Shutterstock.com/Nikonaft

Courtesy of a new book of drawings.

Being stuck in a grimy, crowded metal box deep underground doesn't bring out the best in the average subway commuter. And Parisians aren't exactly known for their willingness to keep their complaints to themselves.

Last year, the regional transit authority Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens launched an ad campaign to discourage rude behavior on the Paris subway. They used images of hens, warthogs, and sloths to scold riders for holding loud phone conversations, eating gross foods, and taking up too much space.

When public shaming failed, RATP turned to an equally Parisian solution: charming PSAs that look straight out of the Belle Époque. The newly released ebook Manuel de Savoir-Vivre a l’usage du Voyageur Moderne names 12 essential, if slightly tongue-in-cheek, rules for getting by on the subway. Local graphic designer Marion Thomas-Mauro created some very French illustrations to accompany the rules, offering a slightly wacky take on the recommendations:

Don't smoke:

C'est comprendre que l'énorme cigarette barrée sur le quai n'est pas une œuvre d'art contemporain, mais une interdiction de fumer. (It is understood that the enormous cigarette with the bar through it on the platform is not a work of contemporary art, but a ban on smoking.)

Keep those phone conversations down:

C'est ne pas faire de son portable un insupportable. (Don't make your cell phone unbearable.)

Don't stare:

C'est ne pas fixer une passagère avec insistance, quand bien même elle aurait les yeux revolver. (Don't stare at a female passenger, even if she has eyes like a revolver).

And, a special message for the smelly French, keep your body odor to yourself:

C'est les jours de grosse chaleur, tel le manchot empereur, bien gardes les bras le long du corps et prendre sa meilleure prise en bas du poteau, pas tout en haut. (On very hot days, be like the emperor penguin -- keep your arms along the sides of your body and grip the lower handholds, not the ones on top.)

Check out the full guide below:

 

Illustrations by Marion Thomas-Mauro, courtesy RATP. Top image courtesy Shutterstock.com/Nikonaft.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    What Happens When a City Tries to End Traffic Deaths

    Several years into a ten-year “Vision Zero” target, some cities that took on a radical safety challenge are seeing traffic fatalities go up.

  2. photo: Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar
    Equity

    What a Trillion-Dollar Housing Pledge Looks Like

    Representative Ilhan Omar’s Homes for All Act would fund the construction of 12 million new homes in the U.S. over 10 years, mostly as public housing.  

  3. Life

    Talent May Be Shifting Away From Superstar Cities

    According to a new analysis, places away from the coasts in the Sunbelt and West are pulling ahead when it comes to attracting talented workers.

  4. photo: A Starship Technologies commercial delivery robot navigates a sidewalk.
    POV

    My Fight With a Sidewalk Robot

    A life-threatening encounter with AI technology convinced me that the needs of people with disabilities need to be engineered into our autonomous future.

  5. photo: An array of solar panels in Oakland, California.
    Environment

    When Residents Support Solar—Just ‘Not in My Backyard’

    While the American public broadly favors expanding renewable energy, that support doesn’t always extend to the photovoltaic panels next door.

×