Arriving from another country as an international student leads to many questions about customs and etiquette. We have put together this overview of how to act on public transport in Australia to avoid annoying your fellow passengers.
Here are our top 5 tips for public transport etiquette:
1. Keep your feet off the seats
Even if someone isn’t in the seat now, there will be someone eventually, and they don’t want to sit where your shoes have been. It is considered even worse if you aren’t wearing shoes at all.
2. Avoid eating and drinking
In many countries, it is considered perfectly normal to eat on public transport. In Australia, you can drink some water or other non-alcohol drinks and maybe even sneak in a little snack but don’t expect to be popular if you start feasting on a hot meal, particularly if it smells.
3. Move your bag for other passengers
If you are travelling at a quiet time, it is acceptable to place your bag on an empty seat next to you. However, as the vehicle starts to fill up, you should move your bag to allow another passenger to sit down.
4. Give up your seat if someone needs it more than you.
This rule should be universal around the world, but we thought we would offer the reminder. If it appears like somebody would benefit from your seat, for example, an elderly or pregnant person, then stand up and offer them your seat.
5. Check your volume
Nobody wants to hear the latest Bieber tune blaring through your headphones or have to listen to stories of dramas with your housemates. Keep the music to a level that it doesn’t fill an entire carriage and if you need to shout into your phone, then there might be a more appropriate place for a chat. People will often be too polite to say anything to you but be aware they may be silently hating you!
For more information on public transport in your city see:
Adelaide – Adelaide Metro
Brisbane – Translink
Canberra – Action Buses
Melbourne – Public Transport Victoria
Perth – Transperth
Sydney – TransportNSW