The Definitive Guide to Proper Subway Etiquette in NYC

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What this article really comes down to is: don't be a jerk, broken down into its many iterations. What this article essentially boils into is: respect urban solitude. 

The subway is generally not a place to make new friends or pick up dates. Like, don't ask anyone out on a date on the subway unless you have a really, really good in. Like you're wearing the same shoes or reading the same book.

Otherwise, don't talk to us.

We're sorry to be so adverse about this situation, but it's true. It's just the way the jungle of the subway operates. 

As valiant as holding the doors open for your friends is, it's holding up everyone else's commute. Everyone on the train would hate you much less if you just waited for the next train. 

Read on to learn about these and other guidelines by which you should abide if you don't want everyone on the subway to hate you.


1. Wait for everyone to get off the subway before you get on

spoilednyc HODOR! πŸš‡πŸ™ˆπŸš‡ #hodor #holdthedoors #nycsubway #newyorkers #newyorkersbelike #gameofthrones #GOT #lmfao #dead


Shouldn't this one be obvious? It's like trying to get into a parking spot before the car that was there before has left ... there will be room for you to get in once you let everyone get off.

Plus, there are announcements about every ten minutes pleading everyone to let the customers off the train before getting on. 

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Just, stand off to the side and wait for everyone to get off the train before you try to force your way on. You'll be enraging many people if they have to shove past you to get on the train. Plus, there will be much more room for you to get on the train if you just wait.


2. Eat only odorless food

eddiegoing I absolutely LOVE chicken with onions and garlic sauce! It's one of my favorites! It's too bad she won't share with anyone. #GoingWithEddie #Subway #NYC #SubwayEtiquette #Etiquette #SubwayAssholes #NYCMTA #MTA #NYCSubway #SubwayShaming #Commute #Commuter #CourtesyCounts #NewYorkCitySubway #Mindfulness #Consideration #MannersMatter


Here's a good guide for whether you should eat a thing on the subway. 

If you can smell it from a foot away, like if it's tuna fish or onions, vinegar, basically anything that gives off an odor, you should not eat it on the subway.

If it gives off no odor, like if it's a granola bar, it's okay to eat on the subway. Eating a granola bar on the subway will affect no one's day but your own. Therefore, you won't be making anyone show up at their morning meeting reeking of fish because of someone on the subway.


3. Use the trashcans

jhawkins33 Such a bummer! Why can't NYC keep the tracks clean?? #subwaytrash @nycmayorsoffice @iloveny #uglyNYC #lLexSTop #QTrain


There are trashcans everywhere, scattered throughout every subway station. So when people toss their wrappers onto the tracks, throw their soda cups about, and hack a disgusting lugee into the tracks, we're at a loss to understand.

First of all, can we all take a little bit of pride in our city? We have a feeling the subway would be much less of a dismal place to be if we all stopped treating every subway station like a public trashcan.

Secondly, this matters for logistical purposes. According to 2nd Ave. Sagas, delays and track fires on the NYC subway have increased by 73% since 2003.

We all want to get where we're going faster, right? That would be accomplished more swiftly if everyone could stop littering. Like, really, just hold onto your trash until you get to a trashcan. It isn't that difficult of a concept, is it?


4. Don't bother anyone

yellowboybeautiful Either he's really tired or he's trying to peek at her take home test answers #subwayetiquette #mtaproblems #insomnia #sleepyhead #subway #subwayentertainment #mta #peoplewatching #4train


This includes everything from unsolicited eye contact to sexual assault. As we said, don't be a jerk. Also, don't try to talk to anyone. We live in an absurdly crowded city in which we're all forced to be in each other's space all day long. 

So, we don't want to have a smalltalk conversation with a stranger. We just want to get home from work.

Also, if at any point during your time in NYC, you feel yourself seized by the urge to get on a subway train and start preaching about anyone going to hell, or not practicing the right religion, we beg you not to. Just, please don't.