There's plenty to dislike about public transit - we'd be here all day if we listed the many possible pet peeves. It's not necessarily the fault of the transit system, it's just what happens when you cram a bunch of strangers into a confined space. Throw rainy days into the mix, of which Vancouver has plenty, and you unlock a whole new set of problems.
TransLink has a page dedicated to etiquette on transit but much of it doesn't specify what to do in the rain so we reached out to compile a list of dos and don'ts for Vancouver transit in the rain.
Do be careful on wet floors
If you're using transit, chances are you're in a rush but wet weather means slippery floors. TransLink says while bus flooring is anti-slip, they do get wet during rainy weather and there is no specific extra water removal on buses during service. SkyTrain attendants will set up signage to notify customers about wet floors at stations but it's on us to avoid slipping and notify staff if there is pooling water or flooding.
Don't put your bags and backpacks on the chairs
We've talked about this before. Backpacks are expected to be removed and placed on the ground and unfortunately, no matter how much you paid for it, that requirement extends to rainy days.
"Backpacks and bags are still required to be on the ground – even during rainy weather conditions – as the policy is meant to save space on transit," a TransLink spokesperson tells V.I.A. "This also minimizes the impact of customers accidentally hitting riders who are seated or standing with their backpack when they move around the bus."
You might consider investing in a rain cover that will also protect your backpack from the water and dirt on the floor. Of course, if you're able to get a seat you can always place your bag in your lap.
Do keep your umbrellas pointed downward and away from people
TransLink permits umbrellas on transit vehicles but requires them to be closed and or folded and placed on the floor "when feasible." When it's not feasible to put them on the floor, keep the umbrellas pointed down and try to avoid poking or brushing up against other passengers with them.
Don't let your wet raincoat drip on other passengers
TransLink doesn’t have a specific policy pertaining to raincoats on seats. On rainy days they can leave the seats wet or if you have a hood draped over the back of the seat, can drip into the lap of other passengers.
"We kindly ask that customers exercise their individual discretion to ensure their fellow riders have an enjoyable transit experience," says the TransLink spokesperson.
It's unreasonable to expect people to carry around little towels like at the gym but just keep your hoods tucked in.
Do dress in layers
A Vancouver transit user recently called out TransLink for their excessive heat on buses in the winter. When we are all bundled up for the outside weather, stepping onto a bus with the heat blasting can actually be more harmful than helpful. TransLink suggests wearing layers that are easily removable to make sure you're as comfortable as possible - which is also just good advice for Vancouver weather in general.