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Public Transportation Etiquette

By ajkohn in Op-Ed
Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 12:47:08 AM EST
Tags: Humour (all tags)
Humour

Be warned, this may be viewed by many as a rant or whine and it is to a certain extent. The following details experiences from months of commuting on the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system as well as the Muni F-Line.

All I ask for is common sense, common courtesy. But that rarely seems to happen. For once I ask that you do not talk loudly on the BART, particularly if the person you are talking with is across the aisle. This goes double for 13 year old girls talking about Hello Kitty

And do not yammer into your cell phone and constantly call back after losing your signal through tunnels. The majority of us are simply waking up and trying to read the paper or a book.


To the guy on the 6:30 train next me - do NOT attack your paper, snapping it back and forth like the news in it is evil and has it in for you personally. Thwack. Crack. Even when I sit next to him reading, imitating him, slapping each page of my book back with a thwack, he is oblivious. So instead I may sit next to the guy who in black leather jacket, with eyes closed, sits with finger to thumb on each knee in meditation.

Do not bring toys that beep or squawk. Do not wear cheap crappy ear phones and then crank up the volume so that I must hear the dum-dum-dum beat of Metallica or the tinny screech of Celine Dion or the warbling of mariachi.

Figure out how much money you have on your BART card BEFORE you slide it through the machine. Do not jump the line when getting on the BART or the F line. This goes for those of you sitting on the huge white marble circles that serve as a bench. If you are not standing up, you are not in line (unless you have crutches). I don't care if you've been sitting there five more minutes. I'm standing.

And if you're the first person at the door, let those off first before barging in like some lobotomized bull. Look behind you after you open the door to Starbucks. Sure, you need that fix, so do I, but have some decency to think of others in this quest. If you're going to just stand on the escalator, then stay to the right, let those who want to finish their commute and get some exercise move on the left.

Middle aged women who shoot daggers at anyone who may take an open seat before them need to chill. I've been standing for 15 minutes already and you just got on, so don't expect much sympathy if you're giving me that stink eye. You'd be better off if you were cool about it and let me offer you the damn seat. I expect this might be how some minorities feel. If you're eyed a certain way, then hell, you resent it. The black guy who watches as people look at him and then not so subtly pat down their wallet or purse must be fuming.

And is it just me or do people speaking foreign languages always speak at a higher volume. It's like there's a different decibel level for each language. I'll have to look into that.

Stop obsessing on your PDAs, your palms, pocket pcs and handsprings, scraping with your pointer in muted clicks like some African popping language.

If you are fucking hyper and crank up your laptop, turn the sound off. I don't need to hear the Microsoft praise-almighty harpsichord crescendo or any error bings when you screw up on Word or Excel.

When it's crowded, either hunker down in a spot where others can get by, or move all the way to the back. If you're going to take the stand-up spot by the door, leaning against the metal bar then flatten yourself quickly, don't begin to make yourself comfy before the rest of us have gotten in.

When on the BART or F Line, don't stand there not holding onto something, like some 12 year old, trying to prove that you can withstand all the jerks and snags of the trip - that you're center of gravity is just the cats meow. That the time you spent in Hawaii surfing has taught you to keep your legs spread and knees bent, and nothing but a killer wave could throw you. Don't do that, because in a heartbeat the car will jerk and throw you, and you'll bump into me and others while making a desperate wild grab for something to grasp. You are not 12 anymore and that game is well in your past.

Take this time to isolate those nervous habits, those tics, and then get rid of them. You are exempt if you have tourette's by the way. If you tap your foot incessantly or suck your teeth causing a cross between a slurp and a smack every 23 seconds - then get a clue. You are not paranoid. This is the reason why everyone is staring at you. Take this opportunity to stop these obsessive habits and spare us all.

If you have a nose-whistle, please note this and try to kill it off as quickly as possible. And constant snuffling that does nothing to snuff the whistle is simply not acceptable, but just adding insult to injury.

You may think me harsh, and sometimes I am. I find myself chastising myself for being such a curmudgeon. But I usually boomerang around to this same train of thought once another person violates one of the above. Now, I fully admit that I can be a hypocrite. That in rare instances I go against a few, a scant few mind you, of these annoyances. And so I don't judge others in that first instance, or try not to. I mean, please, everyone jumps to judgement. But I try not to knowing that at times I will need to count on these folks to forgive my banter across the aisle with a friend or co-worker.

In all, these experiences are a microcosm of our (or at least my) everyday experiences. People not using turn signals, using the express lane at the grocery store with 25 items and writing a check, taking your squawking 2 year old to a rated R movie, and outright inconsiderate and self-centered behavior.

I implore you to help educate our fellow humans to the rules above.

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Display: Sort:
Public Transportation Etiquette | 68 comments (68 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
You would've loved me. (2.87 / 8) (#1)
by Jin Wicked on Wed Jul 25, 2001 at 03:31:27 PM EST

Maybe. I used to have to ride the bus to work in Minneapolis, in the winter, and I'd get on covered in snow, with those fingerless gloves and my hat looking like some kind of melancholy from a Charles Dickens novel, and a thin fur coat stuffed underneath my longer trench coat, and boots, and my bent up umbrella...

I mean, if leather jackets bother you and all.


This post was probably not written by the real Jin Wicked. Please see user "butter pie" for Jin's actual posts.


Sounds fine actually ... (3.00 / 1) (#8)
by ajkohn on Wed Jul 25, 2001 at 04:26:45 PM EST

Leather jacket was just such a juxtaposition with the meditation posture.

As for your snowy entrance. No sweat. Now, if you were to shake yourself off like a dog coming out of a stream and then keep your umbrella open, then I may take some umbrage.
"Just because something bears the aspect of the inevitable one should not, therefore, go along willingly with it." - The Transmigration of Timothy Archer
[ Parent ]

No comment. (4.00 / 1) (#52)
by Jin Wicked on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 01:44:23 AM EST

*shuffles feet and stares at the ceiling innocently*


This post was probably not written by the real Jin Wicked. Please see user "butter pie" for Jin's actual posts.


[ Parent ]
What a wimp. (3.81 / 11) (#2)
by theboz on Wed Jul 25, 2001 at 03:34:18 PM EST

If that's all you have experienced with public transportation, you have it easy. You haven't heard the people that sit there and talk in a loud voice to themselves acting like their deceased father is there. You haven't heard the woman that gets on the train and starts talking about how a hospital named after a former president is the cause of all the death's in her family, thus making that president personally responsible (although he's been dead for years) and she has to announce it to the public on every car of the train. You haven't had a homeless woman sitting beside you laughing evilly for no reason. You haven't had your fiancee threatened with going to jail by an overzealous rentacop for holding an empty cup on a train even though nowhere does it say no food or drink.

I'd say that your experiences are a walk in the park. You should go to Atlanta and ride the MARTA at some point. That's the real scary stuff.

Stuff.

