We set standards for how we conduct ourselves when moving to a new country, especially the way we talk, move or interact with locals.
Of course, most commuters are perfectly polite, but it doesn’t hurt to remind foreign straphangers what’s generally acceptable when moving in or out of a packed train in Taipei.
According to the Taipei Rapid Transit Corp. (TRTC, 臺北捷運), also branded as Metro Taipei (Taipei MRT), 73 commuters hurt themselves on the subway system while “twalking” — texting while walking really slowly — between January and August 2021.
Metro Taipei has since rolled out a poster campaign on this subject, stressing that “looking at a screen while walking imperils one’s own safety and that of fellow passengers.”
That’s the core aspect of this campaign as one in two people involved in falls were twalking at that time. Another twenty-five passengers were hurt collaterally for the same reasons over the same period.
If you don’t want to trip while commuting, Metro Taipei is inviting you to make good use of your smartphone and free the path of those getting off or entering the train. If you need to exit the train for others to get out, put your phone away and do it, and then simply jump back on. Simple!
The same is true for giving up your seat to an elderly or pregnant passenger. It’s an obvious rule of transit etiquette worldwide but going above and beyond that rule is even better.
Here’s another example: when you walk your way in or out of the train, give a quick wave and even mouth the words, “Thank you” to other fellow passengers. This small act is always appreciated.