MBTA Rider Pens ‘Etiquette Handbook,’ a Guide to Riding the MBTA

MBTA Green line train

Do you know how to prioritize which seat you should pick on a packed commuter rail train? Do you have any idea which door do you should take to exit an MBTA bus? How about casual conversation, how much is too much?

One local transit rider has dissected life on the MBTA and written answers to every possible question in terms of riding Boston’s public transportation system.

Blogger Mike Tremblay has written the definitive guide to navigating the MBTA titled, “The MBTA Etiquette Handbook” on his blog The Third String Catcher.

The post is broken down by mode of transportation, which sub-sections that discuss the issue of personal space – It’s limited so: “Don’t exacerbate the situation…by putting your stuff on the seat, shifting around too much, etc.” – seating prioritization and conversation.

“Sure, normal etiquette rules apply in most situations on the MBTA as they do in the rest of everyday life, but there are a few unwritten rules (some that maybe only I know about) that need to be plastered onto the walls of MBTA stations and subway cars,” Tremblay writes at the top of the post.

The post contains photo diagrams of seating aboard MBTA modes and a funny graphic about how to properly ride an escalator. And while many of Tremblay’s rules are scientific in approach and well-informed, there’s a bit of conjecture too:

From On the Subway, section 5D:

“If I hear Dirty Water one more time on the subway or in Downtown Crossing, I’m going to vomit. Seriously, you’re a musician, play something interesting.”

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