Can you behave properly on the tram? Here’s your chance to find out!
The tram has been running through Beeston for well over 2 years now, and whilst there are still a small number of boycotters, a lot of people use the tram regularly for work, pleasure, or to get to QMC to have an item surgically removed from their person.
The tram is certainly a democratic means of transport, with doctors, dentists and architects rubbing shoulders and sharing seats with tax inspectors, students, pensioners, and schoolkids. This heady social mix can lead to some polite and not-so-polite behaviour, so where do you fit on the tram etiquette scale?
On the platform
1) Prior to your journey, you make your way along the platform after having purchased a ticket or scanned your card. What do you do next?
a) Take a seat in the shelter, or wait patiently on the platform out of everyone’s way.
b) Loiter in front of the ticket machine, but move out of the way when you realise you are blocking it for others.
c) Lean on the card reader and get absorbed in your smartphone, preventing people from scanning their card.
2) The tram arrives, pulls up, and the doors open. Do you:
a) Hang back and wait until everyone has got off before entering.
b) Try to get on quickly to bag a seat, but stop and retreat when you realise it is clearly futile until a bloke on a shopmobility scooter has exited first.
c) Barge straight on, elbowing a gang of grannies, a bloke on crutches and a heavily pregnant woman out of the way in the process.
On the tram
3) You have recently downloaded a few new tracks by your favourite artist which you locate on your phone. How do you listen to them?
a) Discreetly, with the headphone volume quite low so as not to disturb the toddler sleeping in her pushchair next to you.
b) Fairly loud, but are happy to turn it down if anyone complains.
c) Full whack, throwing in plenty of foot-taps and the occasional stamp for good measure.
4) Your musical pleasure is interrupted with a call to your mobile. How do you respond?
a) Your ringer volume is turned down, so you just let it discreetly go to voicemail so you can call back later.
b) Answer it after a couple of rings, telling the caller that you’re on a tram and you will call them back when you get off.
c) Stare at your phone (the deafening ringtone of which is the guitar riff from ‘Man I Feel Like a Woman’ by Shania Twain) for about 20 seconds deciding whether to answer or not. Take the call, and spend 15 minutes loudly chatting shit about the weather, celebrity gossip, and which is the best fast food restaurant on Parliament Street.
5) The tram is very busy, and you are forced to stand right up flat against the doors. When it halts at the next stop, do you:
a) Step out onto the platform to let other travellers off before getting back on.
b) Turn sideways to give people a bit of room to enter and exit.
c) Stand rooted to the spot like a statue of a moron, as folk try to squeeze past.
6) After a bit of movement of people at a busy stop, you find yourself standing near the aisle bit between the rows of seats. Do you:
a) Move right down into the seat area to create space for others to move into.
b) Shuffle towards the seats a bit as a token gesture.
c) Stay right where you are as you’ve got a good pole to lean against whilst you play Farmville on your phone.
7) You have a bit of a cold which is causing a runny nose. How do you deal with it?
a) Blow your nose nice and quietly.
b) Do one great big sniff and hope that clears it.
c) Continually sniff and snotgobble every few seconds for the entire journey.
8) You are feeling peckish, having just picked up a bag of groceries, what do you do about it?
a) Wait until you get off as you aren’t meant to eat on a tram anyway and your stop is only 10 minutes away.
b) Stave off hunger with chewing gum, which you can’t seem to masticate with your mouth closed.
c) Chomp your way slowly through two bags of scampi fries, followed by a Granny Smith and crunchy carrot sticks.
9) You are sitting on one of those flip-down priority seats for the elderly and disabled as the tram pulls into the Interchange stop. You notice an older chap with a walking stick get on board. What do you do next?
a) Stand up and offer the seat to him, holding it in the down position to make it easy for him to sit on it.
b) See if he chooses to find a seat elsewhere before you reluctantly give up your space.
c) Go back to staring at your smartphone and pretend he doesn’t exist.
10) You board a tram which is fairly quiet, and settle down on a double seat all to yourself, placing your bag on the seat next to you. At the next stop a large number of people get on. Do you:
a) Move the bag off the seat so someone else can sit down.
b) Hope there are enough alternative seats for others to sit on.
c) Keep staring at your smartphone and pretend the other passengers don’t exist.
On the road
11) You are driving your car along an unfamiliar and busy stretch of road which is for both cars and trams. Approaching a junction with two exits, one of them clearly marked ‘Tram Only’, what do you do?
a) Take the junction which isn’t marked ‘Tram Only’.
b) Choose the ‘Tram Only’ junction to see if it is a handy shortcut.
c) What ‘Tram Only’ signs?
12) You unintentionally find yourself on a section of the track which is for trams only. Do you:
a) Stop immediately, turn around when it is safe to do so and rejoin the main road.
b) Carry on going to see if it is a handy shortcut.
c) Keep on driving oblivious to your surroundings, past more ‘Tram Only’ signs, rumble strips, and the lack of road markings, not even stopping when you see that the tarmac runs out into just track and sleepers. Eventually you ground your car so that it gets stuck for half an hour until a rescue vehicle can tow it out.
So…how did you ‘fare’?
Congratulations, you are a considerate, respectful and courteous traveller. Exactly the sort of person who people don’t mind being squashed up against on a packed carriage all the way to Market Square.
Overall your behaviour isn’t too bad, but there is certainly room for improvement. Just a bit more thoughtfulness would make journeys a bit nicer for everyone.
Oh dear. Try relocating to London where you can travel on the Underground.