how generally-accepted is luggage, on public transportation (buses, trains, etc)

Suppose it’s you and your spouse, and you have just the typical luggage (nothing outlandish, just what you would be able to carry-on, on an airplane) - one rolling bag, and one laptop bag / purse, etc., apiece. No golf clubs, etc.

Are people going to look at you like you’re nuts if you try to get on a bus with that stuff? (I’m thinking - suppose you’re flying in to Vegas, and you’re extremely ‘cheap’, and you want to ride the bus to your hotel instead of cabbing it - could you get away with that)?

And for you Chicagoans (not sure if that’s the right term) - if I was going to ride the Orange Line, from Midway Airport to Union Station (a 40min trip), would I be able to get away with that amount of luggage, without being seen as Public Enemy # 1? I think the ‘rub’ here is that each person would likely be taking up two seats - one for their ass, and one for their bag.

I suppose in both examples, the logical answer is “well, it just depends… on the time of day, the day of the week, how crowded it is, etc”. So, what if you get on the train when it’s half-empty, but it slowly starts to fill up, as you make your way across town? Then do you become “that asshole”?

It’s not like anyone who does this likely has other options, so if being “that asshole” is the price of getting your luggage from point A to point B, then so be it.

I think it’s absolutely accepted, but my experience with public transport is mostly limited to small American cities, or larger European cities (where it’s a bit different because of the tourist industry’s influence). Just make sure your bag doesn’t roll around or block the aisle and you should be fine.

Try to avoid rush hour as well.

What they said. Also if it’s crowded and the couple makes an effort to put at least one bag on a lap (so taking up 3 seats instead of 4) that goes a long way toward goodwill in my book.

I commute home every day on the BART airport train. There is plenty of luggage on board. It’s definitely annoying, but everyone on the train know that it’s the airport train. With that said,

Yes, you would be Public Enemy #1 if you took a seat for your bag when the train was full. You would absolutely be glared at, and most likely asked, politely or not so politely, to move your stuff so that people could sit. Seats are for the paying customers. Bags belong on your lap, or if they don’t fit on your lap, on the floor.

If you’ve just got carry-on size stuff, it should fit between your legs and/or on your lap. If you at least look like you’re making an effort to take up as little space as you can, no one will care. Most trains have at least one wheelchair space on each car. Most wheelchairs are loaded into the first car if there are any to load (it’s where they keep the ramps on the platforms, usually), so all the other cars have two seats with a large area of extra floorspace in front of them. People use this space for bikes and luggage unless it’s super crowded and standing-room only.

I have an overhead-storage sized canvas grocery cart (not those old-lady wire ones) that slides sideways between seats on the bus just fine. I slide it in between my feet and take up no extra space on a crowded bus.

It’s entirely common on the DC Metro. The subway goes directly to one of the airports and is accessible to the others, and the city crawls with tourists.

I tried taking a standard-sized suitcase (not carry-on) on a bus to the airport in Honolulu and the driver refused to let me on. I was surprised; people take their suitcases on the Toronto airport bus all the time.

As long as you keep your bag off the seat when it fills up you’re fine. When there’s two train lines that go directly to an airport, it’s pretty much assumed that there will be people with luggage on it. You won’t look out of place.

I ride the Orange line to work every day and I see people with luggage all the time. A couple with two carry-ons is a non-issue. You’ll see when you get on that there are places to sit and stand without taking up a seat for your bag.

I mean it goes to the airport for a reason. Enjoy.

I’ve had no problems getting an oversized bag on buses either in Tacoma or Seattle; the Tacoma-Seattle express buses even have open bins that are handy for placing smaller bags.

If you’re going to get on the train at the airport, please move to the middle of the car. Do not hang out in the door area with your luggage. Pick up a map before you get on, so you’ll know where your stop is, so you can plan to make your way towards the door one stop ahead.

Do not be the jackass we ran into last week who was blocking the aisle with his family size cooler.

London underground ia filled with arch people especially the Piccadily linebwhich leads to Heathrow.

I should mention this…the Quincy stop does not have any elevators or escalators, and the turnstyles are tiny. It is a bitch to get luggage through. Get off at the Washington stop which does have elevators, and you can transfer to a bus or walk.

It’s grudgingly accepted on the Light Rail in Seattle, less so (dirty looks etc) when it’s during rush hour. The LR trains have plenty of room under the seats (and in the combo bike space/luggage space in each car) for most luggage, so if you sit your bag in a seat, you’re most likely going to be asked to move it by a tired commuter on their way home. People piled high with several bags, or exceptionally large bags are generally given more of a bye. But if it’s you, and two carryons, you’re going to be asked to move them so that a person can sit down.

Some cities are happy to allow luggage on local transit. Other cities have “premium priced” airport transit that they use to soak tourists, but regular priced transit to serve airport employees. To keep tourists from using the regular price buses, they often impose luggage restrictions.

Honolulu, as has already been mentioned, is notorious for this.
In San Francisco, SamTran Routes 292 and 397 allow luggage, Route KX does not.
In Newark, the NJ Transit local (not express) buses were famous for luggage restrictions, but in checking before I wrote this I notice they now say that two carryon-size pieces are allowed.

You are welcome to bring reasonable size luggage on all the Chicago ‘L’ lines and people do it all the time. Some tips: There are two styles of train cars in use in Chicago. One style has doors that slide into the side of the train and disappear. These cars have four horizontal-facing seats at the side of the doors. If you sit in one of these horizontal seats, you can put a reasonable sized bag upright on the floor in front of your knees without blocking the aisle or taking up an extra seat. Just hold onto them so that they don’t fall over when the train jerks. If you still feel you need to use three seats, sit in the vertical seat (the way most seats face on train) that faces the horizontal seat. Use the half of the horizontal seat nearest you and the floor space in front of it for your luggage.

In both styles of cars, in all but the first and last cars, there will be a folded-up operator’s compartment at one end of the car that has no seat, but does have floor room. In the style of car that does NOT have the sliding doors, at one end of the car is a single seat that was where the conductor used to sir before they eliminated conductors. You can fit luggage behind there, too. Just don’t block the emergency exit at the end of the car.

It’s true that the Quincy station has no elevator, but unless you are incapable of walking down the stairs with your luggage, it will be a far worse hassle to walk an extra four blocks from the Washington station. At the airports, they have nice wide, generously-spaced turnstiles that easily accommodate luggage. But at every station where you might want to get off, they have these narrow turnstiles to pass through. The trick to the narrow turnstiles is to slide your luggage through IN FRONT of you, then go through yourself. Your luggage will fit UNDER
the arm of the turnstile. Also, I don’t know if Quincy has a handicapped gate, but if it does, locate the blue button with the picture of the wheelchair. Press and hold the button for five seconds. Then either push or pull (if one doesn’t work, try the other) the handicapped gate and you can pass through there.

Traveling on buses, even inter city buses, I have never been challenged by the driver for bringing on grocery bags, shopping bags, backpacks etc but I make sure whatever I bring on will fit in my seats space between my legs or in my lap. I’d never try to take up a second seat unless I paid for it, and if the bus was full I’d fully expect to be told to move my bag.

What does the OP care how people look at him? He paid his ticket. He has as much of a right to be there as they do.

Lots of really good stuff here, so thank you everyone, but I wanted to throw a couple of specific "up-top"s to:

thank you for the advice regarding the turnstiles, both at Quincy and Washington/Wells (I was actually starting to re-think the logistics of this for a bit)

thank you for everything you typed out here (I think ‘protocol’ is to not re-quote an entire passage if it’s not necessary?) I really do appreciate it, and I think I will take my chances at Quincy, but I do appreciate gaffa’s tips above

you’d be surprised, but that’s probably a topic for a separate thread :slight_smile: