Monday, November 26, 2007

More light-rail tips from readers

With tens of thousands of people sampling Charlotte’s first light-rail line this weekend, the advice is flying.

People with light-rail experience in other cities are sharing more tips for proper etiquette on the crowded trains, in response to today’s article on the subject.

A sampling of responses:

--“As a veteran of many commutes in the northeast, the number one etiquette tip I could give people here is PASSENGERS GETTING OFF OF THE TRAIN HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY (to those getting on). Trust me – this will be the first rule of law implemented by routine passengers. Especially for those who think that the train comes just for them and when the doors open, it’s their right to get on as quickly as possible. Hey, it happens at the door at Dunkin Donuts all the time - it’ll happen on the train.” - Jim Mitchem

--“ALWAYS allow passengers to exit before entering the car. Keep away from the door to allow a speedy exit.” --Transplant from Boston, Bette Rega

--“I agree with your list of rules of etiquette for the light rail, but I'm concerned that you passed over one important rule - that a man should give up his seat for a woman. This may not sound politically correct, but it is still the rule of etiquette. Men need to be taught that this is the proper expectation of society and women should be taught to accept this courtesy with grace as a gesture of respect towards them.” --David C. Judge (Blog author’s note: I’m not sure I agree with this point in cases where people of both genders are equally able-bodied, but I was horrified to learn recently that riders on the Gold Rush uptown bus failed to yield seats to an 8-months-pregnant friend of mine. Use common courtesy, people).

--“There’s at least one more very basic rule you omitted: Let passengers on the train exit before trying to push your way in. When we rode LYNX yesterday, we could tell we were riding with novices. I’m sure that will self-correct with experience.” --Rheba Hamilton

--“I noticed two biggies we dealt with and they constantly remind us of in DC:
1) When the doors open, if you are waiting on the platform, please step back to allow customers to exit. Think about it: if let them leave, it makes more roomfor you! And it makes it easier for both parties to enter and exit the train.
2) When boarding, please move to the center of the car. Because - believe it or not - others also may want to board and they don't want to squeeze by you.” --Keith Hall

--“We visit D.C. all the time and ride the metro system. Great system to get downtown. However, they’re not as nice as we are down here. Everyone’s in a hurry. They have signs for $100 fines for littering, including leaving your newspapers behind. One thing is, the doors. Everyone knows you have limited time to get off and you better be ready. The doors close and there is no pushing them open. That’s something we’ll have to train ourselves about down here. Hopefully, they’ll have plenty of marketing and signs to help relay these messages, like other systems have.”--Gary Veazey, Albemarle

And lastly:

--“I am a Charlotte native....Oh please, you don't have to teach etiquette to a Southerner. We were taught manners and courtesy since we started talking.” --Shelia Boone

That may be true for many Southerners - but surely not all, and I never said all train novices were born here. Any more tips out there?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, bring a map! I'm lifelong Charlottean and I still totally whiffed on what stop equated to where. A 12 block walk down pedestrian un-friendly south boulevard at night will teach you!

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Watch your step. The curbing around the Camden Rd.-East Blvd. stop is really funky and multi-leveled. Pitches you right out into the road if you are not careful.

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CATS should have published the fact that we would be forced to exit the Lynx at the end of the line at 485. There was no warning of this. On Saturday afternoon, during the busiest time for the free light-rail rides, the police were JERKS, yelling at everyone to GET OFF THE TRAIN NOW! They should have and could have been a lot nicer. I was highly agitated (as were many thousands of others) at how this was handled. Being forced to ride the smelly City bus back was NOT the way to convince me to ride public transit. The above poster was correct. Charlotte natives are raised to have manners and don't need to be taught to have them.

2:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just grab the bus: it goes more places, takes less time, and picks you up closer to home! All that and it doesn't even cost more than the train!

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The cops were just fine saturday afternoon and common sense was you would have to get off and wait to get on another train (or bus). I thought the whole thing was run very efficiently considering the crowds (whom all seemed to be having a very good time).

The only thing I would add is that people learn to grab on to a bar or pole quickly if you're left standing. One thing I learned when I was 10 years old in Boston was 'If you're going to live in the city, you need to be quick'.


3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

-You had to be TOLD to get off the train at the last stop? It's a commuter train, it's not Carowinds.

Best question I heard on the Lynx today. "What happens if you want to get off where it doesn't stop?"

