Luggage, Luggage, and Stuff, Using Seats for Butts

I was reading TriMetiquette, Portland’s local transit blogger of etiquette.  I actually found a point that I disagree with.  Here’s why.

First, the point that was made was,

“It was interesting reading recent posts about having bags on seats. What is the recommended etiquette for traveling to the airport on the Red line with luggage?”

TriMet is really lenient about luggage and other things on seats.  However MBTA, New Jersey Transit, MTA, Metra, and about every other system in the country, and especially the world hold to a simple rule.

“Seats are for the posterior of a human being”

So luggage does not go in a seat.  Neither does your dog that is legally or illegally on transit.  Your feet absolutely do not go in a seat.  The list goes on.  People often however don’t respect this, and I actually don’t profess much need to straighten someone out about it like I do many things.

If the objective is etiquette though, I’d personally take a queue from the rest of the world and NOT put anything except my butt in a seat.  On an aside, that just enables you to not have to pick up your luggage and put it on the ground if someone requests the seat next to you.  Because if there is an available seat that a human isn’t sitting in, you must release the seat.  If you refuse I believe you can even be fined on most systems, often they fine you before there request is even made, and at TriMet I believe they can fine a person in relation to this.

If you refuse me, I’ll just move your crap and it is getting tossed on the ground.  Even though I rarely say anything about stuff being in a seat, if it’s the only one, I’m going to sit there.  So respect the riders, leave seats for butts.

As I wrote this I thought, the Muni Manners ladies also wrote some things about this.  I went digging and realized they’d written multiple entries on this topic;  Etiquette Rule #8, Etiquette Rule #23, and Etiquette Rule #34 too.

Thx for riding!


  1. They actually did try luggage racks: See

    I think they found that people wanted to keep their luggage next to them. Also note how it takes up two of the priority seats (and not the bike rack, which wouldn’t work as long as the trains are also general use, as well as serve airport employees who have to bike one way but don’t want to the other way).


  2. Interested they put racks in there like that. Personally I think it is just fine the way it operates now. We don’t need express Red Line Service, if you want that then call one of the taxi’s, and we don’t really need the luggage racks, for reasons you just pointed out.

    Good pictures you have too. Those are neat.


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