From hands-free sneezers to seat hogs, Metra riders share their biggest pet peeves

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CHICAGO — A January customer survey asked Metra riders to vote for the most annoying things they’ve witnessed during their commute. The most (un)popular pet peeves will be highlighted in an upcoming marketing campaign that reminds riders of the proper way to behave through social media posts and passive-aggressive posters.

According to Metra’s survey, and Sarah Jindra’s (un)scientific Twitter poll, these are some of Metra riders’ biggest gripes:

Keep it down!

The most popular subject generally speaking was passenger noise, Metra said, with customers particularly tired of phone conversations in the Quiet Cars and excessively loud snoring.

Save the party for off the train

The most unpopular behavior was “taking over the train with a rowdy group.” It’s probably no coincidence that these complaints coincide with the Cubs’ epic World Series season.

Remember this math: 1 person, 1 seat

Hogging seats was a big concern in last year’s survey, and it’s returning by unpopular demand this time around. This includes people who are “saving a seat for a sometimes imaginary, sometimes not friend,” Metra said.

Don’t be gross

You do know you’re in public, right? Hygiene concerns are nothing new, although this year people seemed particularly concerned with “hands-free sneezing and coughing,” Metra said. It’s no surprise given the way the cold and flu season have been so far.

Wait your turn
Also returning this year: complaints about some riders “prematurely clogging the aisles.” If you’re not a usual rider of the Metra, it’s a safer bet to watch for when the pros leave their seats.

Save your “grooming” for later

One complaint that stood out last year was of people clipping their nails and other “excessive personal grooming” on the train. While it didn’t make the top of the list this year, that’s no reason to pick up those bad habits again.

Don’t be a jerk

Another widely unpopular category was bad seating behavior generally, including riders pretending to be asleep so that they wouldn’t have to move their things, and folks kneeing the back of the seat in front of them, Metra said.

Also, please keep you shoes on, and off the seat in front of you.

Have something else that annoys you on the Metra? You can tweet to Sarah Jindra here: