Public Transportation
01 Aug

Public Transportation Etiquette: Coronavirus Edition


Public transportation etiquette has always been important, but since the onset of the coronavirus, public transportation etiquette has transitioned from simple politeness to a practice in safety. These days, polite society means wearing a mask and using lots of hand sanitizer. So what does that mean for public transportation, especially as more places go back to work in the office?

While smaller cities may be able to have fewer people use public transportation at a time, larger cities don’t have that luxury. When the coronavirus first swept into New York City, over 90 percent of the subway’s daily riders—that’s 5.5 million people—quit taking public transportation due to the threat of the deadly virus. As the world begins to reopen, people have begun to venture to public transportation again.

Public Transportation Etiquette: Coronavirus Edition

While public transportation companies are working hard to provide more protections for its riders, every individual can take certain precautions to protect their own health and those around them too. A few simple habits can make a difference. They may seem like small actions, but they can really have a big impact on your health.

  • Wear a Mask
  • Avoid Touching Surfaces
  • Don’t Touch Your Face
  • Practice Physical Distance
  • Wash Your Hands

Wear a Mask

Masks provide a simple barrier that stops bacteria from your nose and mouth from spreading into the air. Wearing a mask is one of the best ways to prevent the potential spread of the coronavirus to those around you in close quarters, and is an easy and effective way to protect your community. 

Avoid Touching Surfaces

Bacteria can live for an extended amount of time on surfaces such as railings, benches, door handles, and more. Therefore, it’s important to avoid touching surfaces where you can. Once the bacteria is transferred to your hand, you may touch your phone, bag, or face—essentially spreading the bacteria.

Don’t Touch Your Face

Your hands come in contact with a lot more bacteria from touching surfaces and more. When you touch your face, bacteria and germs can more easily get into your body. Protect your health by not touching your face unless you’ve just washed your hands.

Practice Physical Distance

As you commute from one destination to another, ensure that you have plenty of physical distance between yourself and others. This means maintaining at least 6 feet distance. While this may be difficult on public transportation, it’s easier to achieve on a station platform.

Wash Your Hands

Always take extra opportunities to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer, especially before and after riding public transportation. This is the perfect time to revisit how to wash your hands thoroughly. The key steps include: wet your hands, lather with soap, scrub your hands for the length of “Happy Birthday” twice, then rinse and dry.

A couple of other things to consider is choosing to occupy space that’s less crowded. If a train or bus looks very crowded, wait until another comes with fewer people on it. Avoid touching poles on public transportation by leaning on the wall or placing your feet apart to balance better. Carry disinfectant wipes so you can use one between your hand and a pole.

In some cases, it may make sense to choose another mode of transportation, such as walking or biking. This may make your commute a little longer, but it will lessen your chance of spreading or getting the virus.

As information about the coronavirus increases, be sure to check for updates from the local transit authorities about changes for safety and protective procedures.

At StrongGo, we believe in developing a safe and accessible world. That means designing and engineering TekWay detectable warning dome tiles for curb ramps, mass transit platforms, and other pedestrian thoroughfares. Speak with an industry expert today.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/08/nyregion/mta-subway-riding-health-coronavirus.html
https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/the-top-20-public-transit-etiquette-rules-you-should-know-and-follow
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/using-transportation.html