Public transport peeves

Dooku reminded me of something with this post in the air travel pit thread:

Every day I ride the El, I see some jackasses who clearly don’t understand the common sense concept of let-the-people-off-then-you-get-in “style” of getting on a train or bus. I swear, with centuries of public transportation under our collective belts, you’d think we’d get the hang of this by now.

Other gripes:

  1. Take off your fucking backpack. Most backpacks have a little handle on them. Make the extra effort for the good of society and take your bag off your shoulders and maybe you won’t be whacking every person your try to squeeze by, and people won’t be spinning you like a top every time they try to get by you.

  2. Move toward the center of the vehicle. I know some of you are only going one or two stops. I can maybe make an exception for you. But all of us need to get somewhere, and usually there’s plenty of room in the train/bus for all of us as long as we all, I dunno, use all that space in the middle. And the bus…you know, there’s doors back there, too, so move the fuck back.

  3. If you are at the door, and a crowd of people are getting off at a stop that’s not yours, *it’s okay to step outside for a moment to let everyone get through, *rather than sucking in your stomach, leaning back, and insisting that everyone squeeze past you. Really, it’s okay. You won’t forfeit your ride. The conductor is not going to charge you another fare for temporarily exiting the vehicle.

  4. Occassionally, on a crowded train, there will be empty seats. Out of some warped sense of pride, commuters will just refuse to sit. Dammit, you’re not doing anyone any favors by leaving seating unoccuppied. Sit your fat ass down and free up some standing room for the people trying to get on.

  5. Escalators: Stand right, walk left. Stand right, walk left. Stand right, walk left. Learn it; love it; live it.

  6. Ticket machines are no time for socializing or organizing your wallet. Put in your money. Take your ticket. Move the fuck out of the way, there’s a line of people behind you.

  7. If you’re paying cash, have your money ready before you board. I saw you waiting ten minutes for the bus–couldn’t you have had the foresight to take and count out your money in the meantime?

Am I missing any?

Something about bad breath. A similar public transport has been brewing here. On the ride home today I was wondering if upper lip deoderant existed, not for a smelly upperlip mind you, just something to apply to buffer others Death Breath. Summer is approaching fast, I’m sure a pre-emptive thing about BO would be good as well.

If you see me coming with my stroller, trying to get on the bus move your fat fucking ass out of the way so I can lift up the seat and stick my stoller in the space. This way I can stick it in there and people can actually get on and off without having to squeeze past my stroller.

I’m sorry I don’t take up less space but you see folding up the stroller and carrying the carseat, diaper bag and various packages along with the now folded stroller will take up way more space and I don’t have 4 arms (though sometimes we can make it seem as if we have 3). If you actually do this, more people can enjoy or transit and I don’t accidentally run over your toes.

If the bus has stairs and you are able to help, please do so. I may be working out but I can’t pick up a stroller, with child and assorted accessories up stairs from the pavement. Why do you think I my apartment has an elevator? Bus driver, if the bus can ‘kneel’ PRESS THE BUTTON SO IT DOES SO. It makes it a LOT easier to get the stroller on. (Please disregard if it’s fucking freezing, as I know the mechanism sticks and that means the bus won’t go. Anyway the snow is usually packed high enough that this is moot.)

When I am getting off the train or bus with said stroller, once again move your fucking ass and quit trying to squeeze on the bus/train as I am coming off. You won’t get on any faster squeezing past me, in fact if I get off you’ll have way more room for the fat ass that nudged the stroller to the side enough that I got the wheels caught on the door, making it longer until I got the stroller off.

(These are among the reasons why I wish I could drive and had a car)

  1. Your face is roughly 12 inches from mine. Don’t pick your fucking nose.


I love public transit. I just can’t stand the people who use it.

Bottoms and tops of escalators are terrible places to stop and scratch your head about where you want to go next.

