Essential Etiquette for Riding Transit

Jul 29, 2019

Public transit is a team sport.

That pretty much sums up what you said the most important etiquette is when riding transit. Our other favorite comment: “In general, I try to stay aware of how my presence impacts others and minimize that however possible.”

So, what are the best ways we can all minimize our impact on one another? Here are your top answers:


28% “Please don’t be a seat hog”

  • “Give up my seat to a pregnant woman, elderly person, or a person with disabilities”
  • “One ticket. One seat. Until you buy a ticket for your backback…keep it on your lap.”
  • “Keep feet off seats, keep your body to yourself”
  • “Take your backpack off so you don’t thwack someone in the face when you turn around.”
  • “No man-spreading. Keep your legs together, guys.”
  • “If you’re going to sit in an empty row, take the inner seat! Leave a spot for someone else to sit next to you without having to ask you to move.”

22% Shhh…

  • “Don’t talk on your cell phone. I once sat near an attorney on MAX while he conversed loudly with a client. Jessica, I hope your court date turned out well.”
  • “Your voice should be heard only by the person to whom you are speaking.”
  • “Use headphones if you are listening to something. Indoor voice. Don’t preach. Let us all pretend we are alone thanks”
  • “Eargoggles when listening to music or movies.”

22% Don’t be gross

  • “Not smelling of weed, nicotine, vape, perfume or other stuff when you get on. I have asthma and it sucks.”
  • “Hold your farts until you’ve disembarked, please.”
  • “Deodorant. Used frequently.”
  • “Shower…. Like daily”
  • “I offer to share my leftover reheated fish with everyone.” (we’re sensing some sarcasm here…)
  • “Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze!”

21% “Don’t be the fish swimming upstream…”

  • “enter thru the front door, exit thru the back…keep that flow.”
  • “Get out of the dang doorway!”
  • “Make room, and WAIT FOR, people who are disembarking. You’re not speeding up the process by blocking their way or trying to shove your way on board before they’ve had a chance to get off the bus!”

13% Say thanks!

  • “My mother taught me to always thank the driver when exiting the bus. Thank you to TriMet staff for doing their job well everyday and getting all of us to our destinations safely. Thank you!”

7% Pay your fare

  • “I pay for my ride.”
  • “Having your HopPass card or Mobile Ticket ready upon entering and not trying to open the app or digging for the card.”
  • “Don’t stand in front of the HOP post on the Max platform! Other people need to HOP.”


  • “If you buy share size Skittles, you have to share with the bus.”
  • “I stand and pretend I’m skiing. Every time there’s a stop it’s my next Olympic qualifier.”
  • “Wear a silly hat on Silly Hats On Transit Day.”
  • “I try to hold in my farts or at least release them as slowly and quietly as possible. If one gets away from me I just jump off at the next stop and act like I didn’t do it.”

So basically, what we’ve learned here is that “the rules we all learned in kindergarten still apply.” Treat others how you would like to be treated, and taking transit can be a pleasant and relaxing experience for us all. 

If you see something that goes beyond a lack of basic etiquette and seems dangerous, please let us know! Text or call 503-238-RIDE (7433). 

Misty Earisman

Misty Earisman

Marketing Communications Coordinator

Can usually be found riding her bicycle, practicing yoga or watching cooking videos. Also really loves goats. | All posts

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