5 Types of People You See on Your Commute


The New York City commute on public transit is unlike any other. No matter how hard you try to keep to yourself, you are distracted by a smorgasbord of personalities. Some make you laugh and some make you grit your teeth. Here are five characters we all know from our daily commutes.

1. The Bouncy Busker

Depending on the time of day, the Bouncy Busker will either make you want to dance or put the volume on your headphones to the max. In the morning, the Busker is usually greeted with the side eye, as most New Yorkers refuse to acknowledge this form of entertainment before they have consumed their morning coffee. In the evening, it may be a different tune. Maybe hearing Beyonce on the flute or The Beatles on the xylophone will put a little pep in your step after a day at work. Whether they’re appreciated or not, the Bouncy Busker is always there, attempting to put a little music in your day, in exchange for a buck or two.

2. The Slacking Student

Reminisce on your youth as you see the Slacking Student attempt to do last night’s homework on the subway. Maybe they are trying to speed read “The Great Gatsby,” or maybe they are hunched over a notebook trying to solve pre-calculus. The overflowing backpack, misbuttoned uniform and heavy sighs will surely reveal this pupil favored a night of Netflix over their schoolwork. Give them a sympathetic “I was there once” smile, and it will be returned with an annoyed “I don’t have time for this” smirk.

3. The Subway Speeder

Always the first to get on and first to get off, the Subway Speeder is on a mission to get somewhere faster than you. Courteous rules—like waiting for people to exit before getting on the train—do not apply to the Subway Speeder. Instead, they deem themselves above the average rider and will do whatever they please to get to their destination before you do. The Subway Speeder has definitely caused you to send a passive aggressive tweet after a sour encounter. Let the Subway Speeder rush by you. In due time, train karma will stick them on delayed train for at least an hour.

4. The Loud Mouth

As if your alarm going off was not enough to annoy you this morning, you got stuck next to the Loud Mouth on your commute. The Loud Mouth will make a series of personal phone calls, even when in the designated quiet car. Instead of getting lost in your own thoughts, you have to listen to the Loud Mouth tell their friend about their dog’s weird infection and then they spoil last night’s episode of Game of Thrones. If you’re really unlucky, the Loud Mouth will have a dramatic fight with their significant other via FaceTime, or sing aloud to the song already escaping through their earphones. At least you can bond with your fellow passengers with silent eye rolls of discontent.

5. The Typical Tourist

Perhaps the most recognizable passenger on the subway is the Typical Tourist. If the cargo shorts and fanny pack don’t give them away, then the look of confusion on their face certainly will. As you hurry to your platform, The Typical Tourist will stop you and ask you for directions. And good thing they did, because the poor lost soul was just about to get on a downtown Brooklyn-bound train while trying to get to Central Park. Once en-route, the Typical Tourist will be completely oblivious to all the unofficial subway rules. They do not know the precise measurements of personal space, don’t remove backpacks and will anxiously push their way to the exit (even though everyone is headed the same way). As long as they don’t try to engage in lengthy small talk, treat the Typical Tourist well to give them a favorable impression of our city.

What other types of commuters are you seeing? Let us know using the #DaysofDelays hashtag on Twitter!