Essentials

A Guide to Riding Public Transit Hands-Free

Essentials

A Guide to Riding Public Transit Hands-Free

Many of us (under expert instruction) have avoided public transit unless we absolutely have to travel. For those of us who take public transit to shop for essential items like groceries, jumping on the bus or streetcar can feel a bit like entering the twilight zone. Despite the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, even in the best of times you probably don’t want to be touching a bunch of surfaces, so we’re going to tell you the best – and dare we say fun – way to go about doing that. 

 

5 Tips for a hands-free ride on any mode of public transportation 

 

If you’re still figuring out the best way to commute without touching anything – allow us to give you a (hands free) hand 👋. Here are some tips to help you avoid getting sick while travelling on trains, subways and buses. 

 

  1. Commute hands-free Just to make sure we’re all travelling with the same definition, hands-free means that your hands are, wait for it – free! That means there’s nothing in them, and you’re not touching anything. Keep your knapsack or purse on your shoulder and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Make sure you’re standing close to a pole or handle. That way, if the vehicle stops suddenly, you’ll have enough balance not to pinball the person next to you or fall into the lap of the person sitting in front of you. Things get a lot worse if you’ve got an Americano in your hand. 
  2. Get some leg work in while you’re waiting — For some reason, people who work out regularly hate leg day. Our guess is that they’ve never tried the bus stop balance. While waiting at the bus stop, try standing on one leg for thirty seconds. After you’ve almost fallen flat on your face a few times, switch legs and do it again. If you really want to cause a scene, put on a pair of sunglasses, don’t smile – just stare straight ahead. When the bus arrives, just casually walk on like you do this every day. You’ll be a meme in no time. 
  3. Stay off your phone — We’ve either really got your attention or you’re ready to close this tab and forget we ever existed. We know that asking you to stay off of your phone while commuting is blasphemy, but hear us out. You can still be on your phone. Load up your playlist or podcast before you leave home or your workplace, push your phone in your pocket and don’t take it out till you get to where you’re going. It’s going to suck if a song comes on that you really want to skip, but it’s a small price to pay for a safer commute. 
  4. Don’t touch the poles (unless you have to) — We could’ve included this in the hands-free tip, but this point deserves its own space. Even in the best of times, poles inside of buses, trains or streetcars can be germ farms. And while transit services have stepped up their cleaning, your best bet is to avoid touching poles even if you’re standing right next to one. This is what all the bus stop balance workouts are for; it’s all starting to make sense, right? 
  5. Put those core muscles to work — Taking transit is the perfect time to engage your inner yogi. Your meditation app that’s keeping you from flipping out because the subway is 30 seconds late again doesn’t count. We’re talking about working out your core.  Your core is important for balance, so try this when you’re standing up without touching any poles: drop your tailbone towards the floor while also lifting the front of your pelvis; imagine the sides of your waist are wrapping in towards your navel; draw the low ribs downward while keeping your chest lifted and open. The other passengers will barely notice, and if they do, tell them you didn’t make it to the bathroom that morning. That should inspire some social distancing. 

 

Get Rocketman to master your commute 

 

Stay ahead of your commute by using Rocketman for real-time transit alerts and arrival times. There might not be workout tips on the app, but you’ll definitely be able to workout your commuting plans. 

Download the Rocketman app:

 

Rocketman transit app for iOS

Rocketman transit app for Android

 

This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.

 

Many of us (under expert instruction) have avoided public transit unless we absolutely have to travel. For those of us who take public transit to shop for essential items like groceries, jumping on the bus or streetcar can feel a bit like entering the twilight zone. Despite the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, even in the best of times you probably don’t want to be touching a bunch of surfaces, so we’re going to tell you the best – and dare we say fun – way to go about doing that. 

 

5 Tips for a hands-free ride on any mode of public transportation 

 

If you’re still figuring out the best way to commute without touching anything – allow us to give you a (hands free) hand 👋. Here are some tips to help you avoid getting sick while travelling on trains, subways and buses. 

 

  1. Commute hands-free Just to make sure we’re all travelling with the same definition, hands-free means that your hands are, wait for it – free! That means there’s nothing in them, and you’re not touching anything. Keep your knapsack or purse on your shoulder and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Make sure you’re standing close to a pole or handle. That way, if the vehicle stops suddenly, you’ll have enough balance not to pinball the person next to you or fall into the lap of the person sitting in front of you. Things get a lot worse if you’ve got an Americano in your hand. 
  2. Get some leg work in while you’re waiting — For some reason, people who work out regularly hate leg day. Our guess is that they’ve never tried the bus stop balance. While waiting at the bus stop, try standing on one leg for thirty seconds. After you’ve almost fallen flat on your face a few times, switch legs and do it again. If you really want to cause a scene, put on a pair of sunglasses, don’t smile – just stare straight ahead. When the bus arrives, just casually walk on like you do this every day. You’ll be a meme in no time. 
  3. Stay off your phone — We’ve either really got your attention or you’re ready to close this tab and forget we ever existed. We know that asking you to stay off of your phone while commuting is blasphemy, but hear us out. You can still be on your phone. Load up your playlist or podcast before you leave home or your workplace, push your phone in your pocket and don’t take it out till you get to where you’re going. It’s going to suck if a song comes on that you really want to skip, but it’s a small price to pay for a safer commute. 
  4. Don’t touch the poles (unless you have to) — We could’ve included this in the hands-free tip, but this point deserves its own space. Even in the best of times, poles inside of buses, trains or streetcars can be germ farms. And while transit services have stepped up their cleaning, your best bet is to avoid touching poles even if you’re standing right next to one. This is what all the bus stop balance workouts are for; it’s all starting to make sense, right? 
  5. Put those core muscles to work — Taking transit is the perfect time to engage your inner yogi. Your meditation app that’s keeping you from flipping out because the subway is 30 seconds late again doesn’t count. We’re talking about working out your core.  Your core is important for balance, so try this when you’re standing up without touching any poles: drop your tailbone towards the floor while also lifting the front of your pelvis; imagine the sides of your waist are wrapping in towards your navel; draw the low ribs downward while keeping your chest lifted and open. The other passengers will barely notice, and if they do, tell them you didn’t make it to the bathroom that morning. That should inspire some social distancing. 

 

Get Rocketman to master your commute 

 

Stay ahead of your commute by using Rocketman for real-time transit alerts and arrival times. There might not be workout tips on the app, but you’ll definitely be able to workout your commuting plans. 

Download the Rocketman app:

 

Rocketman transit app for iOS

Rocketman transit app for Android

 

This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.

 

Don’t have Rocketman? Stay on top of your commute by downloading it:

Download Rocketman on the App Store
Get Rocketman on Google Play

Not sure if Rocketman works in your area? View our list of supported regions.

This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.

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