Last week I was on the east coast with some co-workers, and we were taking the train everyday to get into the office. They were amazed when I explained some my commuter lifehacking tips to them, so I decided to make a post out of it.

  1. Know when to leave for the train – Calculate the full time required to get to the train from your source location. This would include drive time, parking time, check-in time, and walking time. Add some padding time (five to ten minutes), and subtract the time from the time the train leaves. This is the time that you need to leave. Given that the train is always on time, you should never be waiting longer than ten minutes for your train.
  2. Know what train cab to sit it – Usually, each train station will have exits, stairs, or escalators at different locations. When you exit the train for the first time, you will determine which direction you need to go, but also note if you are going toward the front or back of the train. The next time you take the same route, sit in the cab closer to your destination’s exit.
  3. Know where to sit – Personally, I don’t like having the sun shine right on my face in the summer because it is so bright. Even with sun glasses on and your eyes closed, you feel the hot sun shining on you. Most trains will have forward, backward, and to the side seat configurations. Determine what side of the train the sun is on, and which direction it shines. Then try to get a seat where your back is against the sun, and on the opposite side of sun. If you like sitting in the sun, you can still follow this tip, just sit where the sun is shining :)
  4. Protect your ears – I’ve been on a bunch of trains, and none of them are quiet. Make sure to bring some good earplugs to block out the noise. If you like to listen to audio while on the train, I would suggest buying a pair of Etymotic ‘in the ear’ earphones. They are a bit expensive, but they block out up to 42 dB!
  5. Talk to your neighbor – Just like airplane neighbors, I try to talk to them for a at least a few minutes. You never know when you will meet someone interesting.

I hope these tips help the readers, and if you have tips of your own that you want to share, please respond in the comment area.