December 22, 2014

Commuters Miss the Etiquette Stop

By Tiffany Gomez

At seven in the morning, you won’t see commuter etiquette. You’ll see people desperate for 30 more minutes of sleep and a large coffee.

Some of the commuters who take the 6 train at the Castle Hill stop in the Bronx had some idea of what commuter etiquette is.  “Commuter etiquette is when people don’t just think of themselves while taking public transportation,” said Andre Martin, a Bronx resident.

His coworker John Serrano, 19, disagreed, “No, it’s when assholes get trained on how to commute.”

Martin and Serrano both agreed that after Hurricane Sandy things got worse because not all of the trains started running at the same time.

Serrano says that when he transfers from the 6 to the E, he’s always wondering about the people standing on the left side of the escalator. “They all know the left side should be clear for anyone trying to walk or run down the escalator, why do they block it?” Serrano said.

Some people confessed to blocking it on purpose. “It’s a guaranteed way of pissing someone off, why wouldn’t you do it?” said 22-year-old Samantha Rossi.

After hurricane Sandy riding the escalator somewhat better. “At least after Sandy occurred, people seemed like more of in a rush and both sides were walking up,” said Martin. Still, people managed to do something wrong. “I was going up the escalator and since this guy in front of me was almost at the top he stops like there isn’t a line of people behind him also going up,” Martin said.

While riding the 6 train into Manhattan, it seemed like most people were in a bad mood, and that’s usually because the train is packed, but this one wasn’t.

“If I look like I’m happy someone will try to talk to me, and I just don’t like talking to anyone. This is my quiet time,” said 23-year-old Orlando Martinez. He added that he doesn’t even like talking to his wife, who was sitting next to him reading a paper. Martinez just likes tuning everyone out to have a smooth ride.

Casey Parker, 26, says that her biggest pet peeve when it comes to riding the subway was the passengers who liked to share their music.  Coincidentally, a young man had just entered the train on the 125th street stop.  He was listening to music from his phone with no headphones, rapping along to it.

“That right there is exactly my point, if I wanted to listen to 2 Chainz and what he wanted for his birthday I would have done so myself,” Parker said. She also hates when music is so loud that you can hear it clearly from across the car.

“The bottom line is that commuters are only thinking of themselves, don’t expect them to be considerate to you,” Parker said.

Carlos Santana, 20, a tourist from Ecuador, even knows that there are certain unwritten rules you should follow.  “I hate it when I’m sitting, there’s room for three people to sit and the person decides to sit right next to me” Santana said.

It isn’t unusual to overhear conversations on a packed train. 21-year-old Janise Villamarin chimed in, “The worst thing is when no one offers their seat to small children, older folks and pregnant women.”

Waiting rooms, buses and park benches have similar exceptions. It is prudent to give up a seat for the elderly or children. The difference is that most people who sit down on the train do it because they’re tired and don’t want to give up their seats.

Villamarin thinks etiquette should have been better after Sandy, but it seems it didn’t have any effect on commuters.

They were more upset at the things people do on a daily basis, whether a storm just passed or not. Castle Hill resident Jay Lee felt it doesn’t make sense as to why some people wouldn’t wait for everyone who needs to get out to do so before they board the train. “It’s like they want to piss us off, especially in the morning,” Lee said.

This disturbed Lee so much that he got fed up and decided to ride his bicycle everywhere he could. “I’m more of a morning person now and it helped me lose those 15 pounds I wanted to lose,” Lee said.he got fed up and decided to ride his bicycle everywhere he could. “I’m more of a morning person now and it helped me lose those 15 pounds I wanted to lose,” said Lee.