If you don’t have a car in Boston, or if you mainly commute to work by public transportation, you know that sometimes taking the T isn’t all that glamorous, or comfortable. In order to commute easier, follow these MBTA Do’s and Don’ts:
Step Aside: First and foremost DON’T be that person who tries to get on the T before anyone can get off of it. It all comes down to common courtesy and common sense. If you let people get off the first, you’ll have an easier time getting on the train. I can assure you that the driver will not pull off before the doors close and you are in mid-stride. If you’re the person trying to get off the train car, sometimes a simple “Excuse me” will help people get out of your way.
Give It Up: We’ve all heard the saying “Chivalry is dead”, and whether or not that’s true is a whole other topic. However, giving up your seat on the T to someone who is more deserving of it is not chivalrous, it’s just polite. DO offer up your seat to the following (if you yourself don’t fall into one of these categories): the elderly, pregnant women, a person carrying an infant, a person carrying something heavy (like groceries, a small piece of furniture, or…an infant), someone with a condition that doesn’t allow them to stand for a long period of time, a small child. I can assure you another seat will become available sooner than you think. Just do the right thing, and offer up your seat.
Seats Are for People: I get it, you’d much rather sit in a seat by yourself than sit next to a total stranger, but that doesn’t make leaving your bags on the seat next to you any less rude. Simply put, chairs are for people. If the T starts to get full, and you notice someone looking for a seat, DO take your belongings off the chair next to you and slide over. I’m sure your bag won’t mind.
Too Close for Comfort: We’ve all got places to be, and at peak times the T can get a bit crowded. So if you’re waiting for the T, and the next one that rolls through is packed, DON’T try to get on it. There’s nothing more annoying than trying to make room, when there isn’t any, for people who are too impatient to wait for the next train. One thing to keep in mind when traveling at rush hour: there may be an increase in people, but there’s also an increase in trains. If you don’t fit on the first T, I promise there’s another one right behind it.
Time Is Money: Sometimes there’s no place nearby to check the balance of your Charlie Card, so you just have to board the T and wing it. However, trying to add cash to your Charlie Card while you’re on the T is not only time consuming, but very inconvenient for the other people trying to board the train. DON’T be this person. If you absolutely have to add cash to your card while you’re on the T, simply wait for everyone else to tap their cards and board before you try to pay your fare. That way, the train doors can close, and the T can keep moving while you pay in cash.
Ring the Bell: Sometimes the T drivers can get a bit carried away with how many times they tell riders to ring the bell for all street-level stops, but they repeat it so many times for a reason. That reason being, a lot of people don’t ring the bell. Letting the T driver know that your stop is coming up is a thing you should definitely DO. If you’re getting off at a very popular street-level stop, like Harvard Ave or Coolidge Corner, you can almost guarantee someone else will press the button. But if you’re getting off somewhere like BU Central or Hawes Street, you might want to be proactive about ringing that bell so you don’t miss your stop.
All in all, public transportation is a bittersweet entity. We often rely on it in big cities to get from place to place, but taking it can sometimes be a real pain. Make the commute a little easier on yourself by following these few guidelines. If you’re thinking of ditching public transportation all together, and purchasing your own car, download our app here, and we’ll help you #ParkEasier
feature photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/20939192990″>Boston MBTA Red Line</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>