Most certainly had those experiences ... (4.00 / 3) (#5)
by ajkohn on Wed Jul 25, 2001 at 04:05:40 PM EST

but didn't feel it was part of the 'rules' that, er, normal people should follow.

Yes, have had those homeless people who pee on the seats and then cover it with newspaper. And then hear the shriek when a Donna Karan clad business-woman swipes it up and sits down without looking.

Have had one armed 300 pound homeless man, with skin grafts that looked like he'd been waffle-ironed on a screen door giggle in a high-pitched girly voice while massaging the hair of women on the car.

And certainly have the run-of-the-mill, talking to myself in seething rage against unknown enemies, chock full of obscenities and gesticulations crazy who makes it necessary to keep a far distance.

But etiquette isn't really an issue with these types of individuals, so I chose to leave them out of the mix.

All this and more, on your local public transportation system - again, a microcosm of life as a whole.

Perhaps we should sell tickets. Oh, that's right - they do!
"Just because something bears the aspect of the inevitable one should not, therefore, go along willingly with it." - The Transmigration of Timothy Archer
[ Parent ]

You've never been to SF, have you? (4.00 / 3) (#33)
by ckm on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 03:26:32 AM EST

I've lived in about 12 major cities on two continents and 7 different countries.

I have to say, that in my experience, San Francisco has some of the wierdest, most outlandish, freaky people I've ever seen/met. I love the diversity, as a friend of mine said, people in San Francisco feel an intense need to customize themselves and their environment. And it also has more visibly homeless people than any other place I've been, barring Tunis.

Check you Rusty's comments about someone puking in the seat behind him as the redneck next to him tries to provoke a fight while two teenage junkies passout in the back. That's pretty typical.

It's pretty entertaining to ride public transportation in SF, you never know what you're in for. It can get on your nerves, however, and it's often quite unpleasant.

For a really shocking view of how segregated SF really is, I recommend the 22 line, which goes from yuppie heaven Marina, through absurdly wealthy Pacific Heights, down to public housing in Western Addition, through the predominantly gay Castro area, down to hispanic Mission street, through industrial Potrero Hill, and finally ending at public housing in Bay View. It's pretty amazing.

Chris.

[ Parent ]
i'm not so sure... (2.63 / 11) (#3)
by flummox on Wed Jul 25, 2001 at 03:53:44 PM EST

i think you summed up the "point" of this in the last part of your "story"... that, it only bothers people when they have the time, and the mindset, to actually sit there and study other people...

i think the "morale" of the story is: try to realize, moron, that there are other people in this world. am i right?? well, isn't this a "double edged sword", so to speak?? you said yourself that there are times when you "violate" your rules for public transportation...

this really bugs me now... who are you to say that someone's music is too loud? or that they are talking too loud, whether it's in "another" language or on a cellphone? maybe the guy with the nose whistle doesn't hear it? or maybe he just doesn't fucking care !! which is probably the case.

here's my take on it: if you don't like it, don't look, listen, smell or whatever... don't like the music i choose to listen to on my headphones? too bad. bring your own music or tune it out. is the conversation i'm having on my cellphone bothering you? again, tough toenails. oops! i made another mistake in MS Word and the cute little paper clip guy just beeped at me! sorry, so what?

how do you expect other people to know how loud something is and much less if it is "annoying" other passengers? is ther a decible meter on the train? do humans have the capacity to measure sound waves that accurately in order to maintain a proper volume a la speed limit style?

the only points that are really valid is the "please hold on so you don't bump into me", "have your fucking money/pay card ready", and the "please move the fuck outta my way when i want to get by you" gripes...

i think that you should adjust YOUR actions. or get off the train. if the public bothers you so much, then why not avoid them. why do you choose to interact with them by taking public transportation?? i think you are being an anus about this. especially since the decision to partake of public transportation rests in your nitpicky hands !!

when you decide to take public transportation, you have to take into account that anyone from the public meeting the criteria to ride, which is basically anyone who can pay the fare, is free to ride and be themselves as long as their actions to not intentionally hurt other passengers or place them into immediate danger or infringe on anyone's rights. if you have a problem with people being themselves and living their lives like they want to, then i suggest you drive or walk to work.

or, there is always suicide. do the world a favor. there are too many morons anyways. one less won't be noticed...

that is all for now,

cap'n flummox


...bring me my cheese...

a) humor and b) unclench (3.00 / 4) (#11)
by ajkohn on Wed Jul 25, 2001 at 04:41:31 PM EST

Again, this is a humor article, so please unclench just a little since much of this is simply to point out that the world would be a bit better if people chose to think how their actions effected others.

I try to do this as often as possible.

True, I could simply say, 'Hey, this guy here with the massive boom-box cranked up to a Spinal Tap 11 just likes his music, and more power to him, look at the fellow, staring menacingly at anyone daring to look askance at him. Yes, yes, a good egg.'

Again, please note humorous hyperbole in prior paragraph. Old motherly adage:

Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

I like that more then your POV where something akin to anarchy will reign.
My 4 cents (adjusted for inflation.)
"Just because something bears the aspect of the inevitable one should not, therefore, go along willingly with it." - The Transmigration of Timothy Archer
[ Parent ]

idoit box (1.50 / 2) (#45)
by flummox on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 11:26:03 AM EST

i'm ASSuming that by "b) unclench" you are referring to the state of my puckered anus. so, that must be a "anal retentive" comment. right?

but, it seems to me that you are the one who needs to let loose once in a while...

no, the world is a shittier place because people like you are constantly stopping people from doing what they want to, simply because they can't handle it... nevermind the fact that YOU should change YOUR ways and stop trying to get other people to be as lame as YOU ARE... is that funny? i thought so... BTW: this is a humor article...

there are so many things to say about this. so many phrases about how you should relax and all that. it's all been said. but, if you care so much, and you think you are right, why not try this: next time you see, hear, smell, or taste someone doing something you disagree with (because that is what this is about YOU disagreeing with other people's actions, regardless of whether they are "right" or "wrong") why not walk up to them and tell them the same things you told us here? why not see the response you would get from them? maybe if you ask nicely enough, you can stop all these annoying things from happening to you and educate the public properly at the same time. it just seems stupid to bitch about things to the people who aren't doing them to you. it DOES make you look like a whiner, and also makes you sound like a little bitch...

yeah, very humorous. i was laughing the whole time...

i'd like to see the response you'd get from these people. i'd also like to see someone like you come up to me on the train/bus and ask me to change my lifestyle simply because it is bothering you. you have to be tougher than that. grow some thicker skin or something... toughen up a little bit, whether it's physically so you can kick the ass of the old man with the whistle nose, or socially so you can walk up to someone and have the charisma to kindly ask them to refrain from said annoying action without getting your ass kicked in return...

oh, wait... that's right. this was a humor column. i must have forgotten. or maybe i tried not to laugh too loud because i didn't want to bother anyone...

okay, now onto the actual review of your humor... it sucks... that's my 6 cents worth (adjusted for asshole-isms)... enjoy your shitty commute !!

how's that dick taste?? watch out for pubes!!

cap'n flummox

P.S. don't forget to swallow...


