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Travel courtesy and etiquette

Being courteous makes using public transport more enjoyable for everyone.

Follow these etiquette tips and rules when travelling by metro, train, bus, coach, ferry and light rail services in NSW.

When on board public transport, offer your seat to someone who needs it more than you. This includes people who are older, who have a disability or impaired mobility, who are pregnant or travelling with children.

Other things you can do to be considerate of others:

  • Make room for people getting on or off.
  • Do not block the doors or aisles with prams, bags or bikes and boards.
  • Carry your backpack by its handle and when standing put your backpack on the floor between your legs to avoid causing any inconvenience to other passengers.
  • Do not take up more than one seat when others are standing.
  • Do not put your feet on the seats.
  • Use headphones with mobile devices and keep the volume down.
  • Speak quietly when on the phone.
  • Put your rubbish in the bin.
  • Cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze.

Threatening, offensive or unsafe behaviours are not tolerated and fines may apply.

Do not vandalise metro, train, bus, ferry and light rail services or stations, stops and wharves in any way. Fines apply.

If you notice a graffiti offender or vandal damaging public transport carriages, vehicles, vessels, shelters or facilities notify staff immediately or call the police on 000.

If you have information regarding vandals, you can report it anonymously to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

To report existing graffiti, go to our feedback pages, choose the transport mode on which you saw the graffiti, and in the 'relating to' field on the form, please ensure you select 'Graffiti'.

Graffiti on Sydney Metro can also be reported by calling 131 500 or by reporting it to a Customer Journey Coordinator.

Select carriages on intercity train services are designated for quiet travel. They provide you with a quiet environment when travelling longer distances.

You will find quiet carriages on the following services:

  • Blue Mountains Line
  • Southern Highlands Line
  • South Coast Line
  • Central Coast & Newcastle Line
  • Hunter Line

Quiet carriages are usually the first, last and two middle carriages of an 8-carriage train, the first and last carriages of a 4-carriage train, the last carriage of a 2-carriage train. Look for signs on the train or platform and listen to announcements for where to find these carriages.

If you're travelling in a quiet carriage, please:

  • Put your mobile phone on silent.
  • Move into an adjoining carriage to have a conversation with a fellow passenger or on the phone.
  • Use headphones with mobile devices and keep the volume low so it can’t be heard by others.
  • If you want to be able to make noise, move to another carriage.

On some public transport, food and non-alcoholic drinks are allowed. Follow the guide below and take your rubbish with you or place in the bins provided. If you are caught eating or drinking where not permitted, fines may apply.

Transport Food and non-alcoholic drinks permitted
Metro Yes
Sydney and Intercity trains Yes

Regional trains

Yes, BYO and/or purchased from the buffet car
Buses No, unless needed for a medical condition
Regional coaches Only water, unless needed for a medical condition
Ferries Yes on most ferries. Check signs on board.
Light rail Yes
Taxis No

Drinking alcohol or being in possession of an open container of alcohol is not permitted on most public transport. It is an offence and fines apply. With the exception of NSW TrainLink Regional trains where you can consume alcohol purchased on board.

Alcohol service on NSW TrainLink Regional Trains

Alcohol can be purchased from the buffet car between midday and 11pm by passengers over 18 years of age. Once purchased, you will be asked to drink in your own seat. Do not drink while standing in the aisle, vestibule or the buffet car.

Responsible service of alcohol applies and NSW TrainLink have the right to refuse to serve alcohol. If required, police can be called to remove intoxicated passengers from the train or from stations.

While on board a train, you are not permitted to drink alcohol that has been purchased anywhere other than the buffet car. Fines apply.

Smoking is not permitted on or around public transport in NSW including at metro and train stations, ferry wharves, light rail stops or bus stops. It is an offence and fines apply.

Smoke detectors on NSW TrainLink Regional Trains

Passengers found smoking on board will be fined and asked to leave the train or coach.

There are smoke detectors fitted in all areas of the train, including toilets and vestibules.

The smoking of any substance is not allowed on trains or platforms or in booking offices and other enclosed areas.

Please do not leave the train for a cigarette break when it stops during your journey as it may have departed by the time you return. If such a situation occurs, NSW TrainLink will not be liable for any consequences.