Safety Guidelines

Some of what follows will be familiar to any teacher or youth group leader who has chaperoned children walking on city streets. Other procedures are unique to travel via public transit.

These guidelines apply to TransitPeople trips in general. Trip Leaders are likely to give additional directions specific to individual trips.

The kids who join us rarely misbehave intentionally, but sometimes misbehave unintentionally when they get excited. Unfortunately -- or fortunately! -- they are very excited by what they do with TransitPeople.

When kids get excited and start to act up, they usually just need to calm down until they're ready to continue. This is more of an issue toward the end of the trip, after the kids have spent the day doing a lot of exciting things they're not used to doing.

To and from the transit stop

The primary danger is from cars. Kids shouldn't walk close enough to the curb to step into the street by accident, and should never go into the street without permission from an adult.

An adult should lead the group, and another should "bring up the rear," to make sure all kids are in sight of an adult at all times.

If kids run and horse around, they are much more likely to trip over potholes, knock each other into fire hydrants, and so on.

The Trip Leader may choose to match up the kids in a "buddy system," in which children are assigned partners and told to look after each other.

Entering and leaving the train station

Train platforms are potentially dangerous, and kids shouldn't go on them unless and until they're acting well. If they're not, the group should stop and wait until they are. Next to safety, the itinerary doesn't matter.

The TransitPeople group should never rush to catch an approaching bus or train! That might be fine for an adult traveling alone; for kids' groups, it's dangerous.

The kids should never run on the stairs or escalators. If some children are permitted to use the escalator and others use the stairs at the same time, the group on the stairs is very likely to want to run to catch up.

The children should never play on the train platform, and always should stay away from the edge of it.

Boarding and leaving the train

If your group is large and the train is likely to be full, the Trip Leader may split the group into two or more sub-groups, which will stand apart from each other on the platform, and board and leave through separate doors.

The children should:

  • Not approach the train until it has reached a complete stop
  • Wait for departing passengers to leave the trains
  • Enter immediately when directed to do so.
  • Take a big step as they enter, over the gap between the edge of the platform and the train.

As soon as they enter, the children should either find seats or take a hand hold. If they stand without holding onto anything, they're very likely to fall into someone or on the floor when the train starts moving.

After the stop before the destination station, the children should be reminded that they are going to get out at the next stop, and should be ready to leave the train immediately when it reaches a complete stop, and wait on the platform.

Travel by bus

The children should wait on the curb, and never step into the street toward the bus unless an adult has given permission. They should wait until departing passengers have left before boarding.

The children should find a seat or take a hand hold as soon as they enter the bus. If they stand without holding onto anything, they're very likely to fall into someone or on the floor when the train starts moving.

At the destination

The primary danger is that the kids will wander off by themselves and become separated from the group. So, they need to understand that they must stay with the adult designated to watch them.


Parents are protective of their children, and so is TransitPeople. We don't want the kids who travel with us to be encouraged to behave unsafely, or exposed to behavior that might be considered offensive.

Guidelines like these can't be all-encompassing. We won't say explicitly that Guides shouldn't tell children to play in the street; that doesn't mean a Guide ever should. They are best taken as an outline of behavior ... a set of "guidelines," just like the title says!

Guides should :

  • Be presentable enough so that parents will feel comfortable leaving their kids with them for most of a Saturday or Sunday. That doesn't mean that Guides have to show up for a trip in their Brooks Brothers! They should just put themselves in the shoes of a protective mom or dad, and use common sense.
  • Take direction from the Trip Leader.
  • Look for ways to help the Trip Leader, when possible.
  • Be reliable and on time, and pay attention.
  • Try to be good role models of safe behavior for the kids. If Guides cross the street against traffic, children might think it's okay to do that too.
  • Be positive and enthusiastic. Guides with a positive attitude encourage kids to be positive too.
  • Try to act as they think parents would want adult volunteers to act around their children.
  • Be prepared to stay with the group until the Trip Leader says it's okay to leave.

Guides should not :

  • Use alcohol, drugs or tobacco products at any time during a TransitPeople trip, or be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Possess knives, firearms or other weapons.
  • Be physically affectionate with children. Kids might need hugs, but parents are very likely to misunderstand if the hug is given by an unfamiliar adult.
  • Try to be alone with the children.
  • Ask children for any type of personal information -- such as telephone numbers or addresses -- or suggest that they can meet the children at a later date.
  • Speak or act with children or other adults in a manner that might be considered abusive or inappropriate.
  • Ever give children rides in their personal vehicles.

Thank you!