...bring me my cheese...

[ Parent ]
Laughing my Ass Off (4.00 / 1) (#65)
by ajkohn on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 01:35:18 PM EST

Insults from idiots should be considered compliments.

Thus, I am considerably flattered by your flithy diatribe.

No more words to be spent on you except that you should probably seek guidance for anger management.


"Just because something bears the aspect of the inevitable one should not, therefore, go along willingly with it." - The Transmigration of Timothy Archer
[ Parent ]

ugh... (1.00 / 1) (#66)
by flummox on Mon Jul 30, 2001 at 02:33:36 PM EST

ah, yes. the appearance of intelligence through use of big words.

so? did you get that guy to stop his nose from whistling? just checking to see if you grew some thicker skin this weekend...

probably not, or you might actually start enjoying yourself...

yes, anger.... lot's of it, because there are lots of idiots in this world....

and then they try to change my freedom...

i'm sure you understand? right?

well, back to chaining up my latest victim...

check ya laterrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr,

cap'n flummox


...bring me my cheese...

[ Parent ]
Thanks :) (4.71 / 7) (#4)
by Ticino on Wed Jul 25, 2001 at 04:04:33 PM EST

That was hilarious, really made my day :) If you want to empathize with your fellow commuter comrades, check out the London Underground etiquette rules:

http://www.geocities.com/themole7/tuberules.html

Absolutely Fabulous! (2.50 / 4) (#7)
by ajkohn on Wed Jul 25, 2001 at 04:21:53 PM EST

And no, not the TV show. Great link! A few rules of etiquette there that I missed. *bookmarking now*

Thanks!
"Just because something bears the aspect of the inevitable one should not, therefore, go along willingly with it." - The Transmigration of Timothy Archer
[ Parent ]

Well. . . (3.88 / 9) (#6)
by Anonymous 242 on Wed Jul 25, 2001 at 04:19:46 PM EST

There was that one time I was sitting on the bus just minding my own business when this older gentleman climbs aboard the bus. His white hair was rather shocking against his dark ebony skin. His lips were floppy and slack due to his missing dentures. He wore a hard hat with a red cross emblem painted on it and a camoflauged jump suit. A poloroid instant camera hung from his neck and his G.I. Joe utility belt sported a two foot fireman's hatchet.

Of course as soon as he got on the bus, some wise apple kids hard to start making wise cracks at him. 'Hey Gramps! Take a picture of me!'

This kindly gentleman sauntered over to sit right next to the wise apples. He looks at the one that requested a picture and starts graphically describing how he'd take pictures all right. He'd take pictures before and after and send them to the wise cracker's mother. Everytime the stream of profanities and graphic verbal depictions of violence slowed down, one of the other kids on the back of the bus would say something else to set the elderly gentleman off.

Eventually this kind man got off of the bus. Happily, my stop was several more miles down the pike.

Ever since, nose-picking, crying children, noisy newspaper readers, loud utilizers of cell-phones and personal stereo gear haven't gotten to me in quite the same way. People are people, after all.

Perhaps its time to learn some breathing exercises to calm down. . .

have a day,

Lee

The Cardinal Rule (5.00 / 2) (#41)
by shumacher on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 07:47:16 AM EST

That's depressing. There are any number of moral arguments against the behavior of those little brats. For me, the moral arguments aren't the first things in my mind. I've always made it a rule to not poke fun at strangers riding public transportation whilst carrying large hatchets.

When you can balance a tack hammer on your head, you can head off your foes with a balanced attack.
[ Parent ]
Yeah, I wonder about that (4.00 / 1) (#42)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 08:33:49 AM EST

I've always made it a rule to not poke fun at strangers riding public transportation whilst carrying large hatchets.
That and people that argue with people with guns.

Some things I just don't understand.

-l

[ Parent ]

Are people really that immature? (2.41 / 12) (#9)
by DeadBaby on Wed Jul 25, 2001 at 04:38:12 PM EST

I mean, grow up. Don't you have ANYTHING better to do than worry about how other people piss you off?



"Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
I hear you loud and clear (3.42 / 7) (#10)
by MSBob on Wed Jul 25, 2001 at 04:39:26 PM EST

I didn't have a car when I lived in Glasgow for I was too poor.

And for three years I had to endure the Glasgow tube.

Never again! Thank Goodness.

Does anyone realise just how smelly food can be? Even salt and vinegar crisps. But the real offender is the British Fish and Chips. If you go there you'll realise. You'll know what I mean the moment you smell it, the gag reflex is immediate. How people can possibly eat this sort of stuff is beyond me when I can't endure standing five feet away from it. It's the great mistery of Britain. And for all Glaswegians out there:

IT'S A FUCKING MENACE. STOP MUNCHING THIS SHIT WHEN YOU'RE ON THE TUBE WITH OTHER PEOPLE, FOR CHRISTSAKE!

I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

Worse... (4.00 / 3) (#36)
by deefer on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 03:55:47 AM EST

Is last nights dirty kebab. Especially with the weather so hot and all. Cold greasy lamb stench, with a heady overtone of suicide chilli sauce...

Of course, it's always worse if you were out on the lash the night before and got kebab drunk yourself...


Kill the baddies.
Get the girl.
And save the entire planet.

[ Parent ]

Ick... (4.00 / 3) (#39)
by gordonjcp on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 06:15:33 AM EST

Yep, I know exactly what you mean...
The tube's not too bat though, 90p to go from anywhere to anywhere else in a maximum of 25 minutes isn't bad.
I don't have public transport hassle going to work though. There isn't any - car or nothing!
Well, not *strictly speaking* true - I could get a tube to the bus station, the get a bus to Alloa (some 36 miles away) by way of every little village on route, round the back roads - 2.5 hours.
I could get a tube or low-level train into town, get the train to Stirling, and then be 10 miles from work - another bus. 1.5 - 2 hours.
Or just jump in my government-despised, gas-guzzling car, and be there in 45 minutes.
Don't you just *love* the British public transport policies?

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
An alternative experience (4.10 / 10) (#12)
by Skippy on Wed Jul 25, 2001 at 04:52:39 PM EST

In Co(w)lubmus, Ohio, USA where people think we're a big city because they've never seen one and we have a barely passable transit system I've had a different experience. If you are going anywhere except downtown the only folks likely to be on the bus (the only availabe public transit) are the working poor.

These are some of the most polite folks I've ever had the experience to be around. Lots of please, thank you, excuse me, etc. Since I've been riding the bus I've come to the conclusion that etiquette is not dead, it is still used only by the lower class. Middle class and above folks seem to be too important for etiquette. Just 2 cents worth of a different viewpoint.

# I am now finished talking out my ass about things that I am not qualified to discuss. #

Co(w)lumbus? (none / 0) (#50)
by irksome on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 11:15:42 PM EST

I've never heard that term used by an actual resident of the town. Usually any residents of that town (or graduates of tOSU) who hear me calling it Cowlumbus make a noise that sounds somewhat like a cross between a hoover vaccuum, an old car with a bad engine, and a hard drive trying to spin up.