Well...did you ever see one of those old Western train robbery movies? Tuck and roll.

5:25 PM  
Blogger owenandbenjamin said...

To say that all men should give up their seats for all women is so out dated and stupid.

I take the subway in Los Angeles and I always give my seat to handicapped, elderly, woemen OR men holding very small children AND pregnant women.

I have been riding for over 7 years and it is rare for a man to give up his seat to an able bodied women and it is not necesary.

Regarding letting people off first, well duh. How can anyone not figure that out even if they have never ridden before. What do you think? You pack everyone into the train first and THEN let those off who want to get off. It is called common sense.

6:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw a young flop her ninny out and start feedingh her baby on the train; What scared me was her warm up to get pumped up so to speak I was afraid I would get squirted.

6:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have seen so many young mothers breast feeding their babies and laughing while doing so; Look I know babies are hungry but to flip out a milk holder right of me in wamart and just laughed. I must have been red as roses.

6:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Next time someone 'flops their ninny out', tell them that there's no food or drink allowed on the train, and they shouldn't be allowed to do that unless they brought enough for everyone. Line forms to the right.

6:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look this is Gary Pruitt from Sacremento , Im asking this obnoxious person who keeps getting on here to knock it off. I have been watching your posts young man ; you need to go out and get a job and keep busy. And stay off this board with the obnoxious statements . You must of had a bad childhood; why dont you get a dog or something and leave m,y reporters alone.

7:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey "Gary". I'd pick a tougher guy to impersonate than the pretty boy exec from the "Fresno Bee". Next time just tell us you're Rupert Murdoch.

10:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And wouldn't you think that someone from Sacramento would know how to spell 'Sacramento'?

Seriously, though, what is the policy regarding breastfeeding infants on the train? Wouldn't that qualify as food or drink?

11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Number one rule, based on the first few days:


The credit-card systems are not working yet, so don't try to use your card on the machines -- it might get eaten!

Don't go up to the machine and fumble around trying to find money in your purse or pockets. People behind you may miss their train. Coins work better than bills... and for goodness sake, have it all counted out in advance!

Also, if you are buying a lot of tickets or making a complicated purchase, have the courtesy to ask the person behind you if they'd like to go first.

3:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And pull your pants up and act like you're a part of the majority middle class. Don't forget: these trains are there because corporate Charlotte doesn't like to rub elbows with the "bus people", so try to act less like the bus people.

(and if you think that's a racial reference, you're doggone right it is. Most of the people who need public transit are on the West side. Buses are good enough for those of us on the West side apparently. Needed something a little spiffier for whitey to ride, though. About the time the my people start riding the trains y'all will be back in your cars. Guaranteed..)

5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And Please pull up yo pants HOMY and dont HONK your Horn, you know what horn I mean ; I see Kids wearing baggy pants and long white tee shirt playing wit dar fun machine; Hey look Homey dont stare at me while you HONK DA HORN HONK DA HORN

7:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good thing the LIGHT RAIL is up high on the Bridge they would steal it if dey could .

7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

omg..a ninny on the train....i know you women think is just a natural thing and that we as a society shouldnt be offended but you know taking a poo is natural too and you dont see me on the train doin that now do ya....

9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey West side, the train is along South Blvd for the Hispanics, not for whitey.

I see that the stations have already been "tagged". Some low-lifes don't appreciate anything nice.

4:31 PM  
Blogger cltgamer said...

Only other thing I've not seen mentioned is this: when the train is full (or packed as it is on game days), when folks need off, that means YOU MOVE OUT OF THE WAY, including off the train if necessary to let them out. Criminy! I literally had to yell "move" at a couple people, and give them a gentle shove to get them to understand that the lady with a baby stroller behind me needed room made to get off the train. How freaking hard is it to understand this? (Understand, I didn't yell at or push anyone the first time I requested they move, only the 3rd time.)

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does it surprise you ? Southerners ride the rail just like they drive their cars - clueless.

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for moving down from NY and letting us know what we're doing wrong.

12:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are very welcome.

I've been here 20 years and you guys still don't get it. Pay attention.

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've been here 20 years? Sounds like you're not getting it.

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

h steinbrenner,

Real funny STEINbrenner. Sure you aren't from NY ?

Yeah, I guess the South will always have pockets of ignorance. That's why I stay uptown and in the surrounding neighborhoods. More Northerners there !

7:32 AM  

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