Perfect manners on public transport

Remember the other people around you and, particularly on crowded rush-hour trains or buses, do your best not to make the journey any worse than it already is:

  • Don’t take up more than one seat
  • If you’re fully able, be ready to give up your seat for others who may need it more than you do – for example, if they are elderly, obviously disabled, obviously pregnant or with small children. (Some people worry about giving offence, but generally nobody minds being offered a seat – if they decline, don’t press them to accept.)
  • Be ready to help people struggling with sticks, wheelchairs, heavy bags, or small children, but again don’t worry if your offers of help are declined. Don’t force your attentions.
  • Keep the noise down. Nobody likes being forced to listen to someone else’s music or conversation (especially intimate conversations). Check that your headphones keep your music personal to you. Make sure that your language does not offend other passengers.
  • If you’re annoyed by the behaviour of others around you, see if you can move seats, particularly on a long journey.
  • If you can’t, it’s normally easier to wait and develop your strength of character until you or they get off rather than try to confront them.
  • If the behaviour goes beyond annoying – if it worries or scares you or others – attract the driver’s attention on the bus or pull the special cord on the train.

You might also be interested in our pages on:

Travelling around the UK
Age limits – travelling by public transport
Looking after your safety in the real world