Is Chivalry Dead

Expectant mother Mandy Flynn recalls the desperate struggle to find an open seat before she fainted inside a LRT car.

It was a hot-and-sticky ride through downtown with rush-hour commuters piled into the CTrain vehicle. Despite being visibly pregnant and increasingly woozy, Flynn says she was ignored.

“I went to go ask a girl to move out of her seat for me and just never made it,” she said.

It was a frightening ordeal that required medical help, and it also spurred a major service disruption.

But it’s not only time she’s questioned whether chivalry exists on the city’s public transportation system. She’s just been too “chicken” to talk about it.

Now — even closer to her due date — the Calgary mother decided Monday to speak out against what she describes as a daily plight.

“Nobody wants to be the outspoken one,” she said Monday. “You don’t want to be the one person out of 50 on the train that sits there and says: ‘Hey, can you move?’

“I don’t feel that’s something I should have to do when there’s priority seating available.”

Maria Doll agrees.

Doll, a certified etiquette expert at Leadership Matters, attributed an apparent decline in decency to an overall dependency on handheld gadgets — which is particularly true for transit users looking to kill time.

“It’s a basic situational awareness that I find is really lacking,” she said.

“The main culprit of that tends to be our smart-phones.”

In June 2013, Calgary Transit launched a year-long etiquette campaign in which life-sized cartoon characters were plastered on buses to remind people of basic manners.


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