public-transit-long

Everyone knows that public transit, while not the ideal method of travel for most people (be serious – who wouldn’t rather be in their own car busting out their favorite tunes and singing at the top of their lungs), is generally a good thing.  People are paying more attention to their carbon emissions, trying to “Go Green” and basically do their part to save the Earth from global warming and public transit is generally an easy way for people to do their part.

Unfortunately, some people don’t make it very easy to endure the public transit experience.  At this point, I’ll apologize for the bit of a rant that I’m about to engage in… So please cross your arms in front of your face and brace for impact as I spell out some of my biggest transit pet peeves:

  • Technology challenged
    • Perhaps it’s a hidden talent that I’ve taken for granted in the past, but I don’t find it necessary to slow down in order to get on an escalator. It shocks me to see people (barring the old, infirm or otherwise challenged of course) literally stop walking and daintily place a foot on the escalator before committing to step. It’s like they can’t decide if the floor is going to drop out from under them or something, and then once they’re convinced it’s safe, they then decide that it must not be safe to climb or descend the stairs since they’re moving.  In the words of Dan… It’s not a ride people!
  • The Human Wall
    • The Human Wall can take many forms. The first occurs while attempting to use the escalator and you find yourself blocked by two gabby girlfriends who are completely oblivious to the now sardine-packed escalator behind them. This situation always makes me want to be one of those peoples with absolutely no hang-ups about pulling hair. (I jest… but only slightly).
    • The phenomenon also occurs while trying to exit the train only to be greeted by a standing wall of flesh. This wall then starts to bubble and churn while you end up trying to push your way through – and the shocking part is that people actually think it’s your fault. I’ve always wanted to back myself up against the opposite door inside the train when this happens and then just gun it as soon as the door opens… “red rover, red rover… send Kevin right over!”
    • Lastly, you have those people actually on the train that just like to stand next to the door. They aren’t getting off the train… they just like to stand right in the doorway like some weird gatekeeper or something. The interesting part about these people is that they usually realize they’re being a complete douche and so adopt a suitably heinous expression which they cast at everyone forced to walk past them in order to get on or off the train.  A word of advice to these people from mothers across the globe… “Stop pulling that face or it’ll get stuck that way.”  Better yet – MOVE.
  • Snuggle buddies
    • This lovely occurrence is to blame for today’s rant. I was standing on the train, in the opposite doorway to those that open to the platform, reading the newspaper. As we arrived at the platform, I quickly glanced up and noticed that the train was still pretty empty and there weren’t many people getting on… so back to the newspaper I went. 10 seconds later I was spooning some girl’s backpack. Someone had also come to stand over on my other side, so I tried to shrink back a little further into the corner but it was no use, and the section of newspaper I’d been reading was now completely soaked through from her rain sodden backpack.  At this point, I really should’ve have said “excuse me” or something but instead I just forced a turn to put my own messenger bag between us, clenched my jaw and waited it out.  Obviously public transit is going to be an interactive experience… but if you want me to make love to your accessories, you should really ask my name first.
  • Lay-Z-boy
    • This refers to those people who are sleeping, or pretending to sleep, and are all lounged about on the seats.  Certainly the ones that snore are at least good for a laugh, but what really chaps my hide is when they’ve got their wet, dirty shoes all up on the seat and then look at you with this look of “what… did you want to come sit here in this seat covered in dog crap from my shoes?” I’d kill for a super-soaker water gun during times like these.  Good morning, sunshine!

You're trying to get off the train, but new passengers are standing right outside the door... what do you do?

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Now, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that there are often times great transit experiences as well.  Some of the bus drivers (yes, I take the bus) are actually quite funny and friendly.  How they manage to maintain such an attitude while being surrounded by so many people of questionable character, I have no idea… but I definitely applaud them for it.  Likewise, kudos to those who are actively considerate of the other passengers around them.  The other day en route to choir practice with my buddy Richard, a woman actually got up out of her seat to make sure that Richard had somewhere to sit (he’s recovering from a knee injury and is on crutches).

There, I’ve said something nice.