Public Transport Etiquette

I am a frequent user of the Poverty Wagon (the bus).

Why? Because I am a fanny who didn’t go get their driving license when they were 17, as they hated hearing about cars every fucking minute at school. So my life consists of poverty wagon travel, scrounging for lifts, taking the train and being a little restricted in my movements. I’m cool with it, I made that life choice when I was 17 and to be honest I don’t mind public transport. At times I can actually confidently say I kinda like public transport.

Now hear me out before I’m shunned from the community like a naughty Amish person who tried to use a lightbulb.

Public transport can often be relaxing and where I’m actually pretty productive with writing stuff. I find it enjoyable especially with that feeling where the journey is over and you’re in somewhere new or just your local shite hole of a town. That’s just me thou and I get why a lot of people hate public transport as it’s not all sunshine, rainbows and Scandinavian death metal.

Public transport can also suck shit, and be more shit than gherkins in a McDonald’s burger. Honestly it really can. Aside from the standard delays and cancellations that piss us all off strongly (hiya Scotrail pal) what also can make public transport a shiteshow is well the public.

I hate people and the human race a lot. Not in a serial killer way! More in the way of people’s characteristics and how they act can annoy the shit out of me. I hate humans the most on public transport. It just seems that’s where people are the most impatient and lack etiquette. Yes a Scottish person being the one to be annoyed about people’s etiquette, the irony I know. However etiquette is important on public transport as there’s really an un written rule book about how to act on public transport.

Before I get into a few points on public transport etiquette, we all at times can break it and do things others hate. I for one take my shoes off when on long journeys regardless of the method of transport. A lot people are with me in doing it and a lot of people also hate it. The shoes off debate is a bit of a grey area with public transport etiquette so I’m not going to get too into it however if your feet smell like anus then keep them on.

Now that I’ve humanised myself and not writing like I’m a superior public transport human which we all know I am -Fight me- I’ll get into it.


Most of the time you see me I’ll be cutting about wearing a bag. Unless I’m going somewhere in a pals car or I just want to show off the sexy back piece of what I’m wearing I’ll usually be carrying a bag. Mainly for practical reasons, we don’t need to talk about the purpose of a bag as we all know what a fucking bag does and I’m not the only user of the old bag. Bags yes are mostly practical but can also be very impractical for spacial management when confined to a seat on public transport. On some forms of transport there is a place above you to put you bag however if not then usually they’re sat next to you like they’re your only pal. Now I’m all cool with bags on seats, I do it all the time as I’m very much a big fan of utilising all the limited leg space we get for my legs so my bag gets punted next to me if no human is next to me.

When you’ve got the space to yourself and it’s not busy on the transportation vehicle then it’s perfectly acceptable to put your bag next to you on the seat and cuddle into it. However it is 100% unacceptable against the unwritten code of ethics (what I’m calling it now) of public transport to not move your bag and open up a seat when it’s busy.

I get it you hate humans as well and for sure would rather have no one next to you but just be a reasonable person and open the seat up for someone. The person who is going to sit there will want to be sat alone and doesn’t expect you to be tapping on the seat with much joy and excitement for them to sit next to you. Just be courteous and move the bag down to your feet or whatever so people don’t have to feel more awkward than what they already probably do just to sit there. If no one sits next to you after a stop then ya dancer, you’re the luckiest human on the bus and can put your bag back.

The same applies for people who sit on the aisle seat so people don’t have to sit next to them. Nothing annoys me more than people who purposely make it unwelcoming so you don’t ask them if you can sit next to them unless there’s no other option. If you just prefer the aisle seat then I can live with it but if you’re just a grade A reprobate and just don’t be courteous then you can get the fuck ya massive walloper.
Don’t be that guy who reclines on a chair on a busy sleeper coach on the aisle seat so he can be the only prick with space to himself and have to have the coach driver physically make him let someone sit next to him. You just end up looking more of a cunt than Piers Morgan and he’s a massive cunt. Cheap pop.


