How to Use Public Transportation Efficiently

7 easy tips to streamline your public transportation experience.

Stever Robbins
Episode #196

Tip #4: Let Others Out

Speaking of unexpected hugs, I thought the best way to get them is to be right by the door on a crowded bus, train, or elevator when a lot of people need to get out. They all push past me, squeezing and wheezing to get through the 3-inch gap I've left in the doorway.

Bernice taught me to step out first, step to the side, and hold back the crowd waiting to get in. People can exit smoothly and, since I'm right at the door, with just one step I'm the first back into all that luscious new space. Then, of course, I move all the way in.

Now, Bernice hugs me for being so considerate.

Tip #5: Take the Empty Seat

I always thought I was doing a good deed by standing and leaving a seat empty on a crowded bus or train. That would let someone needier than I get on at a later stop and sit down. I was wrong. By sitting down, you're relieving the crowding for everyone else who's standing. If someone needs the seat more than you do, like the little old lady who's been standing because I beat her to the open seat, you can always get up and offer it.

Tip #6: Use a Shoulder Harness or Small, Collapsible Stroller

If you're a parent with a small child, do not, I repeat, do not bring your stroller on the bus or train. Your baby is strong! She's a survivor! She does not need the stroller equivalent of the Four Seasons Presidential Suite to be safe! Strollers block the traffic on public transportation. Use a shoulder harness or collapsible stroller and actually collapse it so people can navigate around you and mini-you.

Tip #7: Keep Your Cell Phone Conversations Quiet (Or Nonexistent)

Remember, you're in public. There are people very close to you. Many of us talk louder into cell phones than we do when talking on a landline or to a friend who's there in person. In public, you need to consciously talk quieter. You really don't want to broadcast the details of your medical procedure to everyone around you. Someone will write them up and post them on Overheard In New York. We'll laugh. You'll die of embarrassment.

Public transportation is a great way to travel. Your commuting time suddenly becomes a chance to read, listen to audiobooks, listen to music, and do your ear training homework. If you don't live in a city with public transit, visit one today! And be a public transit pro by using today's tips.

This is Stever Robbins. I help executives and business owners reclaim their time by aligning their activities around their top goals and helping them stay accountable. If you want to know more, visit www.SteverRobbins.com.

Work Less, Do More, and have a Great Life!

- Overheard in New York, http://www.overheardinnewyork.com
- The Godspell Revival, http://www.godspell.com
- http://www.SteverRobbins.com/getitdoneguy/196-using-public-transportation-efficiently.htm – Picture of my fluorescent sneakers

Subway Sign image courtesy of Shutterstock


About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT. 

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