Emily Post Addendum – Public Transit Edition by Katie Anthony and Divya Mohan Little

YNPN Chicago Board of Directors Speak!

Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and similar public transit systems are tricky to navigate and often quite crowded.  Let us help!

Things You Should Have Learned in Kindergarten

  • Do not stare.  Yes, we know that person’s elaborate neck tattoo is fascinating.  Nevertheless, staring is rude.
  • Let the elderly, pregnant, and disabled riders sit down.  Situational awareness has been lost, in this fast-paced and technologically advanced world.  Your e-reader, Angry Birds©, and Words with Friends© games are engrossing.  Still, if you are healthy and have a seat, look up at stops and make sure there isn’t someone who could use that seat more than you.  This is especially true of men in comfortable shoes sitting in priority seating.  And we are aware that determining if a woman is pregnant is a delicate operation.  When in doubt, just give up your seat and you’ll be covered.
  • Say hello to your bus driver, and thanks when exiting the bus.  Your driver is not a mechanical extension of the bus that happens to breathe and drive.

Onboarding and Offboarding

  • Unblock the doorway so people can exit the train.  If you are in the doorway, often times, you will be required to step off the train to allow people to exit.  If you choose to stand in the way, you will be shoulder-checked, and you WILL deserve it.
  • Let people off the train before you board.  Do not stand in the middle of the doorway before the doors open either.  This is not a stampede.
  • Don’t try to hold the doors open.  That always ends badly.  Everyone suffers if the train has to be offloaded because you broke the door.

Personal Space

  • Watch your carry-on luggage.  We cannot even count the number of times we’ve been busted upside the head or pinned to a pole by some inconsiderate person’s backpack.  If it helps with spatial reasoning, think about Tetris© and where your bag makes sense to be.
  • One person equals one seat.
  • The pole is communal.  On a crowded train, do not lean on the pole or use two hands.  This is a supply and demand issue…everyone needs access.

Don’t Be a Jerk

You are that guy when:

  • you forgot deodorant.
  • you let your children run amok.
  • you’re eating tuna fish or some like-smelling food on the train.
  • your fellow passengers know what you’re having for dinner, who cheated on her boyfriend, or whatever else you’re discussing on the phone.  If you must talk on the phone, please keep the profane language to a minimum.  Maybe we’re becoming fuddy-duddys, but the f-bombs are a touch disconcerting.
  •  everyone riding with you knows the song playing through your headphones.

Not everyone is a Chicagoan

Some rules aren’t quite as intuitive.

  • Ride the escalator on the right; leave the left for people to walk.  We’re excited that you’re in our city, generating revenue, but rush hour is a rat race.
  • Move to the middle of the train or back of the bus.  Don’t worry, you’ll be able to get off.
  • Ask for directions when the bus is in motion.  If you’re not on the right bus, it’s just one block.

We’ve all been guilty of breaking the rules of CTA etiquette.  Together, we can mend these troubling trends, and travel in harmony to our destinations.

Katie Anthony, Administrator, Program Committee & Scientific Sessions, American College of Surgeons would like to help strengthen Chicago’s non-profit community by promoting communication between Chicagoland non-profits, as well as increasing their interaction with local government. This is one reason she is so excited about her new role as Communications Co-Chair for YNPN Chicago. Currently Katie works in the Education Department of the American College of Surgeons and previously worked at the University of California, San Francisco. She is an active volunteer with other non-profits including Woman Made Gallery, the Junior League of Chicago, and her alma mater Carleton College.
Divya Mohan Little, Communications and Project Director, IL Maternal & Child Health Coalition also serves as the Communications Chair for the YNPN Chicago Board of Directors. Prior to moving to Chicago, Divya worked for the National Assembly on School-Based Health Care , as Communications Director.She has almost ten years of non-profit and communications experience, including positions at the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Epoch Communications. Divya received her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Journalism from Washington & Lee University and her Master of Arts in Communication from George Mason University.
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