5 Ways We’ve All Failed On Subway Etiquette

Ashley Falzone
Ashley is your semi-above-average 20 something living in Astoria who lives and breathes NYC life. She goes about her days looking forward to all the food she will consume. She also loves referencing Kanye West quotes in her articles whenever applicable.

The subway is a ride-or-die place, my friends. The blood, sweat, and tears that New Yorkers endure on a daily basis while riding the subway could make anyone want to pack up their belongings and move to Nebraska. (Yet, pretty much nobody does this). It takes a truly considerate and polite person to ride the subway correctly without pissing off half the car, but let’s be honest, this is New York we’re talking about. We’re not considerate and we sure as hell ain’t polite. Therefore, if you want to piss off as few people as possible, stop engaging in these hated subway practices because clearly you need more reprimanding than those damn MTA ads.

first animated GIF

1. Leaning against the pole with your whole body (guilty)

Don’t hate me, hate the poles that stand in our way. Listen, the amount of germs on the subway is disgusting. And there are articles that prove this. I get that we avoid contact with the poles at all costs because touching them is a surefire way to get deathly ill and perhaps spread some bed bugs. Yet, taking over the entire pole with your bodice is rude, considering the fact that the 100 other people in your car probably would love to do the same thing. A better way to handle this? Use one hand and carry some hand sanitizer, you cheapskate.

2. Manspreading

The amount of articles written on this phenomenon in recent months is astounding. It’s because it’s really that annoying to witness this on a subway ride. Why are you spreading your legs so wide, blocking seats for all around you!? You are not entitled to two seats my friend, even if you’re so tall your legs got nowhere else to go. Think about the rest of us who are small and petite and need just a little space to sit. As the great MTA says, “Dude…stop the spread, please.”

3. Not letting people get off the train BEFORE you get on

It’s just common courtesy to stand off to the side on a busy subway platform, and make sure everyone gets off the train before you rush in like the train is going to leave at that second. Let the people off the train first — you’re just slowing the entire process down and making the rush hour worse than it already is. Nobody likes to be pushed and shoved as they are trying to get to work, like the cattle we are above the platform. Let’s try to be humans for once and make the process smooth. Move on over and wait.

4. Complaining that people need to move when there is literally no room left

Don’t be the person screaming for people to move into the subway when there is CLEARLY no room. Unless you are blind (or overly optimistic), you are quite aware that you cannot make it on the subway. Sorry NYC, not sorry. Can’t wait for the next train? Will you be five minutes late for work like you are every other day because you’re getting Starbucks? Patience is a virtue New Yorkers simply don’t have.


5. Not giving your seat to a child, pregnant woman, elderly person, person with disabilities, etc.

You see that pregnant woman over there? What about the person with a cane? A two year-old child? Guess what? They need the seat more than you do, so offer it up. Stand for the last 10 minutes of your commute. Utilize those leg muscles. If they refuse it like the homeless sometimes refuse your offered food, at least you tried. It’s for the greater good.

If you can survive the NYC subways, you can survive anything. Cut these terrible train habits, watch the gap, and live your life like Pizza rat.