I think I am, therefore I'm not.
[ Parent ]
O-kaaaay (3.20 / 10) (#13)
by Karmakaze on Wed Jul 25, 2001 at 04:59:09 PM EST

I'll grant you that the folks who play their music too loud and beeping toys are mildly annoying, but writing on a PDA is too loud for you? Man, that BART train must be whisper quiet for you to even hear that over the engine and track noise.

And what's so terrible about sitting next to a guy who's quietly meditating? He's sitting still, right? Quietly, right? Not taking up more than his seat, right? That sounds like exactly the sort of person you do want to sit next to.

It sounds like you're annoyed that any of these people dare exist in your presence. You must be really grumpy when you first get up.

It's not the guy reading his paper and snapping it to keep the pages straight (which you do have to do to keep the paper from wilting, unless you've mastered the art of newspaper origami) that annoys me. It's the guy who keeps his newspaper, briefcase, and laptop spread around to take up three seats when there are people standing. Its not the people with the unmitigated gall to hold a conversation on the train that bother me, it's the people who think this is a wonderful time to test every ring on their new Nokia.

If what you describe is the worst you've seen, you have nothing to complain about.


--
Karmakaze

Hyperbole and exaggeration ... (4.00 / 3) (#14)
by ajkohn on Wed Jul 25, 2001 at 05:08:25 PM EST

to make a point. Yes, the meditation dude pretty cool, though he'll give ya stink eye quick if you so much as make a millimeter of contact with him.

The paper guy - I think you have to be there. The sound he makes isn't in folding and unfolding. It's turning the page. And somehow it's the same volume if you were to twist a straw up by both ends and then flick the air-filled middle.

However, totally agree with the multi-seat, immersed in something so I pretend I don't see you individual.

Simply a (hopefully) humorous article with the 'do unto others' adage the moral of the story. Happy riding.
"Just because something bears the aspect of the inevitable one should not, therefore, go along willingly with it." - The Transmigration of Timothy Archer
[ Parent ]

Hell yes (4.81 / 11) (#15)
by rusty on Wed Jul 25, 2001 at 05:32:03 PM EST

If what you describe is the worst you've seen, you have nothing to complain about.

I am reminded of a particular ride on the 77 from Haight to Market and 4th. We got on the bus behind the two junkie girls, one of whom was nodding already at the bus stop, and the other who was wild-eyed hyper and babbling at everything (maybe she was on crack?). They both had that "16 going on 85" look of long-term serious drug users.

They moved away from us on the bus, but it may have just been because the guy on the seat in front of us was trying his best to pick a fight with anyone and everyone, yelling at the guy next to him "HEY MAN, YOU SOME KINDA FAGGOT OR SOMETHING?" and so on.

So I moved up to the front, where things seemed a little quiter. After a minute, I noticed a strange smell wafting around me, and realize that the young man on my immediate left was bent double and quietly vomiting between his feet. He continued for the rest of the ride, as the pool spread and started to flow up toward the front of the bus, around my feet.

Meanwhile, fight-picking guy came on up and sat on the other side of me, screming that he wanted to get to the Avenues. He was going the wrong way, but no one wanted to tell him that for fear of attracting his attention. He stank of body odor and sour whiskey, but this was almost pleasant compared to the vomit stench that was starting to grow in power at my end of the bus.

After about 5 blocks of redneck screaming on one side and stinking puke on the other, the driver stopped and kicked the screaming guy off. I took the opportunity to head back to the other end of the bus, as I was about to toss my own cookies from the vile puke-smell at the front of the bus.

In the back, there were no seats. I was jabbed a few times by the pagan fellow carrying the huge bongo and swaggering around with a great big stick stuck in his belt, but by now, this seemed fairly pleasant, so I didn't complain. Both the junkies were now nodding, mostly resting their heads against the unfortunate tourists they were sitting next to.

Finally, Fourth and Market. Bret and I got off the bus, and for a minute just stared at each other, bewildered and slack-jawed, feeling like we had just survived some kind of Kurtzian journey into San Francisco's version of the Congo.

Next time someone rattles their paper too loudly, shake their hand, and thank them for being a model citizen.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Busses in the Haight... (4.00 / 3) (#18)
by SvnLyrBrto on Wed Jul 25, 2001 at 07:14:17 PM EST

Is is just my imagination, or are there something like five busses going westbound on Haight for every ONE going east?

I do most of my music and movies shopping at Ameoba and F8. I get presale tix to parties a lot at either F8 or Spundae. And I'm absolutely hooked on Escape from New York's potato/garlic pesto pizza. So I wind up in the Haight at least once a week or so...

Getting there is easy... a bus goes west from downtown ever five minutes, or it's not uncommon to catch a westbound N train and get off at Cole. But getting BACK from the Haight is an exercise in frustration or futility. I *SWEAR* it... I've gotten so used to the poor eastbound MUNI that I usually just start walking toward Market.... I'll count five westbounds before ONE eastbound catches up with me. And usually that ONE bus is so packed with people that I don't bother. So, on my way home from the Haight, I usually WALK all the way from Ameoba to the Civic Center BART station.

It's almost as if they just drive the busses and N-Judah trains into the ocean, and build new ones at some secret factory in SOMA.


cya,
john

Imagine all the people...
[ Parent ]

Hahahaha (3.00 / 2) (#23)
by rusty on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 01:04:37 AM EST

I know what you mean. It depends on what time of day, though. Also, if you go down to Masonic, there's another line that turns there which slightly improves your chances, and you probably alsready know that you can take almost any bus that's going that direction. There are four or five lines that all go down to somewhere in the vicinity of Market.

I hate the Muni though. Another true story -- a group of friends and I left Citrus Club headed to lower Haight. They went to take the bus, I walked. I got there about ten minutes before them.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Depends on time of day - WAP info on bus arrivals (3.50 / 2) (#30)
by ckm on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 03:11:09 AM EST

I live in Safeway Heights (aka Duboce @ Noe), and often catch the N to get downtown. I used to give myself an hour, usually waiting at least 20min for a train.

However, I then discovered NextBus. You can access it on your WAP phone, and it will tell you how long until the next bus/tram. It's so accurate that I've been at the end of the block with 1 minute to spare and half-way to the stop, as the time rolls to zero minutes, the tram arrives. In fact, I've missed the N a few times by just a minute.

Check it out at http://www.nextbus.com. Makes it easier to decide when to walk.

It doesn't, however, predict when the Windows NT system that's running the underground is f*cked up and nothing is moving...

Chris.

P.S. We should have an SF Kuro5hin party...

