Don’t Break These Cardinal Rules on Aussie Public Transport

Public transport: The limousines of the working class. Whether it’s a train or a bus, these elongated boys will get you where you need to go. What’s more, they’ll do so whilst not breaking the bank or being a fossil fuel menace. 

However, unlike a private limousine, public transport is public. This means that you have to share it with other humans. Additionally, because Aussies have been sharing this resource for ages, a culture has been built around its use. Therefore, when you ride on public transport, there are a bunch of unspoken rules. 

But what are these cultural rules and regulations? How do you know if you’re slaying or in the midst of a public faux pas? Well, if you need to get the low down, you’ve come to the right resource. 

Here’s a handy list of the public transport rules you should follow in Australia:

Rule One: Thou Shalt Listen to Music With Headphones

Dear Dazza, 

No one wants to listen to R Kelly bleed through your Blackberry speakers. It’s 5.30pm in the arvo, everyone’s tired, and we all want a slice of tranqulity. Steal my 2010 iPod headphones from my house, I don’t care. You should be sent to Mars for your crimes against this bus.

Joel Burrows

Rule Two: Thou Shalt Binge TikToks With Headphones

Now, I will admit, my first two rules are similar. However, there’s one major difference between them. Playing TikTok sounds to a bus or carriage full of passengers is so much worse.

This is because nobody wants to hear the following succession of noises:

  • Thirty seconds of Metro Boomin playing seven times in a row.
  • The audio of someone crying while breaking up with their lover.
  • Thirty seconds of Metro Boomin playing eleven times in a row.

And again, this could all be solved with a humble pair of headphones. There’s just no reason to be this inconsiderate. 

If you are this person, please, I’m begging you, get your house in order.

Rule Three: Thou Shalt Not Sleep on a Train During Peak

If you’ve ever ridden an Aussie train, you know that some people nap on them. They either uncurl in a corner or lie down. Now, this activity is sometimes more than fine. If a carriage is basically empty, it’s socially acceptable to sleep.

However, if your train is crammed during peak hour, then this pact gets flipped on its head. If someone’s standing, you cannot take up two or three seats. If you’re playing sardines, you can only snooze smooshed against the window.

Hey, I’m sorry, that’s just the way that is.

Rule Four: Thou Shalt Be Quiet on the Quiet Carriage

Quiet carriages: A carriage on a train where the passengers are requested not to make a tonne of noise.

In 2016, the librarian Brian Yatman wrote a beautiful ode to the quiet carriage. He described them as a sanctuary, a place of refuge for those about to slog through a day’s work.

“Everybody knows the score,” stated Yatman. “The hardcore commuters nurse coffees and hangovers, too tired to speak. Bleary-eyed, we nod at each other and take our seats. A monastic hush descends as we reach for laptops, smartphones, and books. Some drift off, lulled by the aircon hum and the gentle rocking of the train.”

Yet, despite the fact that everyone has known “the score” for aeons, some folks still chat on the quiet carriage. Some folks boisterously take phone calls, while others use them as their personal DJ den.

Now, all of these peccadillos are cringe. The quiet carriage is meant to be quiet. Such public transport rules should be binding.

Related: Transport for NSW, Stop Stealing My Money

Related: Will There Be More NSW Train Strikes in 2023?

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