Right. I mainly work with kids in outdoor education and activity instruction. I like kids in those environments but holy fuck do kids really fucking annoy me on public transport and in public in general. Aye before you all are like ‘omg but you were once a child and like that’, I know, I get it, I was an annoying wee crying faced wee shite like the rest of them but just because you were a child doesn’t mean you have to like them and suck it up. Honestly just because I was once a child doesn’t make it an excuse for your lack of parenting and for a child to be able scream the house down.
Now before I continue all of this, I get it you have to take children around and that results in having to take the public transport around with them but fucking teach them the ways of public transport etiquette before hand. Teaching them how the etiquette of public transport works and how they have to sit the fuck down, play with their shitey wee toy and shut the fuck up. Doing that will mean a long haired human wearing some black marley headphones will not be giving you the ‘I’m killing you mentally’ stare.

I know it’s not as easy as it sounds but honestly if you’re just trying to get them to stop being wee wanks then you’re doing your job to me. I know at times you can’t get your child to stop complaining or being loud as fuck especially if you are the owner of an alien looking crying wee shite also known as a baby (I don’t like babies and I can’t deal with them). Side note on them please for the love of fuck make a soundproof area on a plane reserved for families with babies and children under 7.
Some children are just the spawns of Satan but again if you’re trying to stop them being annoying as fuck on public transport then I won’t give you the ‘I’m killing you mentally’ stare.


I know this is similar to etiquette with bags however I’m saying it’s more different than similar so it gets its own subsection, if you have any problems with that then form a fucking Union.

We all have different preferences upon where we sit on different forms of public transport. I personally on a coach bus like to be sat window seat on the 3rd row from the back on the right hand side when you look down from the front of the bus. Even after i was in a bus fire (R.I.P shoes, hockey helmet and old iPad) I still like sitting in that same location. Whenever I’m going on a coach bus I try to get there early and be one of the first few on the bus, doesn’t always guarantee I get that seat and I’m well ok with it. Obviously I prefer those seats but I’m not going to have a breakdown over not getting my preferred spot on a coach.

Another ‘nae shit Swankie’ moment but if your usual spot or preferred spot is taken you go sit somewhere else and get comfy there. You do not go and be a wank and sit next to the person in your spot, when there’s plenty of empty open seats available on the semi nicer poverty wagon. It’s awkward for the person next to you, and you’ll be deemed a massive weird cunt when you could actually be the soundest willy in the sausage fest.

I’ve had it before when people have sat next to me when there’s been plenty of empty seats. Now here comes story time, yaaaaaaay!

I once was heading back to the sexy country (Scotland) from Nottingham. I had left Nottingham at 5am to get to Sheffield, to get another bus to Manchester to then get a train to Glasgow. Bastard of a trip. After arriving and killing time in Sheffield for an hour I jumped on the semi nicer poverty wagon. Being sleep deprived I decided upon not sitting in my preferred area by choice – cue dramatic music- and sat in the aisle that gets extra legroom. Bad fucking move. One arsehole decided to ask if he could sit in the seat next to me despite there being enough seats for a full hockey team left. Thinking that doing that is ok is a fucking cardinal sin and deserves a punishment of marbles being stuck up the nose – been there and it’s not fucking fun (I was 4). I was tired as fuck and really didn’t give a shit at the time as, well, I’d been up at 5am running on 4 hours sleep, was more just appreciative that he at least asked and I was going to go nap nap anyhoo. Now I should’ve gone all still game on him and shouted ‘BACK AFF YA SPOOKY BITCH’ however my Maw raised me better and I’m also an awkward fuck so I said aye sure. Another bad bad mistake as I ended up getting minor sexually assaulted by this fuck face and aye it wasn’t a pleasant experience.

If you really want a space on somewhere then go early for it. Early bird gets the kebab. If you can book it then pay the extra money to get that seat, if not wanting to pay then don’t fucking whine that you got the window seat when you wanted an aisle seat ya pavement licking arsewhipe.

There are some Honourable mentions I feel I need to bring up and if you’re guilty of these things then it’s literally just natural selection. Skipping lines, being impatient, getting annoyed at a fellow passenger for no fucking reason, taking all the space up and refusing to give up a seat for an elderly/injured person (massive cunt move).

Be nice to your fellow public transporters regardless of the method. It can be equally shite for everyone. Except for flying, flying is the shit.

Swankie – 23, Scotland. Founder of Loveable Loser.

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