[ Parent ]

truth of the MUNI.. (4.00 / 1) (#55)
by toddg on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 05:44:17 AM EST

Is is just my imagination, or are there something like five busses going westbound on Haight for every ONE going east?
You are correct. Much like the chariot of Apollo, which after drawing the sun across the sky was drawn through the gates of night and carried east through the underworld to rise again at dawn, so too does the MUNI drive into the underworld in gates past the Ocean Beach surf. There they must pass east through a land, a hideous land; a negation of all the joy found on the surface in San Francisco. (Readers familiar with HP Lovecraft's "Dream Quest of Unknown Kaddath" know the place.) Through marvelous determination and training do these drivers return to Embarcadero, but not without cost - the powers they gain to repel the denizens of the underworld leave them somewhat less ... or perhaps, more than fully human, gibbering madly about things only they can see... "You see the creatures that form what men call the pure air and the blue sky?"

Believe what you must!!

I love that I live in a city where I can even think of the above, let alone write it with some level of plausibilty or at least relevant wit.

Pointers:

  • The east-bound N-Judah stops now have arrival minutes. After Ameoba, walk back to Carl & Cole.
  • Go to Escape from New York in the Castro. Better quality there, too, and there are 3 subway lines and 2.4 metric assloads of surface rail & bus lines.
  • rusty points out that there are more lines on Masonic. Also on Masonic is Magnolia, whose oatmeal stout makes buses irrelevant.
  • I have sworn vengence upon the N-Judah. I would have sworn vengence upon the N-Judah on the grave of my father, but, well, he's not dead yet. So if anyone could kindly support me in spirit by cursing the gods that made the MUNI whilst within a sacred tomb or barrow, I would appreciate it.
  • I think this is actually part of a SF resettlement plan. After fighting with the N & the 77, I just gave up and moved to Upper Haight -- after all, that's where they keep going. Why fight it?
--denshi, who was *so* spoiled by the London Tube.

[ Parent ]
One Way Mystery Explained! (none / 0) (#68)
by phliar on Fri Aug 10, 2001 at 02:51:13 AM EST

Is is just my imagination, or are there something like five busses going westbound on Haight for every ONE going east?

It's almost as if they just drive the busses and N-Judah trains into the ocean, and build new ones at some secret factory in SOMA.

No, it's much simpler: they don't drive them into the ocean, nor do they have secret factories in SOMA. They really have giant underground bunkers at both ends. When you want to go eastbound, the move all the buses and trains to the ocean bunker. When you want to go west, they take the opportunity to move them to the SOMA bunker.

They do the same for the 22. In the mornings when I was trying to take it from Mission to Potrero, they were all going to the secret Marina underground bunker; in the evenings. to the secret bayside bunker.


Faster, faster, until the thrill of...
[ Parent ]

Nightmare experiences with those beyond help (3.00 / 1) (#20)
by ajkohn on Wed Jul 25, 2001 at 07:39:47 PM EST

are always great urban conversation fodder. A rite of passage for many - and you have a doozy.

But, that wasn't what I was getting at really. Those with some drug imbalance, whether self-administered or free-range neuro-chemical, are not the target of my tongue-in-cheek rant about etiquette. The drug addled, Bellvue escapee, vomiting, explitive types are too far gone.


"Just because something bears the aspect of the inevitable one should not, therefore, go along willingly with it." - The Transmigration of Timothy Archer
[ Parent ]

Yeah, I know (3.00 / 1) (#24)
by rusty on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 01:07:28 AM EST

I know what you were trying to say. Commuting is annoying, no matter what, and public transit commuting is two or three times as annoying. I think I'd usually rather be stuck in traffic than sitting on a stinky bus with a lot of other annoying people. Though the Metro in DC was never too bad, for commuting purposes.

But I just had to get that story out. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Chill out, dude (3.50 / 10) (#16)
by NoBeardPete on Wed Jul 25, 2001 at 06:41:06 PM EST

Dude, calm down. Like a bunch of other people have said, almost all of the things you're griping about are completely non-gripeworthy. If you're in an urban area, you should expect it to be noisy, busy, full of people who don't have the same interests, values, and preoccupation with utter silence as you. It'll probably be messy, chaotic, and full of weird smells. There'll also be lines, traffic, and bad parking. This is all part and parcel of being in an urban area. I understand that much of the area BART serves is somewhat suburban, but it's still public transportation.

If you are really unhappy being around people (and it sounds like you are), I invite you to move to Michigan or Minnesota or somesuch and seclude yourself in a shack with a bunch of firearms and plentiful supply of canned foods. You are obviously unhappy living and traveling in the company of other people. There are plenty of more tolerant types who'll gladly take your place, people who love the noise, chaos, diversity, busyness, people who smile to themselves when the boisterous group of middle-school kids gets on the train or bus or trolley, people who aren't determined to be irritated by their fellow man.

That being said, here's my funniest public transportation story (not the worst - just the funniest).

I was riding the subway home from school with some of my friends, back in high school. The car forwards of us had a crazy, unkempt guy wearing a sandwich board, yelling about the end of the world and stuff. So far this is not too uncommon, nor very amusing. After a stop or two, a crazy lady wearing a sandwich board got on the car backwards from us, yelling about how we all needed to repent to Christ because we could die at any moment. Then, after another stop or so, they both simultaneously wandered into our car.

Neither of them was willing to aknowledge the other's presence, but they each clearly felt compelled to try to outdo the other. They both kept their distance - neither would venture more than halfway from their end of the car to the center. However, they each became louder and more frantic, began to wave their arms more wildly and make more and more outrageous claims, all the while refusing to look directly at, or show any sign of being aware of, the other.

All of us passengers were amazed. Everyone in the center of the car would just sit and watch, eyes wide. Everyone's head would turn towards one, then over towards the other, and then back again. It was almost a little surreal.

Unfortunately me and my friends got off before the contest was resolved, and never found out who won. In retrospect, I should have stayed on the car to see how it turned out.
Arrr, it be the infamous pirate, No Beard Pete!

*deep sigh* (4.20 / 5) (#19)
by ajkohn on Wed Jul 25, 2001 at 07:27:28 PM EST

It seems that my attempts to accentuate certain characteristics (much like Dickens does with his portrayals - no I'm not comparing myself to Dickens) for the sake of humor and the general plea of, 'think of how your actions effect others' has been taken far more seriously then anticipated.

Indeed, I relish diversity and love the quirks, oddities, variety and pure-chaos that often exists in urban areas. Having camped out with and had long drunken conversations with a homeless man who claimed to be Jesus Christ, smiling at the mad dash of bicyclists clogging traffic on Market Street, being scared stiff by the infamous Bush Man bum down at the Wharf, accosted by those trying to sell cheap gold-plated jewelry, to the child running away from her mom, giggling and screaming, 'You're a vampire and you're going to catch me!'

The moral, though I didn't want to actually write into the story in big block letters, was that we could ALL do with thinking a bit about how our actions effect others. In the cramped space of a subway car is just one such place where a few common courtesies could go a long way. But extend that to everyday issues and I think we'd all be a bit happier.

