Photo cred - Victor Hernandez
Thousands of Montrealers take public transit on the daily, and yet only a fraction of them know how to act like civilized people when doing so. To keep the level of rage-filled fumes on buses and metros in Montreal at a minimum, here are a few things to take note of whenever you're out on the STM. Don't think none of these apply to you, because trust, you've pissed someone off without even knowing it. Time for a lesson in Montreal bus and metro etiquette.
Respect The Lineup
Some people start mucking up even before they get on the bus/train. Getting to stop, you'll usually find a bunch of pleasant folk already waiting for their public transit to arrive. The respectful thing to do would be to join the lineup, or at least take note of who came before and after you, and give them priority on getting on the bus.What people do instead is haphazardly cut in, especially if the bus/train is just arriving.
Lines don't lose all meaning when a bus or metro arrives.
Those dirty looks you're getting because you cut in line right when the bus/train doors opened are entirely justified. God help you if the bus/car becomes full, and other, more respectful and timely citizens didn't get on because you're a line-cutter.
Be Ready To Go
Here'e one just for the buses:
A daily frustration of mine are people who just aren't ready to board the bus. Seems easy right? Get your Opus card out, or have you change ready in your pocket, hell, do some leg stretches so you can board the bus easier. All of these are easy fixes to what some people cannot accomplish.
When you watch a light go from green to red at a bus stop because some silly snitches can't find their wallet, or are too slow getting on the bus, is the most frustrating feeling experienced by man. It happens all too often, and thanks to those slow-folks, you're late for work.
Get Out Of The Way, I'm Getting Off
Exiting a bus seems to be just as hard for some people as getting on. The process seems simple enough, but in practice things somehow go awry.
When you're getting off the bus, make it slightly apparent, so that people around you can move accordingly.
On the reverse side, be aware of your surroundings and let people move past you if they need to get off. Nothing is more frustrating than an oblivious idiot standing right in the middle of an aisle (or by an exit door) who can't get it through their thick, ear-budded head that you need to get off. You're just asking for a slap to the back of the head, for real.
Photo cred - Matias
Drivers, Need Ye Be So Hunty?
Bus and metro drivers put up with a lot of crap, like all of the stuff I've already mentioned, plus drunk idiots and who knows what else. That's why you should always treat your driver with mad respect. But bus and metro drivers of Montreal, can you try to return the favour?
I get it, 80% of the people you interact with probably suck beyond measure, and they deserve to be sassed, but what about the 20% who actually do their best to be respectful riders? Can't you cut us some slack, and let us get off in between stops if we missed ours? Or just let us on the bus even though you just left? Please?
Keep Your Shit Together
Boarding the bus with a backpack, a guitar, or a baby stroller? Cool, good for you, just don't be an idiot and make sure it's not getting in anyone's way.
Whatever the reason for having this clunky accouterments, just be smart about it.
Don't be evil and place it in the middle of the aisle for people to trip on or block space. Don't be a douche and put it on a seat. Don't be a tool and let it haphazardly fly away the next time the bus/metro suddenly stops. You have the power, otherwise just leave your carry-along at home, you can't handle the responsibility.
No One Needs To Hear Your Bullsh*t
Getting on a bus or metro car means entering a shared public space, like a cafe or a library. In the latter settings, most people understand that having loud conversations or blaring music is frowned upon. The same applies on a bus or metro car.
Oh, you're talking to your mom about how you need money for books? Don't care. You and your friend can't stop gossiping about how it "got weird" after Max and Simon hooked up? Still don't care. Your earbuds are blaring rap music so loud everyone in a three foot radius can hear? Well, now I do care because you're bothering everyone around you.
Keep your noise to a respectable level, please.
Photo cred - Bill Binns
Sit or Stand, Just Do One Well
Riding the bus or metro isn't exactly rocket science. Either you sit, or you stand. That's pretty much all there is to it, and yet people still fudge it up. People are somehow don't expect the next stop coming just fall into people around them, or even worse, fall onto me.
You do know how a bus and metro system work right? They always stop, so be prepared for it. What, are you too cool to hang onto a pole, or lean against a wall for support? Think you can just rock a power-stance and be fine? Well, your wrong, latch onto something and stop getting annoyingly tossed around.
We Get It, You're Old
Now, I truly do ascribe to the principal of offering your seat to an elderly person, especially if they look like they need it. Still, old folks gotta check their aged privilege at the door sometimes, because just because you're 60+ doesn't mean you're incapable of standing for a hot minute.
Young people get tired too. Sometimes we've worked a 9 hour shift spent standing the whole time and our legs need a rest. Suck it up and stop shooting dirty glares.
The Bottle Neck Effect
When boarding bus or metro car, and it's a little crowded without much seating available, you end up with a bunch of people searching for a place to sit/stand. The proper thing to do is go back as far as you can in the bus/car, so the stream of people behind you can fill up the rest.
What you should never do is abruptly stop because you found a free space and basically jam up the entire line. You may be comfy, but you've just created a bottleneck effect that has crowded the entire front end of the bus/metro car, leaving the back end full of room with no one to enjoy it. Selfish stuff.
Know Where The Bleep You're Going
Before you even get on the bus, shouldn't you know where the hell you're going? I mean, with smartphones, online resources, and the friggen signs telling you the route at all bus stops and metro stations, figuring out your travel plan should be the easiest thing ever. And yet, some people still have to slow down the whole operation by asking their bus driver what direction they're going to, or getting caught in metro doors because they've suddenly had a change of heart/realized they were going to go in the wrong direction. A small inconvenience, yes, but save everyone a little bit of trouble and just use Google Maps.
Tourists get a little slack on this, but don't they have the internet too?
Well there's your daily dose of ranting, hope you learned something about public transport etiquette.
For more rants on all things Montreal, follow Michael on Twitter @MDAlimonte