If you need me to move out of the way so you can get off the streetcar, maybe you should let me know before we’re at the stop, so that you don’t have to make a mad frantic dash for the door, stomping toes and knocking things over on the way.

Don’t fucking block the doors of the subway train, asshole. Get off, wait for your friends, catch the next one. It will only be a few minutes. Subway delays aren’t fun for anybody.

It’s clear that, like most of the other people here, you prefer to stand in the middle of the streetcar, instead of at the back. I can also see that you prefer wearing your backpack to holding it in your hand. That’s your perogative as well. It is, however, my perogative to shove it aside with whatever force is necessary for me to get past this thick mass of people to the nearly vacant space behind you. Yes I know you’re attached to it, and my shoving it annoys you. Tough shit.

Nobody on the streetcar wants to see your genitals. Trust me. Nobody.

This one is not so much a gripe, because in the end it benefits me, but the rather bizarre logic people employ when gathered in herds. I don’t know what it is about public transportation that turns seemingly intelligent and polite people into drooling, knuckle-dragging cro-magnons with the IQ of Silly Putty.

Occasionally, during rush hour in Budapest, trams would run off-schedule. Normally, they’d come every five minutes. But sometimes, do to street traffic and other factors, fifteen minutes might go by without a tram. This, of course, would cause a larger-than-usual mass of people to congregate on the tram stop. Now, when one tram runs off schedule like this, you almost always see the bunching effect. Rather than getting three trams running five minutes apart, you’ll get three trams arriving at the station one after another.

Pretty simple so far, right? So that first tram is completely crammed with people – packed tighter than a tin of sprats. Yet 90% of the folk at the stop insist on getting on the first tram. It’s not unusual to see doors open-close-open-close-open-close because someone’s limbs or personal belongings are sticking out the tram. I mean, there’s hardly any breathing room on these.

Yet, if you look down the tracks, you can see another one or two trams, with plenty of seating space, directly behind the lead tram. But almost everyone insists on making a mad dash for the first one.

I, of course, would hang back, hop on the next tram that appeared one minute later, and have a seat to myself along with the other 10% of people intelligent enough to follow this strategy. And the third tram, just one more minute behind? Practically empty.

Really, I never understood this group logic but, hey, their stupidity worked to my advantage, so it’s hardly a gripe.


Preach it, brutha!

Yes! Yes!! A thousand times, yes!!

Only thing I have to add is that please take heed that if there are two throngs of people coming at me from different directions all trying to get out the same door, that you are squashing me in the middle, making it impossible to get out of the way for anyone. Please do not shove me. I am without fault, and doing my best to get out of the way. Further, this is not a zero-sum game. If one of you will pause for a moment and let me move, all will be able to exit the bus/train in a timely fashion.

Hey, gonna sit by you
another one rides the bus

That’s all. Carry on!

Shhhhhhhhhh! This is a very valuable Ancient Chinese Secret!!!

Well, to be fair, “There’s a train directly behind this one” is one of the great lies of the New York City MTA.

That being said, I usually will take a less crowded local over a can’t-breathe express train if I have the time.

You can put on make-up, you can talk on your phone (I will eaves-drop), you can eat breakfast standing up holding a brief-case and a newspaper (it’s funny to watch), and can even mutter and tap your foot and look at your watch every single day (what, you don’t know how long the trip takes by now?), we’re all busy people a little short of time, but do NOT clip your fingernails.

Just STOP that, right now.

And if you want to keep your seat in front of a septugenarian with a cane, well, I guess that is your right; but don’t get pissy with me for spilling my coffee when I get up to give him mine.

Continuing on:

  1. When applying perfume, less is most definitely more. I love showing up at the office looking as though I was either crying or stoned. Really.

  2. When conversing with your seatmate, speak with sufficient volumn so that the entire bus may hear aaaaalllll about your evening. Its the sole reason I ride the bus.

True. But in my particular case, outdoors at a tram stop, you can actually see the trams lined up one after another.

Dante had a great thread about this.

Hope that worked.