Bad habits people need to stop doing on public transport

Most of us spend a good amount of time commuting via public transport, whether it’s on the cutie Bus 825, the new TEL line, or simply taking a long scenic bus ride around the country. So naturally, we’ll encounter some colourful people along the way. We’re not talking about Stand-up Stacey or Bag-down Benny.

We’ve rounded up a list of gross things people do on public transport, from picking their noses to doing pull-ups on the handlebar. If you’re a guilty party, please stop. And for the rest of us, may this list validate your fury and injustice.

Note: all photos have been clearly photoshopped – we did not become an actual menace for the sake of content. 

1. Airing feet on the opposite seats

Airing feet on the opposite seats

Unfortunately, this might be a common sight we see, especially in buses – passengers airing their feet on the seats. Why they think we can’t smell the stink, we’ll never know. But keep your toes in your shoes, we don’t need to see your fungal-infected toenails. Your outstretched feet also take up space, and others can’t sit since you’re occupying the seats.

2. Manspreading 


Here’s the hard truth about manspreading – not only does it take up space, it also exposes your bulge to the world. And nobody needs to see that. Also, ladies, manspreading doesn’t just apply to the male species. If you’re wearing a dress or skirt, remember to be aware and cross your legs. We don’t want any unwanted peepings to occur.

3. Kiap-ing the poles with their butt cheeks 

Kiap-ing the poles with their butt cheeks 

We get that you’re tired after a long day of work. But do you really need to kiap the poles with your butt cheeks for balance? If you’re leaning your entire body on the pole, other passengers won’t have space to grab the pole for balance. The poles are meant to be shared, people. Plus, what if you accidentally let out a fart? Gross.

4. Bringing pungent food onboard (& feigning ignorance)

Bringing pungent food onboard

Technically, bringing pungent food onboard isn’t illegal – unless you’re carrying durians. But there are other foods that give off a funky smell too. We’re talking fermented soy products, shrimp-flavoured food, stinky tofu, and this might be controversial, but anything with belacan. Sorry not sorry to have said that, but these foods might not be tolerable for everyone.

5. Doing pull-ups 

Doing pull-ups 

Hi sir, this one not monkey bar ya. The bus or train isn’t your personal gym, so please don’t do pull-ups with the handrails. It’s disruptive, prevents others from holding the handrails for support, and frankly quite dangerous. Leave your working out to actual ActiveSG gyms instead.

6. Couples full-on PDA-ing 

Couples full-on PDA-ing 
Keep it PG13.

GET A ROOM! We understand that love is an illogical emotion, but the rest of us can do without the intense PDA. We’re just on our way to from work; the last thing we want is to hear the exchange of saliva or to see you sneakily touch your girlfriend’s boobs. Think about the young kids onboard too – let’s not scar their brains.

7. Doing personal grooming like cutting nails or flossing teeth

cutting nails or flossing teeth

It’s called PUBLIC transport, for a reason. Do your personal grooming like flossing and nail cutting at home. Aside from the fact that it’s very unglamorous, germs and saliva also get deposited everywhere – machiam Songkran Festival.

Some might not agree with this, but makeup application on buses and trains should be done at home too. The potential for loose powder and eyeshadow particles to fly about and stain others’ clothing is just too high. So maybe wake up earlier and finish your makeup at home before heading to the office.

8. Refusing to make room for others 

Refusing to make room

Unless you’re on the Train to Busan with zombies chasing you, make room for others and wait for your turn to board the bus and train. We’re also pointing fingers at those who refuse to move and let those on the inner seats alight, and those who leave their bags on the seats. Seats are for humans, not inanimate objects.

9. Playing their music or videos out loud

Playing their music or videos out loud

Newsflash – this isn’t Zouk or Marquee. Playing your music or videos out loud just isn’t the vibe for public transport, especially during the early hours before 8am. Use noise-cancelling headphones instead. To those who have extremely loud and obiang ringtones, please answer your phone within 3 rings. The jarring tunes give everyone a rude and unnecessary shock.

10. Leaving bodily substances all over the train

Leaving bodily substances

We get it, you took the train. You don’t have to leave proof that you were here. And by proof, we mean your bodily substances like sweat and hair oil. We’ve seen one too many grease stains on the transparent glass panels where people have rested their oily hair on. If you’ve accidentally left a mark, do everyone a favour and wipe it off with a wet tissue.

Special shoutout to those who pick their nose and ears: if you wipe your fingers on the seats, we’re calling the police on you.

Disgusting things people do on public transport

We’ve been blessed with great public transport in Singapore, no doubt. But whether we can say the same for the passengers, we’ll leave that unanswered. If you have friends or family who exhibit any of the abovementioned behaviours, send them this article as a subtle “please stop being a menace” hint.

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Photography and photoshop by Em Loza. 

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