:39 PM on July 11, 2012


"Hats Off" to our Riders!
To Mr. Schnell
FOR NOT SHOUTING INTO HIS CELL!
posted by Beardman at 3:43 PM on July 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


"Hats Off" to our Riders!
To Mrs. Schriver
FOR NOT ASSAULTING THE DRIVER!
posted by Beardman at 3:44 PM on July 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


To me, problems like this that just stay the same show that public awareness campaigns are overrated. They don't solve the problem, just mask it for a few months until their effect fades away.

Toy example: Why are there only 2 doors per subway car? How expensive would it be to have bought subway cars with a 3rd door, vs. the lost capacity left over?
posted by anthill at 3:45 PM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Hats Off" to our Riders!
To Mr. Lee
FOR FINDING SOMEWHERE ELSE TO PEE!
posted by hydrophonic at 3:47 PM on July 11, 2012 [10 favorites]


"Hats Off" to our Riders!
To Mr. Dwyer
FOR NOT SETTING THE BUS ON FIRE!
posted by Beardman at 3:49 PM on July 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Oh, that Know Your Meme page seems to be missing the best one."
posted by Burhanistan

haha fantastic, thanks, Burhanistan.

"Hats Off" to our riders!
To Mr Nanking
For not talking on his cellphone.
posted by marienbad at 3:51 PM on July 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


We don't have to deal with any of this in Milwaukee!

because we have shitty public transportation
posted by desjardins at 3:59 PM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm amazed there's no sign for clipping one's nails on the train. This is a huge problem in Boston, and the fact that so many people think it's disgusting but folks keep doing it pisses me off no end.
posted by pxe2000 at 4:05 PM on July 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


The vintage Japanese posters are great, zardoz, especially the one of Jesus and a feast of umbrellas at the Last Supper
posted by junco at 4:16 PM on July 11, 2012


After living in Japan, it's pretty shocking to see how people interact with public transit in Canada. The biggest no-no's in Japan are just common here - placing your baggage on a neighbouring seat so no one can sit down (verboten in Japan), wearing backpacks in a crowded train (verboten in Japan), shoes on seats (verboten in Japan.

I remember once on a train in Osaka an older man yelled at me for crossing my legs (thereby taking up more than my allotted space on the bench).
posted by KokuRyu at 4:31 PM on July 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Burhanistan: Thanks for reminding me how universally crap that particular local meme was. Yes, including the so-called "best" one.

I always figured QR needed only 2 captions for those posters:
  1. "Jane isn't an ignorant fucking hillbilly. Super Simple Stuff"
  2. "John isn't an ignorant fucking hillbilly. Super Simple Stuff"
posted by Pinback at 4:41 PM on July 11, 2012


How is that "We don't play games in the road – So why do we let our children?" related to the rest?
Also, a related series from an old post that has broken links Interborough Rapid Transit Company Subway Posters. Having sold Manhattan for $24. Lo, the Poor Indian, Departs by "open Air Line""
posted by unliteral at 5:09 PM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Love the David-Crosby-as-Santa poster from Japan.
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 5:26 PM on July 11, 2012


In DC it's not so much a matter of the front of the car as the front of the train - you'll have a 15-car subway with ten or eleven of those cars completely packed, with people standing through the entire aisle...and empty seats galore in the leading and trailing cars, because everybody gravitated to the middle of the platform before boarding.

At least in my case it's so that I can get off by the stairs for my stop instead of pushing through crowds of people while carrying all my work stuff down the platform.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 5:26 PM on July 11, 2012


Also: let riders off the goddammed subway before you try to get on the goddammed subway car. Fucking Harvard Station, every bloody time.

I would like to issue the following statement to all Red Sox fans riding the Green Line: the BIG SIGNS and MANY ANNOUNCEMENTS about where to get off of the train (at KENMORE for the 98th time you get off at KENMORE there is no stop named Fenway it's KENMORE) are not because you are special and the MBTA, on behalf of the fine city of Boston, loves you so much. No. It's because you're a bunch of IDIOTS who can't remember that you're riding the GREEN LINE TO KENMORE even though this - from your loud screaming I can only deduce - 4700th home game this year because you've been to every single one since the park was built.

