Subway Etiquette 201

Subway Etiquette 201

I didn’t think I needed a follow up for the Subway Etiquette 101 post, but clearly the word did not spread and the subway is still a hot mess. And I mean that literally. It is 30 Celcius out and half the cars don’t have A/C.

So here are more tips for you in case you come to our wonderful city and want to get from point A to B without Uber. Read both articles for full impact and to really feel like a local. Subway Etiquette 201:

  1. I like that your legs are sweaty too and that you press them against mine in a real man-spread. Sexy. Remember though when I attempt to pry apart from you we will stick together and I am married so you might be hard to explain.
  2. Mmmm… mouth breathers. Please stand near me.
  3. If you are an extra large size person, it is ideal if you find an open seat beside someone instead of taking an open seat with no neighbour. This leaves plenty of room for families travelling together. Good thinking.
  4. It is best to ‘let one go’ just as you are exiting the car. That way you leave the present with the other riders and they are not tempted to give it back saying ‘you shouldn’t have’.
  5. Taking your shoes off is a relief after a long day. By all means air those toes out for all of us to enjoy.
  6. An umbrella is best suited on the floor to roll around and to make it into the isle for others to trip over appreciate.
  7. Body odour is most often cherished while holding the handrail above other passengers.
  8. When faced with open seats, it is ideal if you sit beside a young girl who is frightened by your rasta hair, excessive tattoos and coffin shaped guitar case. Face your fears head on I always say and it is time that girl grew up and got a pair.
  9. Grooming is a suitable activity for the subway. You have the time to brush your hair and clean your nails. Heck, there is even a perfectly good floor to put your nail clippings and boogers on. Why let it go to waste?
  10. If you need to get off and people are in your way, the best course of action is to meekly say excuse me. No one likes a pushy person or an authoritative stranger. If you miss your stop, try, try again.
  11. Ugly cries on the subway are a way to endear yourself to other passengers. Especially accompanied with the ‘please help me and my snot’ look. Charming.

I hope you have all the information you need to feel safe and secure on Toronto’s Transit System. Get out those tokens and Purell and ride the rocket.


  1. A coworker of mine just got back from a Toronto vacay. I’ll have to ask him if he rode the subway. Too bad I didn’t have your lists to give him before he left! The closest thing I’ve ever been to a subway, besides the Subway restaurant, is riding on the city bus. But even those experiences have been pretty tame because it’s been either park-n-ride to/from work (so with more of the “business” class), and a trip, again from a park-n-ride, to go into the city for a big venue (so a few weirdos, but apparently nothing compared to the subway). I have lived such a sheltered life. Hey, but I’m not complaining. 🙂
    kdcol recently posted…Not another graphic blog postMy Profile

  2. Thanks, Kristine! Those are all excellent ideas and I now feel totally prepared to ride the rocket in Toronto. I think boogers are best wiped either on or under the seat, but that’s just my personal preference.

    When I was twenty I spent six months in Mexico City as part of my university’s international exchange program. I rode the subway practically everyday. The men there are very adept at groping, and they especially like to target young, fair haired women. I got pretty skilled at defending myself with my elbows, knees and feet (they really don’t expect it when you to stomp on their feet with all your might). One of the hardest parts was entering and exiting the train because instead of waiting for passengers to leave the car, those trying to get on will push their way in at the same time, causing a massive shoving contest. I assumed that our neighbors to the north would live up to their polite reputation, though. Who knew?

    • We went to Mexico City last year for my brother’s wedding and loved it (except for the red and gold cab incident)! I did not have the good fortune to ride the subway there but now wish I had. I love me a good grope.
      We are not heathens… We wait for everyone to get off before we get on. But if someone is in our way that is when we pull out the ‘sorry’ in the meek voice. Super helpful if you want to miss your stop and see more of Toronto. It should be in the tourism brochures. I should also recommend a good steam clean for the seats. I suspect that is not green grout being used. Good point.

      • Is there a post regarding the red and gold cab incident? If so I need to read it! So, here’s a strange coincidence: my daredevil brother also got married in Mexico, though not in the City. Maybe our brothers should meet. On second thought maybe not–they’d probably end up dying together on some great misadventure.

  3. It’s nice to know Toronto’s subway system is just as colorful as Moscow’s. Moscow has one additional advisory: Please don’t urinate on the subway but instead use the bushes just outside the station. That way everybody gets to see it.
    Christopher recently posted…Pop Quiz!My Profile

  4. You have seats in your subway cars? Wow! I’ve heard these exist on my local line too, but I’ve never actually managed to see them with my own eyes so I’m not in a position to confirm the rumors.

    Nice post and full of high-quality helpful hints for all those budding misanthropes out there.
    Bun Karyudo recently posted…Canvas BagMy Profile

  5. Also, the best time for you and a buddy to move furniture by public transit is during rush hour. Be sure to position your overstuffed sofa so it blocks the exits on both sides, and box in a bicycle or two as well if you can manage it.

    Yes, this happened. And yet, it is still not the strangest thing I have seen on the Vancouver SkyTrain.
    Spoken Like A True Nut recently posted…The V card trick: Part IMy Profile

  6. I was going to make a comment about the Moscow metro but Christopher beat me to it. All of your advice is applicable to most major public transportation (in my opinion). Don’t forget to include “Please refrain from getting into fistfights and bleeding all over the train floor– save that shit for outside”. This really did happen in front of me once– good times, good times…

  7. Oooh man. Now I regret the chuckle when I read that word hadn’t gotten out yet regarding your previous post – 101. This is just…
    I mean, the worst thing about public transportation is the public.
    And also, I don’t care if you’re big or small or medium, if there are empty two-seaters, why are you sitting beside me?

  8. It’s nice to know that these rules can be applied world-wide. You should write a book or do seminars about it, you’d make a fortune, especially in London I think.
    PinkNoam recently posted…7 Days in FranceMy Profile

  9. […] My judgemental bitch observations (the subway is making me crazy): […]

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