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How Not To Be A D*ck On The Montreal Metro This Winter: 8 Tips & Desperate Requests

Being a little considerate can go a long way.

Staff Writer
A metro train arrives at Places-Des-Arts station.

A metro train arrives at Places-Des-Arts station.

Public transit, like any other social scene, is full of secret rules and unspoken agreements that can either make travelling a massive pain or smooth as silk. When you're on the metro or riding the bus, there are some things you can keep in mind so that your fellow voyagers don't spend their whole trip vividly picturing your imminent demise. If you want to avoid the judgmental gaze of your peers and elders, here are eight simple tricks to make sure you're a stand-up citizen (sometimes literally) when it's time to commute.

Stand on the right, walk on the left

As you board an escalator in a Montreal metro station, it's important to note that there are rules to be followed, lest ye be given the evil eye by a disgruntled commuter. It's simple: if you want to stand, stand on the right side of the escalator, leaving enough space for the restless and tardy to walk to your left.

Don't block the metro doors, let people disembark!

When you're waiting to enter the metro, especially at a busy stop, it's (un)common courtesy to stand out of the way of the doors, to allow passengers to get off the damn train before the rabble crowds them in. Let people out, then calmly board the train. It can be that simple!

Take off your backpack

The STM has long encouraged riders to shed bulky bags when the trains and busses become more crowded. Simply placing your oversized laptop bag between your feet on the floor opens up some elbow room for passengers just as weary and irritable as you are.

Don't manspread

Should we really have to say it? Take up one seat — and the requisite one-seat's-worth of leg room — and one seat only. Keep those legs at a reasonable distance apart, paying the slightest bit of attention to those around you to make sure you're not crowding anybody. It's easy, free and makes you look like much less of a drip.

Remember to give up your seat

Speaking of paying attention, be sure to keep an eye out for folks who may benefit from your seat more than you are. Yes, you're tired, but are you pregnant, hurt, elderly or disabled?

And, for the love of God, please don't assume that just because someone looks "normal" to you (whatever that means), they don't actually need your seat. Trust that they wouldn't ask you if they didn't sorely need it.

Bring your dog — with a muzzle

Now that you can bring your dog on the metro outside of a carrier, be sure to follow the new guidelines. Keep your dog muzzled and on a leash, and avoid the first car, which is the preferred area for school groups, people with limited mobility and bikes. Also, note that your precious furbaby is only allowed out of their carrier between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and after 7 p.m. on weekdays.

Wear some headphones and don't take calls

Unless you're in an emergency, taking a phone call on the metro (and inevitably yelling to hear each other, disrupting people's commutes) is to be avoided. And please, please don't play your music out loud. It's fiendishly annoying unless nobody else is in the car with you. Invest in some headphones, or at least turn down the music and hold your phone up to your ear like a weirdo. It's better than pissing off your entire car!

Consider wearing a mask

As the COVID-19 pandemic (and two other viruses) continue to spread throughout Montreal, it's courteous and public-health-savvy to mask up on public transit, including the bus and metro. It's easy, safe and can make travelling much safer for at-risk Montrealers who depend on public transit despite their vulnerability. It may not be mandatory, but it sure is nice.

    Willa Holt
    Staff Writer
    Willa Holt is a Staff Writer for MTL Blog focused on apartments for rent and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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