Perhaps there SHOULD be a special drunken idiots car just for you, but there's not, so please let someone else get off the damn train at this stop even though you yourself are not going anywhere because FOR THE LOVE OF G-D I JUST WANT TO GO HOME LET ME OFF THE TRAIN.

I lived on the Green Line and my have some residual issues.
posted by sonika at 5:47 PM on July 11, 2012


in the centre of the cars, people are standing comfortably, lots of shoulder room, but you can't get on the bloody car because everyone crowds together in the doors and they don't move into the car!

The reason people do this is because if they do move to the center of the car when everyone gets in and out at Bloor, they will not be able to get off before King.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 5:52 PM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hats. Hats everywhere!
posted by Splunge at 5:53 PM on July 11, 2012


"Attention, all subway customers on the Yonge-University-Spadina line: we are currently experiencing a delay mmfthbound at Mffgllgh station..."
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 5:58 PM on July 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Another weird thing about train cars in Canada (I'm thinking of the Expo and Canada Lines in Vancouver) is just how much space the seats take up. It's way more efficient for passengers to stand in the middle of the car - get rid of the seats. Same as with buses.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:01 PM on July 11, 2012


To me, problems like this that just stay the same show that public awareness campaigns are overrated.

It doesn't really work on locals, but as a tourist I always keep an eye out for them when I'm using public transit in other cities. I only occasionally use the buses here and we don't have any trains, so I don't get much practice with the etiquette, and it is convenient to have a reminder (particularly of stuff like stand right walk left). But people who are willfully ignoring rules anyway aren't gonna do much because of them.
posted by NoraReed at 6:08 PM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


As someone who catches the bus and train home everyday, I would just like to repeat:
1. Refrain from having loud conversations, talking on mobile phones or listening to loud musical devices when travelling in a quiet carriage, and keep noise to a minimum in all other carriages.
2. Stand aside on the goddamn escalator.

I am yet to work out a tactful way of saying:
If you are too fat for that one remaining seat:
Stand up.

If you are too wide to use of the escalator so other patrons may move around you:
Use the lift or stairs.

Teenagers: don't sprawl in the aisle.

Children: SHUT THE FUCK UP AND STOP JUMPING OVER ME.

*twitch*

I have a lot of pent up rage. Would these signs help?
They would not hinder.
posted by Mezentian at 6:16 PM on July 11, 2012


Just this week, I have seen: It's like a good 50% of Torontonians don't actually know anything about subways, and have never seen one before it pulled into the station this morning, but are strangely attracted to them and have an irresistible urge to interfere with the operation of the TTC as much as they possibly can.

Come to think of it, that explains who's mayor.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 6:25 PM on July 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


"Hats Off" to our Riders!
To Mrs. Ruckupundstupjompingohvarmy
FOR NOT ASSAULTING THE DRIVER!
posted by mazola at 6:25 PM on July 11, 2012


Love the David-Crosby-as-Santa poster from Japan.

That's not actually David Crosby, you've just had too much to drink.
posted by Catch at 6:25 PM on July 11, 2012


I could say a couple of good things about the Toronto Transit Commission:

-They have signs reminding us not to rush the doors on the subway, because another train is coming soon. In the olden days, we bolted like jackrabbits for the doors, because we never knew if the next one was coming along or not... but now it is better.

-The Streetcars and buses run more frequently than they used to, not perfect, yeah, but better than before. I remember when the Streetcar would just stop in the middle of a run, and the driver would wander off to do something. I don't see this anymore..

I have observed the Toronto Transit Commission enough years to know that they do the best that they can with the limited resources that they have, and that now is a tender pivotal moment in urban politics when the delicate sensitivities of taxpayers in the GTA have to decide whether they are on funding the bus/transit system, or not..
posted by ovvl at 6:57 PM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish: In DC it's not so much a matter of the front of the car as the front of the train - you'll have a 15-car subway...

