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16 NYC Subway Riding Rules For Better Subway Karma! It's Not Hard To Be An Accommodating New York Commuter

BY Carlie Zootash | Aug 21, 2014 09:53 PM EDT


(Photo : MTA)

 16 NYC Subway Riding Rules For Better Subway Karma! I'm not a religious person but I believe in racking up good subway karma.  Most subway instructions are told or written, but these are the rules that are unspoken...the rules only experienced and courteous New Yorkers live by.  Just follow these simple subway rules and watch your good subway karma explode.  Your platform wait time will go down, while your potential to score a seat will go up.  Smelly people will walk away and train traffic delays will be minimized to only times you are not in an NYC rush. 

1.     Let people off the train before you get on.  You'd be surprised how many people don't do this and it is flat out rude.

2.    Unless you are rushing to the hospital to see your grandmother on her deathbed, do not hold the doors of the train open.   You disturb the schedule of hundreds of people.  You are not special. Wait for the next train.

3.    It doesn't say it but we all know it.  The left side of the escalator is for passers.  Lazy people stay right. 

4.    Have proper headphones.  Despite your undying love for your song, nobody else wants to hear it.  And if anyone can hear your music WHILE listening to their ipod, your subway karma really takes a hit.

5.    Giving up your seat to the old and pregnant is a no-brainer, but why not go the extra mile? If somebody looks tired, they are carrying a heavy load, or just having a bad day, be kind and get off you're behind.

6.    The seats are for people, not things. Put it in your lap or on the floor.

7.    If subway is packed do not lean on the poles.  It's shaky and many hands need that pole so as not to try and surf to the next station.

8.    Some announcements are very important but hard to hear due to our genius MTA staff hiring non English speakers.  If you think your neighbor hasn't heard correctly and you have, relay the message.  You may be saving them hours of backtracking to their stop.  Mega bonus karma points you nice New Yorker!

9.    This is for when you really want to pick up those big karma points: Help someone on the stairs with strollers or luggage.  We could all use a hand sometimes and everyone will think you're a real stud for being a kind stranger.

10.This is not so much a rule, just something I observe too often to not bring to your attention. When swiping your metro card at a turn style don't worry about the opposing traffic going through it.  No matter how many times it goes around, when it is your turn to walk through, your swipe will be valid.  Wow, MTA got something right.  

11. If you have the option, don't sit in front of the subway map.  Not everyone like myself has a subway map tattooed to their brain.  Some people actually have to look at the map.  Let them.

12. If subway is crowded, move to the middle of the train.  Hundreds more people could fit if everybody did this.  When it is your stop you will have no problems getting off so step all the way inside.

13.Don't throw your garbage on the train.  People avoid it like herpes and it is a seat underused all day. 

14. At one point every New Yorker has missed their stop because they are sleeping.  If someone is completely zonked out it is a nice idea to wake them.  Especially if they are a woman and it is late at night.  Ok, I've passed out on a train and been woken by a Good Samaritan and was so appreciative that I did not ride the train all the way to Coney Island.  You're a New Yorker now and have good judgment.  Use it.

15. Load up your metro card every time you use a machine.  If everyone did this, instead of buying one ride at a time, the lines at the machines would be a lot shorter.  And the MTA attendants can actually help people with useful information instead of wasting their time selling metro cards.

16. Don't give money to panhandlers on the train.  It's worse than feeding the pigeons.  It only encourages their disruptive behavior.  You have no idea where that money is going and it's probably towards something negative.  Keep your karma up by donating to homeless shelters or a charity you are moved by.  If they are entertaining to you in some way and you want to reciprocate the favor,  that is acceptable.  There is a man that frequently plays the electric violin on the 456 train and his music relaxes me.  So in turn I give him money.  It's one New Yorker helping out another and that's a beautiful thing.

Try your best to practice these rules and make the NYC subway system a more enjoyable place for all.  Good on luck on your underground travels!  Keep that Karma coming!

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