I'm not talking about squelching the block party, or demolishing the Erotic Exotic Ball or, sheesh, taking any of the vibrant nature away from an urban area. What I am talking about is, throw away your trash, or give up your seat to the old woman, or turn the sound off the portable Yahtzee.
"Just because something bears the aspect of the inevitable one should not, therefore, go along willingly with it." - The Transmigration of Timothy Archer
[ Parent ]

The horror (4.60 / 15) (#17)
by Tatarigami on Wed Jul 25, 2001 at 07:10:56 PM EST

This reminds me of an incident I was witness to on a bus a couple of years ago.

It was a warm day and I was dozing a little in my seat, so I only slowly became aware of the fact that the old gentleman seated across the isle was having a quiet conversation with someone who wasn't there. He was asserting the superiority over all other aircraft of the Boeing 747 and how there was nothing that could cause one of them to fall out of the sky.

I made the mistake of not ducking my head in time to avoid eye contact, but fortunately, he ignored me and continued lecturing the bus at large, growing gradually louder.

As time passed, his advocacy for the 747 gradually metamorphosed into a bitter condemnation of the Japanese, who (he declared) have had a campaign of bombing aircraft in flight dating back to the end of World War II.

I felt sorry for the obviously-Chinese man who unwittingly seated himself in front of the lunatic, as he bore the full brunt of the attack for the next few miles. Through all of this, the bus driver was either blissfully unaware of the problem, or chose not to hear it. It was lucky for the two asian girls who climbed on board the bus soon after that the ranter chose to get off at the stop before theirs.

The whole thing left me shaking my head in bemusement, but that wasn't the end of it. A few months later I saw the Boeing fan again, on the same bus route.

This time he was driving the bus.

I skipped his bus and waited for the next one.

Taking the limousines (3.40 / 5) (#21)
by slaytanic killer on Wed Jul 25, 2001 at 08:02:02 PM EST

I love public transportation, at least when I was growing up. I've been quietly cursed by a Satanic old woman ("Thrice damned and Your sssoul is going to hell..."), I've been on the Love Bus and the Love Train, both driven by the same guy who loved singing and lecturing about racial harmony... The girl who screamed at her friends because she was pregnant and the guy left her, who started laughing loudly a few minutes later, her attention distracted.

I've also been the cause of terribly embarrassing incidents that have weakened me for life, like when I noticed someone's interesting gait with his cane, and I murmured to my friend, "Nice strut." He was on another platform and I thought I was talking under my breath until he shot me a nasty look.

Sigh. I'm in a comparatively quiet country ATM, where there are naked breasts on the ads, but no one takes that kind of shit. The whole continent is like that. Sorta miss it now that I'm away from it all.

Pray tell! (none / 0) (#35)
by deefer on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 03:54:09 AM EST

quiet country [...] naked breasts on the ads

Where, dammit, where? ;)


Kill the baddies.
Get the girl.
And save the entire planet.

[ Parent ]

Big, barenaked eurowomen (4.00 / 1) (#44)
by slaytanic killer on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 09:40:07 AM EST

I thought all of Europe was that way, at least the western ones on the continent. France, Germany... maybe not Spain, I don't recall seeing that there, but the Spanish seem much less uptight and ambiguous about sex than most anywhere else. Heck, some stores I've been to have little crossword puzzles with topless models on the front. Fun for hours, I guess.

[ Parent ]
Public Transporation (4.00 / 14) (#22)
by sventhatcher on Wed Jul 25, 2001 at 09:10:03 PM EST

Public Transportation is just that, public.

If you find it completely intolerable, you don't have to use it. Certainly, you're getting what you paid for even if there is what you consider to be an intolerable amount of noise and disruption.

It isn't a library. It isn't a morgue. There's no reason for people to not talk if the urge hits them. They're paying the same amount you are.

Anything that would be acceptable walking the city streets or visiting a city park can pretty much be considered equally acceptable when taking public transit, in my opinion. Certainly the space does raise some issues, people should leave the game of tag elsewhere. =)

If this were a long-term bus or airplane where a substansial fee was being paid, I'd agree with you 100%, but it's not. It's cheap transport. It's an alternative to the expense and hassle of a car. Be glad it exists, because it doesn't everywhere.

--Sven (Now with bonus vanity weblog! (MLP Sold Seperately))

It isn't a morgue. (5.00 / 2) (#59)
by pallex on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 12:18:44 PM EST

Clearly you`ve not travelled on Englands public transport system then.

[ Parent ]
It is too bad! (2.25 / 8) (#25)
by enani on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 01:17:07 AM EST

It is too bad you do not want to know about Hello Kitty! Hello Kitty has a lot to offer! Especially if you like watersports!
--=* Moshi-moshi! *=--
Sure, the people can be annoying, but the smell! (3.00 / 2) (#26)
by stosselfan on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 01:39:25 AM EST

Ugh, just thinking about Muni and Bart makes me nauseous. The smell of stale urine wafting through the underground tunnel is enough to make a broke man want to pay the $25/day in parking it costs to park in downtown SF. Or course, it might be getting cheaper these days with all the dotcoms gone.

Munich Mass Transit (3.75 / 4) (#27)
by greenshift on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 01:44:04 AM EST

I recently visited Austria and Germany for 10 days. During this trip I was priveleged to ride on the subways and busses of Munich's mass transit system. Most people riding on the subway were just regular folks, sitting or standing quietly and patiently, and the subway system itself was excellent.

However, one night, after a friend and I saw the Henry Rollins spoken-word show in Munich, there was a most interesting person on board the subway. He came on with an old bike that looked like it had been run over, dragged through the Danube River bottom, and then reconditioned. He smelled of whiskey, and obviously hadn't seen a shower or bathtub in quite some time. As soon as he stepped on the bus, he started talking loudly, speaking in Spanish, and barking what seemed like commands at invisible people on the subway. He began to focus on a teenager in the corner, pointing and giving orders. I recall looking at the teenager, saying with my facial expression, "WTF? Does this happen often?". He gave a slight shrug, indicating that it is not an altogether uncommon sight, though this may have been a little more unusual than most. Luckily my friend and I were only on the car for a few stops until we reached the Marienplatz.


"Those who would trade their essential liberty for a perceived temporary
security deserve neither liberty nor security."
-Ben Franklin

What do you want for a dollar? (2.41 / 12) (#28)
by GusherJizmac on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 01:47:05 AM EST

Jesus Christ! Chill the f*ck out. You payed a dollar. You're lucky you get a ride at all. If you don't like it, don't ride.

How they hell did this get posted anyway? Not enough stories about changing the moderation scheme???


<sig> G u s h e r J i z m a c </sig>

Do you know what you can get for a buck?!?! (5.00 / 2) (#48)
by theboz on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 02:38:12 PM EST

You payed a dollar. You're lucky you get a ride at all.

If you just dial 10-10-7589402789524780947289078904 you can get up to a 20 minute phone call for only a buck!

If you use 10-10-7589402789524780947289078904 for all of your long distance phone calls you can save a buck or two so that you can take you girlfriend to K-mart and buy her a slushy. A dollar goes a long way these days.