Aside from the fact that trains can only be 8 cars long; YES. My god. I live closest to a station heavy with hotels, so if I don't get on before 8am, I'm elbow deep in middle school students. I have a standing form letter I send to school principals - the students always have the school name proudly displayed on their t-shirst - explaining that they need to tell their students how to behave on public transportation. Don't run up the down escalator during rush hour. Don't hold the doors open. And for heaven sakes, SPREAD OUT. Tell kids they have to get off the train at X Station and trust them to do that. You have chaperones, don't make them all get on the same train car. Have respect for the people who need that train to get to work.

Also, morning rush hour is just not the time for Disney musical singalongs. Seriously.
posted by troika at 7:09 PM on July 11, 2012


Also, morning rush hour is just not the time for Disney musical singalongs. Seriously.

Why do you hate fun, joy and frivolity?
posted by Mezentian at 7:12 PM on July 11, 2012


people putting feet or backpacks on seats next to them during rush hour

That's my biggest pet peeve on the TTC. I normally just start to sit down on the seat that has someone's backpack on it, and it magically disappears by the time my butt would hit it.

Though one time I got a loud sigh and dirty look from the teenager whose backpack I was about to sit on..... I was about 8 months pregnant at the time, and he was an able-bodied teenager taking up 3 seats.
posted by barnoley at 7:13 PM on July 11, 2012


Sonika - the problem is that there IS a stop named Fenway. It's pretty much the same stop as the Yawkey commuter stop - sort of beneath the Pike at the end of a parking lot off Brookline. It's kinda useless, best I can tell. And unlike Kenmore, which gets lots of trains going through, it's on the D line, so it's a long wait for a train.
posted by maryr at 7:46 PM on July 11, 2012


Also, morning rush hour is just not the time for Disney musical singalongs. Seriously.

I can show you the train:
Underground, we've descended.
Tell me, troika, now when did
You last let your SmarTrip slide?

You can't open your eyes.
Caffeine's not yet made you mellow
Red, green, blue, orange, yellow
Lines will take you for a ride.

A whole new day!
A new fantastic trip to work!
No sign these tourists know which way to go
Or see we've passed their station.

Another day!
A frazzling trip, a new commute.
Now, lest it seem too long,
I'm done this song,
And now I'm getting off the train with you.
posted by maryr at 8:04 PM on July 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Fenway stop is so useless that I lived in Boston for over a year (and in New England my whole life - having spent a lot of time in Beantown without it being my residence) without even HEARING of it.

Still doesn't excuse Sox fans not letting me out at Arlington.
posted by sonika at 8:20 PM on July 11, 2012


The reason people do this is because if they do move to the center of the car when everyone gets in and out at Bloor, they will not be able to get off before King.

There are occasionally reasons to crowd the door. A few months ago I was arriving in Toronto at Union and heading to Dundas station. It was a chilly, drizzly day so I wasn't keen to walk and the PATH annoys me when I am dragging a bag behind me, so I hit the subway.

I arrived on the platform just as the subway was loading, so I stepped up at speed and was the last one into the car. I had been listening to my headphones but had removed them when I entered the station.

As I stepped into the car and made for a seat, I thought I was snagged on something. I noticed that my headphones had come unspooled and had been caught by the closing door, with the earbuds on the outside.

It was not a very crowded day on the subway and it seemed foolish to just abandon them, so I stood by the door figuring I would just retrieve them when the doors opened at King, the next station.

Seasoned riders may have noticed my error here, which did not occur to me for several seconds: Union has a centre platform while King has an outer platform. Therefore while I had come in the left side of the car, the doors would be opening on the right side at King. And at Queen. And at Dundas. And at College.

I stood there, silently picturing all the stations one by one. Yes, you may have seen this coming: the next station with a centre platform is Eglinton. That is a long time to stand around like a doofus, let me tell you.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:11 PM on July 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


I push my way it, saying "Excuse me!", often to the apparent shock of people who can't believe I'm moving past them to the cavernous spaces on the other side of their stupid backpacks.

This happens all the time in Amsterdam too and I've grown to hate people with backpacks, who take up twice as much space, never take them off and always seem to shove them into my face. You're going to the office, not on a wilderness survival.

