The unwritten rules of the Metro

Move toward the center of the train. Don’t eat, drink, or smoke on the train. Let people get off the train before you enter. 

These are the basic rules that every Metro rider, new or seasoned, understands and (hopefully) follows; however, there are specific unwritten rules that every rider should know. 

The right side is usually the right side. Its a well-known Metro norm to stand on the right side of the escalator unless you’re in a rush to catch your train. If you are standing on the left, DON’T. And if you are on the left side, keep walking down or up the escalator until you reach your platform. It’s one of my personal pet peeves when someone is standing on the left side, holding up the entire line of people on the escalator.

Have your card on you and ready at all times. Before boarding, have it out to slide over the gate. The same goes for when you get off. No one wants to be that one person struggling to remember where they put their card and, as a result, holding up an entire line of people behind them who are ready to board their train. In addition, make sure you always have enough money on your card to leave the platform. You can check by using the machines placed before the exit/arrival gates as you’re getting off your train. 

Keep walking. Using the Metro for the first time can be confusing, and I definitely know I got lost the first few times I rode the Metro. If you’re lost, don’t stand in the middle of the platform looking up which line you’re supposed to take. If you need to stop at all, stand on the side, out of people’s way. Similarly, if you’re on the escalator, get off quickly and move to the side to try not to get in people’s way. 

Before getting on a train, stay to the side of the doors in order to let passengers get off first, and then board. Once you get on the train, move toward the center of the train to let others get on. If you’re lucky enough to get a seat, be considerate and only take up half of the seat so another person can sit down as well. In addition, if you see someone who would benefit from a seat more than you, such as anyone elderly or injured, please offer to have them take your seat. 

Expect delays and remember the Metro system is not perfect. If your train is delayed, you can get mad, but don’t make it noticeable for the world to see. It’s not the end of the world. There have been multiple times I’ve seen grown adults audibly curse and kick the side of a train because they’re late to whatever event they were headed to. 

Whether you’re planning to ride for two stops or 20 stops, it’s important to know the rules of the Metro so you and the hundreds of other passengers can get to your final destination efficiently and safely. 

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