I Like Public Transportation

I really do.

I write poetry about it.

I explain my concept of spirituality through it.

I love it.

I love buses. I love all the different people. I love the wierd, random stuff that happens. I love the surly bus drivers, the bums, the Jesus freaks and the amature poets. I love waiting for it, and that moment of anticipation as it’s doors part with a glorious pneumatic hiss. I love it’s rhythms. I love how it rumbles and bounces. I love how it steams up on winter nights. I love how it is fresh and airconditioned on summer days. Buses are like traveling wombs for humanity.

I love light rail cars and subways. I love going in tummels with a woosh. I love the bad musicians who go from car to car. I love the esculators leading to the stations. I love ticket machines- in one end and out the other! I love how the trains are warm and bright on the inside as the slide through the darkness on the outside. They are like wombs for cities. I love the routes and maps and timetables. I love how they course through the city in rythms like blood through veins.

And I love trains. I even love Amtrak trains. I won’t even get started on my love of European trains. I love the stations, with their pew like benches. I love the big windows. I love whizzing through the industrial side of town, and looking into factory windows and unattended backyards. I love falling asleep curled across two cramped seats. I love the conductors with their funny hats. I love how they come by checking for tickets every stop like clockwork. I love stopping at stations and seeing people hugging their loved ones as the depart on their journey. I love eating junk food in the snack car. I love getting off a train, and being plunged directly into a new city.

I even, horrors upon horrors, love Greyhound.

It always amazes me that on the whole, people hate public transportation. They would rather drink three-mile island bathwater than take the bus across town. They would rather hitch a ride with Jimmy the Butcher than get on a train. Cars are so sterile and isolating and boring. Public transportation is amazeing. To ride on it is to truely live.

I love it. With a passion. It is wonderful.

Please, if there is anyone else out there that understands, speak out. The threads here are filled with such hate towards this glorious thing. It makes me shake with anger just to read them. I know I can’t be the only one!

I used to like buses, but then the union went and had a 4 month strike, and now I’m boycotting public transit.

At least in Vancouver :slight_smile:

Whats different is always exciting.
When you have no choice but to use public transport then you will begin to feel a resentment. I never learned how to drive (oh the shame!) ad so my options are limited.

Public transport outside rush hour can be a relaxing thing and if youre not in a hurry can even be close to enjoyable.

However squeezing into a small space with no airconditioning along with multitudes of strangers who potentaily carry new and unheard of exotic illnesses and who may certainly smell and breath in your space is not what I would choose to do in my spare time.

And there is no feeling more disorienting and uncomfortable than falling asleep on a bus.

Dublin has a rather novel approach to providing its citizens a public transport service. It involves using barely functioning pre-war deathtraps that operate on a timetable that has been nominated for the Booker Prize in the fiction category. Not content with making life this interesting the city fathers pay scant attention to this new fangled idea of “urban planning” and will deign a street one way just on monday afternoons and who compete to decide who is best at killing off a trafic flow by throwing unwarranted obstacles in the way.

I’m taking my 6th driving lesson later today.

However, once upon a time I lived in a city built by Russians. Wide roads and a militant adherence to timetables along with actual investment in the service made for a transportation network that worked , and worked well. Combining buses,trams and ferries , for reasonable cost and with free transfers available on any mode for up to 2 hours after ticket purchase. Oh yes they had it right.

In the older areas the trams were straight out of Dr.Zivago , with ropes to pull,huge windows and central heating made travelling on them fun )not to mention the constantly circling beer tram but its hardly fair to compare.

I was fortunate to work in a job where it didn’t really make any difference when or if I showed up at the office so there was none of the rush hour mahem that will nowadays have me replay scenes from “American Psycho” in my head with my fellow commuters playing the bit parts.

But now , I live and commute in a city which has for some reason decided it dislikes its citizens and will grow and mutate in an unplannned and badly executed sprawl making life far more ‘challenging’ than it should be.

I’m entitled to a car at work and I fully intend taking them up on the offer , I will soon join the ranks of the wheeled populace and will doubtless be ranting and raving here about entirely different issues but at least as I seeth and become more frustrated behind the wheel there are no fellow commuters within arms reach for me to take out my frustration on.

So I can understand your love of public transport. You see and hear things that you’d miss otehrwise. You can read your paper , glaze out the window and glaze over the streesed mind , you’ll hear new and exotic languages and play the flirting game to your hearts conent. But belieeve me when you have no other choice the novelty wears off.

No it doesn’t. Not if you truly love it.

I’ve been commuting daily for about 2 1/2 years now, and before that I used it regularly ever since I moved to this city, and it’s still fabulous, especially the metro.

Maybe that’s just because Montreal is graced with an especially shibby metro system; it’s won major awards for its safety record and architectural beauty.

Anyway, I don’t feel like reposting everything I wrote in my thread from January (The metro: a serious thread of personal revelation), so I’ll just link to it. BTW: I’ve found free webspace for my metro website, and it’s proceeding apace; I just have to finish translating everything into French. The STCUM even says they’ll promote it for their 35th anniversary if it’s finished by October 14!!

Oh, that reminds me: I was born 15 years to the day after the Montreal metro was inaugurated, of parents who met on the #80 Ave. du Parc bus. Maybe that means something… :slight_smile:

Oh, and Even: I know exactly what you mean about the religious part. Go read the thread from January, you’ll see what I mean.

Come on up to Mtl some time and I’ll show you around.

Oh, and Damnha: my condolences on Dublin public transit. I heard ruadh complaining about it in another thread.

heres another ‘yes.’ i love it too. even when it took me three buses and over an hour to get to work. im REALLY nosy, and almost every day i had a chance to eavesdrop into an absolutely hilarious conversation. and if no ones was being interesting, hello, library book.

of course, never being in a hurry helps a lot. as an extremely punctual person, i always give myself plenty of time. life is stressful enough without the added strain of freaking out because yer gonna be late.

Thanks Matt . It means a lot. I’ll try to think of your kindness next time I’m tempted to pull limbs from my fellow commuters.