Making concessions for the elderly and handicapped is part of what being a good person is all about.
In a recent article I discussed proper train etiquette. Here’s one tip I’d really like to emphasize: please give up your seat to someone who needs it more than you do, and feel free to tell others to do the same.
One of the rudest things people can do on a train is not offer up their seats to someone who needs it more than they do. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on a train and seen a pregnant woman, an elderly person, someone with a disability, or a young child all stand while others sit and watch. I mean, what has the world come to? It’s even worse when able-bodied people are sitting in those seats reserved for disabled people and they still don’t get up. If this happens to you, get up!
If you witness such poor behavior, you can simply say, “I’m sorry, but I think you are sitting in the seats reserved for someone who may need one.” They hopefully will get the hint and offer it up. If they don’t, try again, “Would you mind offering that seat to him and you can have mine if you like?” You are pointing out that person’s lack of manners (which is needed) and also helping the person in need to get a seat. And hopefully they won’t take your offer and will instead realize they should be the one standing. If they don’t do either of these, then, it’s time for you to be the bigger person and offer your seat to the one in need.