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SEPTA Riders Concerned About Passenger Etiquette

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Sign displaying etiquette for SEPTA riders.

Sign displaying etiquette for SEPTA riders.

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The subway is normally a quick way to get around the city, but on a train in New York, the subway was neither quick nor calm.

A woman eating a container of spaghetti on the subway gets into an argument with a passenger next to her. The two start yelling curses back and forth before standing up and confronting each other. In minutes, the fight turns physical. One woman dumps the spaghetti on the other and the two start pushing each other around.

SEPTA passengers we spoke with say they have never seen anything that extreme, but it seems every rider has a story of frustration.

“One evening, I was riding the bus,” remembers Angela Allen, “and someone was eating. The driver asked him to stop and he put his food away.”

“Sometimes young people sit where senior citizens are supposed to sit,” said Margaret Gardiner, “and they refuse to leave.”

Youtube videos show SEPTA riders making and eating sandwiches. Other videos show people yelling and fighting. SEPTA says the general rule when riding is to be respectful of others.

“Be courteous,” said Kim Heinle, Assistant General Manager of Customer Service and Advocacy. “If you’re going to drink coffee, make sure it has a lid on it. No open containers, food. No prepared meals. This isn’t Meals on Wheels.”

Passenger etiquette signs posted on trains and buses remind people of the rules, but they are sometimes forgotten or ignored.

“It’s private property,” says Charmaine Jackson, who rides SEPTA buses everyday. “It’s SEPTA property, and they can make rules. If you don’t like the rules, get off the bus.”

The vote for most annoying behavior goes to talking loudly on cell phones.

“They put all their business in the street, and I’m like ‘who is this?'” one commuter said.

But there are two sides to every story, right?

“People tell you ‘this is the quiet car, you’re not allowed to use a cell phone.’ it’s not even the time that they’re looking at it. I’d rather the conductor tell me than you tell me. You never know what’s the important phone call that I’m on.”

Apparently, there’s no consensus about what’s okay and what’s not on mass transit.

To see the complete list of passenger etiquette guidelines, visit http://www.septa.org/cs/etiquette/index.html.

Reported by Oren Liebermann, CBS 3 and Pat Loeb, KYW Newsradio

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