Umbrellas are awful as well, but that's when you're walking from or to the bus stop or metro entrance, when you have some stupid woman with an umbrella twice as big as she is, holding it at eye level, blocking your view as well as causing a hazard to your face when she suddenly turns around.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:30 AM on July 12, 2012


If you are too fat for that one remaining seat

If, like me, you're a fat fuck, don't sit next to me when there are perfectly good seats elsewhere. I don't want your tighsweat on my the rest of the day and nor do you want mine. Sit next to a thin person, they don't need their whole seat anyway.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:40 AM on July 12, 2012


This is why I dreaded the Silver line in Boston. It's the easiest way toget to the airport from much of the city, so it's filled with people and their suitcases. People who do not take public transit frequently, and suitcases they are not strong enough to lift, and which they are unwilling to let go of. Consequently there's always some doofus who won't use the provided luggage racks and instead just stands in the aisle with their ginormasuitcase.

I bet they're going to try to take that thing carryon.
posted by nat at 12:53 AM on July 12, 2012


"Hats Off" to our Riders!
To Mr. Bush
For not groping Mrs. McTush!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 4:24 AM on July 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've always been tempted to take a boxcutter on the T so that I can remove people's knapsacks for them.

In related news, I am a horrible person.
posted by pxe2000 at 7:13 AM on July 12, 2012


> I've always been tempted to take a boxcutter on the T so that I can remove people's knapsacks for them.

This is a terrible idea. You should get an emergency strap cutter instead.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:18 AM on July 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


...I've grown to hate people with backpacks, who take up twice as much space, never take them off and always seem to shove them into my face. You're going to the office, not on a wilderness survival.

I am one of those backpack wearing people - they are so much more comfortable than an over-the-shoulder bag for the walking part of my commute (an extra 10 minutes when I was on the subway) - shoulder bags can make my back hurt.

But I always take my backpack off when I'm on a crowded subway/bus/streetcar, carrying it down near my legs like a briefcase.

I'm also that "annoying" person who will push past you to get to the end of the streetcar - if you don't like me slipping past you, then keep moving to the end. I've gotten on streetcars that were so crowded at the front that they leave 1/2 the people behind at the stop and it's barely breathing room - only I slip down and find empty seats at the back.

It's also partly the fault of streetcar/bus designers, who give no thought to how a seat arrangement or wheel wells can create a bottleneck.
posted by jb at 7:52 AM on July 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Actually, I give the MBTA big props for installing those luggage racks on the SL1 (airport bound Silver Line buses) at all. That required far, far more foresight than the T usually displays.
posted by maryr at 8:14 AM on July 12, 2012


Ah, I love adding my gripes to a TTC thread.

My big peeve as a daily streetcar user are the clueless folks who stand on the rear steps, which prevent the doors from closing so we can get going to the next stop. I can understand someone new to the TTC not knowing this feature, but what I don't get are the very passive drivers who have a indicator on their control panel that the doors are open and can see via their mirrors that there aren't people still boarding, yet they don't make an announcement to "please step up off the steps". Instead there's 15 or 30 seconds of nothing happening until finally a rider (is it always me?) speaks up and says "You have to move off the steps". Maybe it's a St. Clair thing.

Also, despite the new subways being one long car which should encourage riders to move from the crowded areas (usually the first third of the train) to the spacious middle or rear, people remain packed at the front. Maybe it's a frottage thing.

Bonus new TTC feature: Daily Customer Service Report.
posted by Paid In Full at 11:33 AM on July 12, 2012


Maybe it's a St. Clair thing.

I saw it happen on a King/Broadview streetcar the day the subway was shut down because of flooding at Union. Whoever the idiot on the steps was, he had to be coached repeatedly by the other passengers. "Get off the step. Buddy, you have to get off the step. Good - now stay off the step. No, don't step back on it. OKAY, CAN WE CLOSE UP THE DOORS NOW?!" Sigh. I had a seat, so it was all good.
posted by Dasein at 1:18 PM on July 12, 2012


This is the most Canadian thing. Unfortunately the new subways don't have them.
posted by mendel at 7:59 PM on July 12, 2012


Whoever the idiot on the steps was, he had to be coached repeatedly by the other passengers.

To be fair, if you don't know how the back doors work, the phrase "TO OP  N D  OR   TA  D ON S  EP" is not very helpful.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 7:44 PM on July 16, 2012


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