I’ve talked a bit about using public transportation here in Germany and some tips on public transportation etiquette, but now I have some more tips! These are primarily based on my personal experience and things that annoy me. I try to follow my own advice, and I think that if everyone kept some of these tips in mind, travel on trains, trams, and buses would be much more pleasant.
Wear Headphones and Keep Music at a Reasonable Volume
While I appreciate the people who have the self-awareness to not carry around Bluetooth speakers and treat the whole train to their private techno party, when you turn up your headphones all the way, you have a similar effect. Please turn down your music. Your fellow passengers and your eardrums thank you.
Please Keep Your Arms and Legs in Your Area
You may not be on a roller coaster, but it is considerate to keep your limbs out of the aisle so people can pass without tripping. If you must spread out, it would be really appreciated if you kept and eye on the aisle to move out of the way when people need to pass. This also applies to bags or luggage. The aisle isn’t your storage space. It’s for people to move around.
Be Careful With Food and Drink
Commutes can be long and you often require sustenance, but try not to make a mess. And if you do, try to clean up after yourself to the best of your ability. If you spill coffee all over your seat on the bus, please put something on top of it, like a piece of paper or napkin if you have one, so people have some sort of warning before they get your latte all over their butt when they try to sit down. This last example is specific for a reason. Advice for the rule-abidMing, always check your seat before sitting down.
I assume you don’t want everyone to know your business, and most people don’t even want to know your business, but if you talk quite loudly, you’ll be hard to ignore. It’s like bringing on the aforementioned Bluetooth speaker, but instead of a techno dance party, everyone knows that you woke up in a strange apartment and was surprised to see the Alps when you looked out the window. This example is also specific for a reason. I can only assume that man’s experience was rather disconcerting..
For the Love of God, Let People OFF the Train First
I mentioned this in my other etiquette post, but I think I cannot say it enough. The train will not leave with the doors open. You will not miss the train somehow if patiently let the people off first. In fact, when you stand in their way, they can’t leave and you can’t get on – which holds everything up. This also applies to buses, trams, and subways. Keep it orderly. Off then on.
Now this is not an exhaustive list of tips, but something I’ve noticed is that a bit of self-awareness goes a long way. Think of how you would feel if someone else was doing what you are, and if that would bother you, don’t do it yourself.
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