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Cultural Nuances Of The U.S. & Italy

Surviving the Subway

Unwritten Rules

Mastering the Milan subway, or any other city’s urban transit system, demands more than just purchasing a ticket; it entails embracing a code of conduct that, if observed, can turn a chaotic commute into a smooth ride. With over two decades of navigating this subterranean network, I’ve garnered the wisdom of a veteran, ready to impart the secrets of enduring rush hours and evening travels with sanity intact.

Fundamental Rules

First and foremost, there are fundamental rules that may seem obvious, yet many disregard or overlook. One such rule is adhering to the right side on escalators. Few things are as exasperating as being stuck behind someone blocking the path while racing for the next train or rushing to work. And regarding trains, allowing all passengers to disembark before boarding is a basic act of respect. There’s no need for the frenzy of people attempting to board and alight simultaneously.

Another vital principle is yielding seats to the elderly, pregnant women, and those with special needs. It’s not merely about courtesy but also about empathy towards those who may struggle to stand for extended periods.

Respecting the personal space of fellow passengers is equally crucial. While the subway can become cramped, pushing or invading others’ space is never acceptable. Maintaining composure even in the midst of the packed crowd is a testament to maturity and mutual respect.

Moreover, small yet thoughtful gestures can enhance everyone’s journey. For instance, removing backpacks during boarding or disembarking can ease congestion and stress. Similarly, speaking softly contributes to a more peaceful environment.

Lastly, but no less important, purchasing a ticket is the bare minimum in supporting efficient public transportation. It’s not just a legal obligation but also a civic responsibility towards the community.


Additional rules to suggest?

Adhering to these unwritten rules can transform a subway commute from a trial of patience into a pleasant and hassle-free experience for all passengers. If you have additional rules to suggest, feel free to share them in the comments. After all, After all, we’re all in the same boat (or rather, the same train).

by Severino Ricci

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