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

I'm not a police officer, but please pretend I am. (3.11 / 9) (#29)
by swr on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 02:42:44 AM EST

I would appreciate it if persons using the transit system would refrain from discussing illegal activities. While I'm sure the other druggie you just met is very interested in the exact dosage of methadon to keep a constant buzz for several days, or that PCP in this region comes in a paste form that is smoked, I and many others in the vehicle are not interested in being so educated under the curcumstances of a captive audience. We prefer to remain as ignorant as possible about all other passengers, and that includes ignorance of their drug habbits. There are some things we just don't want to know.

Thank you for your attention. You may now return to your regularly schedualed fix.



See the banana? (4.00 / 8) (#31)
by dave920 on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 03:12:33 AM EST

Damn yo, K5 users are taking so many of these posts so seriously these days. While there is always an element of "seriousness" that needs to be taken, this story is posted under the Humor section, meaning you are supposed to get a laugh out of it. While it may be a bit of a rant, it got posted so we could be amused, not attack the author for his interesting story.

I applaud the author on this one. I only ride public transporation when I'm in the city, and I can completely relate to what you're saying! This is a well written humor piece, and I hope I am not the only one that appreciates it as such.

Now.... (2.40 / 5) (#32)
by John Miles on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 03:21:42 AM EST

.... are you folks of the "green" persuasion beginning to see why Americans love their cars so much?

For so long as men do as they are told, there will be war.
walking, cycling and telecommuting (4.00 / 1) (#62)
by thePositron on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 12:05:25 AM EST

Actually in SF walking or bicycling is the best way to get to your job if you can.
Often I try to get jobs as close to me as possible so that I can walk.
Telecommuting is nice also if your job allows for it.


[ Parent ]
Sooooo True (3.50 / 6) (#34)
by thunderbee on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 03:49:35 AM EST

Although I don't live here, I fully support everything you wrote. Public transportation is the same everywhere I guess ;-)

And I wholeheartedly disagree with those that justify this state of things by saying "it's public what do you expect".

Now, that would mean that people (the public, right?) are unable to simply behave in a decent way? And your answer to that is drive your SUV all the way to work, thus generously contributing to the already too high air pollution?

It once was my belief that "One's freedom stops where someone else's begins". As a matter of fact, I still believe this. And I believe most of this "rant" simply points at that. And no, being in a crowded place is no excuse for behaving like an animal (and then, some animals display better social skills than most people do in public transportation)..

A Response (3.30 / 13) (#37)
by CaptainZapp on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 04:16:56 AM EST

Be warned, this may be viewed by many as a rant or whine and it is to a certain extent. The following details experiences from months of commuting over an 100 km distance by car.

All I ask for is common sense, common courtesy. But that rarely seems to happen. For once I ask that you do not honk loudly while on the road, particularly if the person you are honking to is 4 lanes away. This goes double for 13 year old girls, illegally driving a car.

And do not yammer into your cell phone and constantly call back after losing your signal through tunnels. The majority of us are simply trying to stay alive on the road. Your phoning while driving is dangerous to all of us.

To the guy on the 6:30 red light next me - do NOT attack your paper, snapping it back and forth like the news in it is evil and has it in for you personally, while you have your windows open. Thwack. Crack. So instead I may sit next to the guy who in black leather jacket, with eyes closed, sits with finger to thumb on each knee in meditation. For chrissakes! You're driving. So stay awake, will ya ? Do not bring toys that beep or squawk. Do not wear cheap crappy ear phones and then crank up the volume that you go deaf eventually. The guy foUr lanes away from you has to honk the horn even longer, now.

Figure out how much money you have in your wallet; BEFORE approaching the toll gate. Do not jump lanes. You're making all of us NERVOUS!

And if you're the first person at a red light turning green, would you terribly mind not waiting until the light turns red again? Because we might see some lobotomized fool in you. Look into the rear mirror from time to time; especially on the highway and especially if you're constantly blocking the left lane. Other cars may want to overtake.

Middle aged women who shoot daggers at anyone who may overtake them need to chill. I've been driving for 15 minutes behind you (while you where moving with all of 17 miles, through a 45 mile zone). You'd be better off if you were cool about it and I might even provide you with a smile.

And is it just me or do people speaking foreign languages always speak at a higher volume at red lights while they have their damn windows open. It's like there's a different decibel level for each language. I'll have to look into that.

Stop obsessing on your PDAs, your palms, pocket pcs and handsprings, scraping with your pointer in muted clicks like some African popping language. You're driving a fscking CAR!

If you are fucking hyper and crank up your laptop, do that after you left your car only and in a save place (BART comes to mind).

When roads are crowded, either stay home, or move all the way to the right, so I can pass. Then flatten yourself quickly (literally), do society a service. When you're flat, you can use public transportation better, while not taking up so much space on the road.

When on 80, or on 101, don't drive by not holding onto your steering wheel, like some 12 year old, trying to prove that you can withstand all the jerks and snags of the trip - that you're center of gravity is just the cats meow. That the time you spent in Hawaii surfing has taught you to keep your legs spread and knees bent, and nothing but a killer wave could throw you. Don't do that, because in a heartbeat the car will jerk and throw you, and you'll bump into me and others while making a desperate wild grab for your stiring wheel. You are not 12 anymore and that game is well in your past.

Take this time to isolate those nervous habits, those tics, and then get rid of them. You are exempt if you have tourette's by the way. If you tap your foot incessantly on the accelerator or suck your teeth causing a cross between a slurp and a smack every 23 seconds (especially with the window open at a red light) - then get a clue. You are not paranoid. This is the reason why everyone is staring at you. Take this opportunity to stop these obsessive habits and spare us all.

If you have a nose-whistle, please note this and try to kill it off as quickly as possible. And constant snuffling that does nothing to snuff the whistle is simply not acceptable, but just adding insult to injury. You might have guessed it: Especially at red lights with windows open this is an annoyance to humanity.

You may think me harsh, and sometimes I am. I find myself chastising myself for being such a curmudgeon. But I usually boomerang around from the right to the left lane and back once another person violates one of the above. Now, I fully admit that I can be a hypocrite. That in rare instances I go against a few, a scant few mind you, of these annoyances. And so I don't judge others in that first instance, or try not to. I mean, please, everyone jumps to judgement. But I try not to knowing that at times I will need to count on these folks to forgive my banter across the lanes with a friend or co-worker.

In all, these experiences are a microcosm of our (or at least my) everyday experiences. People not using turn signals, using the express lane at the grocery store with 25 items and writing a check, taking your squawking 2 year old to a rated R movie, and outright inconsiderate and self-centered behavior.

I implore you to help educate our fellow humans to the rules above.

Sheesh.. (3.80 / 5) (#38)
by flikx on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 05:50:22 AM EST

Time to get a car perhaps. You are in the good ol' U S of A. I'm not ashamed of driving a beast about the size of a subway car either.

Good job exempting Tourette's .. I have enough problems without 9 out of 10 people thinking I'm extremely nervous all of the time.



Seriously though: use a car.


