Having spent the last, oh, 11+ years using public transit to get places I have had my fair share of experiences and interactions. While the majority of these experiences have been positive, or at least neutral, I have also picked up a few pet peeves over the years. So without further ado, here is a listing of some annoyances that seem to occur regularly.
- Food: Okay, I honestly don’t care if you want to snack on something simple during your joyride through the hinterlands on one of our awesome buses or hip looking trains while you’re headed to work, school, chainsaw shopping, etc. But seriously, remember there are other people riding with you! So please, keep it neat, quiet, and avoid the smelly stuff. Having a granola bar? Awesome. Can’t wait for your destination to dive in that large deep dish supreme with extra anchovies and garlic? Next time eat in. Whatever you do, please no sunflower seeds. If you need to satisfy your inner squirrel, and tend to spit those shells, please do so somewhere besides my ride home.
- Phones: Yeah that new smartphone you got really is cool. And I’m very happy to hear that your toenail fungus treatment went well, and will keep in mind that your ex is a complete jerk. Next time though, could you maybe text that information instead, or perhaps wait until you get home or someplace private to call? On a side note folks, there’s this thing called identity theft going on, so it’s probably best to avoid shouting your social security number, credit card account info, or similar tidbits into the phone while riding on public transit.
- Music or other prerecorded entertainment: Earbuds, headphones, the cone of silence, use one of them please!
- Socializing: If you want to talk (quietly) with your friends while riding, that’s great. If you’re getting on the vehicle though and your friends are on the platform or sidewalk, please don’t just stand with one foot in the door while you try to catch up on the highlights of the past week.
- Hey could you... : NO! I will not hold up an entire train of riders, including myself, for “just a minute” while you get off and buy the ticket you SHOULD have bought BEFORE you boarded. We have places to go, transfers to make, appointments, etc. The next train is in ten to fifteen minutes.
- You don’t matter: Yeah, that’s the feeling I get while sitting on the train for a half hour at a station, with absolutely no explanation for the delay. I don’t need all the details. Just a simple heads up that there is an event down the line causing a delay of at least 15 minutes. This would be greatly appreciated.
- Language: Yo, for real! NO ONE is thinking you’re cooler or funny cause you cuss away like some rock star, or my friend’s Granny when someone cuts her off in traffic.
While these things will not change overnight, I’m sure that there are many transit users who would enjoy a better ride if these behaviors went away... someday.