17 Do’s And Don’ts Of Riding The NYC Subway

Flickr / Geoff Stearns
Flickr / Geoff Stearns

DO support entertainers IF you enjoy their music, have a few coins on you, and they aren’t intrusive or annoying.

DON’T get on the empty cart when every other cart is full. It’s not a gift. It’s a trap.

DO hold your breath and shut your mouth if you happen to be on the smelly cart. Everyone knows it’s rough on there and no one needs to hear you complain about it. Switch at the next stop and be grateful that you have a shower to go home to.

DON’T PRE-WALK. There’s always somebody on a packed train who feels the need to alert everyone that she’s “getting off at this stop and so please if you could excuse me I’d like to annoyingly wiggle my way to the door while the train is still moving, thank you.” Look, lady, have you ever seen someone get stuck on the train? I didn’t think so. Wait your turn.

DO help tourists get to where they’re going. We were all city first-timers at some point.

DON’T be the reason the doors keep opening. Squeezing onto a sardine-packed happy hour train so poorly that your butt/bag is blocking the doorway is not only uncomfortable but totally unnecessary. This is New York, not D.C.. Another train will be here within 5 minutes.

DO feel okay about picking up your phone for a quick “hey I’m underground – call you right back.” Less than 5 seconds on the phone = no harm, no foul.

DON’T feel okay beginning a full conversation and then yelling “Hello!? Hello are you there? Oh shit, I lost him” into the phone when you inevitably lose service. No sympathy.

DO give up your seat for the elderly, pregnant women and people traveling with small children. Even if you aren’t sure they’d want it, it’s never wrong to at least offer.

DON’T put your purse or belongings on the seat next to you when the train is crowded. If they can’t fit on your lap and you’re grossed out by the floor, welp, you should’ve got an Uber, bitch.

DO keep the conversation to a minimum volume. It’s great that you don’t mind sharing every juicy moment from the night before with your friends, but everyone and their mother (or, in many cases, their child) do not need to be made privy to such details.

DON’T put your make-up on. Everyone is getting second-hand anxiety waiting for you to poke your eye out when the train inevitably stops short. Spackle at home, ladies.

DO use HopStop for navigation, because duh.

DON’T count on it for precise timing, though.

DO start a conversation on the subway…IF the person does not have ear plugs in AND if you’re 1-2 stops from getting off.

DON’T eat stinky food. Are you really craving that curry dish so fiercely that you need to dig into it on the train? Come. On.

And finally…

DO slide your subway card swiftly through the turnstile. C’mon. We know you can do it. TC mark

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