--
One future, two choices. Oppose them or let them destroy us.
Tunnels? What about them? (2.50 / 2) (#40)
by abo on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 06:58:25 AM EST

In the subway in Stockholm, Sweden you can fry your brain even when inside a tunnel. :)

Sorry, I just had to tell you...


-- Köp BRUX!
Ear plugs (4.16 / 6) (#43)
by darthaggie on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 08:49:10 AM EST

Buy a set. Be done with it. Stop whining.

I am BOFH. Resistance is futile. Your network will be assimilated.
Don't forget kids (3.66 / 3) (#46)
by skullY on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 01:45:52 PM EST

(Had to dust off the old k5 account after reading this, and spending the last year commuting on AC Transit just the other side of the bay)

If you bring your kids with you on public transportation, watch them. Sure, you may think it's cute when they turn around and interact with the people in the seat behind you, but they almost certainly don't.

And what happened to chewing with your mouth closed? Besides the fact that eating is prohibited on every form of public trasportation in the area, can't you at least teach them to keep their mouth closed when they chew? It's annoying to hear the loud chomping of potato chips, but to then turn to find to source of the noise and be confronted with a snot-nosed kid with a mouth wide open containing half chewed food is just too much.

Oh well, I'm happy now that work is just a 10 minute bike ride from home and for the forseeable future I won't have to deal with a bus, or the bus I'm on getting highjacked by a group of kids from the YMCA going to the park.

But I'll bet I have mare interesting public transportation war stories from the east bay than you do over in the city. ;=)

--
I'm not witty enough for a sig.
Chewing styles (3.00 / 2) (#53)
by katie on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 03:27:57 AM EST

You think you've got problems? I've got a neighbour in my open plan office who eats like that, chomping away with his mouth wide open. And he breathes (or rather snorts) through his mouth while doing it. Cheese and onion sandwiches no less. For breakfast. That's just bloody wonderful first thing in the morning that is, having him reeking of that. And let's not get started on the amount of noise he makes eating apples...



[ Parent ]
I love the bus. (4.00 / 4) (#47)
by mahlen on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 02:17:00 PM EST

No, I'm not being sarcastic here.

I spent 8 months commuting by car from San Francisco to Redwood City, and I couldn't wait for it to end. Bay Area traffic what it is, i had to wait till later in the morning and evening than my preference to do the drive, and even then it took at least an hour each way. My marriage was suffering due to the lack of time for my wife and I to be together, plus all that road time was making me cranky as all get out. When I finally quit and took a job in downtown San Francisco, even though i live all the way at the ocean, i was the happiest guy on the bus for several months, just grinning like a big idiot that I didn't have to do that wretched drive anymore. The 38AX rules, whoo-hoo!

Now i can read, stare out the window, listen to NPR, or whatever. If nothing else, it's a lot less deadly for me to doze off on the bus than when driving.

mahlen

One of the more logical things Detroit ever did was to put a sign saying
"DODGE" on the front of a truck.

MBTA (4.00 / 2) (#49)
by J'raxis on Thu Jul 26, 2001 at 09:56:56 PM EST

I use the Boston MBTA daily, since June of last year, and in those nearly fourteen months I've learned how to ignore damn near everything around me except for the stop announcements. Sit down, stare at:
  • The floor
  • The ceiling
  • The ads above the windows
and wait for your stop.

We also have probably the only subway in the country not yet wired for cel phones. :)

-- The (T) Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]

re: MBTA (3.66 / 3) (#56)
by bluebomber on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 09:03:53 AM EST

We also have probably the only subway in the country not yet wired for cel phones. :)

... and thanks to the Dig, this probably won't be fixed for some time! Doncha love Boston?

(lovin' that dirty water)
-bluebomber
[ Parent ]

Celphones in couple years (3.00 / 2) (#60)
by J'raxis on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 03:30:59 PM EST

I read in the Metro paper (the free paper they throw at everyone at every subway entrance?) that they are planning to wire it by 2003, and plan some kind of -- probably useless -- courtesy advertising campaign.

-- The Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]
[ Parent ]

Muni Just say no!!!! (none / 0) (#51)
by ebostrom on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 12:16:29 AM EST

Muni SUCKS I would rather be ripped off over at 2nd and mission for 300$ a month for a parking spot than ever have to ride the Fulton 5 or Geary 38 again.The final straw was the guy sniffing Paint thinner .

UK Trains (5.00 / 7) (#54)
by katie on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 03:46:20 AM EST

Some trains in the UK now have carraiges where customers are asked not to use mobile phones. I tend to sit in them because then I get to a) turn off my phone justifiably and not have people phoning me and b) I can doze. And since I get travel sick this tends to help.

Now, you'd THINK this is fairly simple. If you want to smoke, go sit in coach B. Coach B, smoking coach. I don't go in there because it pongs. I don't have to smell smoke, the smokers don't have to put up with listening to me coughing and wheezing.

The mobile phone thing works a bit differently. For those that don't know, some SCARY percentage of the UK population has a mobile phone. And every single goddamn one of them has some "cute" ringtone. Nine people in the entire UK know how to turn the ringtones down. {I turn them down low enough that I miss calls. I work on the principle that 1) If it's too loud for me to hear the ringtone, it's too loud to have a conversation anyway and 2) If it's important they'll call back and if they don't I probably didn't need to talk to them anyway...}

When it first started, this whole "quiet coach" thing was a great idea. Everyone liked it. People could read without having to listen to ringtones the whole time.

Now, people BOOK SEATS in that carraige, so they can have conversations on their mobile without having to shout over other people shouting into their mobiles... HUH?!?!?

The world is too noisy. Everyone wants to make noise. You go from tube trains full of buskers to stations full of tourists screaming at each other to trains full of wankers running their businesses by shouting into their phones and a constant background of overlaid walkmen drumbeats.

What the hell is wrong with having some peace and quiet once in a while?

Actually the business stuff is particularly annoying. I've got no issue with the people who phone up and say "I'm just passing BLAH, I'll be at the station in twenty minutes" to their collector. But there seems just something so impolite about people running their business political lives, phoning people up and bitching about how crap other departments are and so on. I have this urge to get business cards off them "to make sure I never accidentally hire you.."

I'm just wondering what they'd say if I started obviously taking notes...

I've tried this at work: I sit next to a T junction in the walkways. And people tend to cluster there and have meetings which is bloody annoying when one is trying to think about code. Their reactions to having me, obviously listening to what is obviously confidential stuff is fantastic. I mean personally I think if you don't want people to listen to this stuff, don't have the meeting right next to their desk. It does seem to be slowly working tho...



You are not alone! (3.75 / 4) (#58)
by pallex on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 12:12:30 PM EST

I`m from the UK too. When i first went to Denmark, about a year ago, i noticed they had `no mobiles/talking loudly etc` carriages. (they also have childrens ones, smoking ones, non smoking ones etc). I thought `how is this going to work`. The answer, it appears, is to have a sensible, intelligent, tolerant but respectful society. The only time i observed someone talking on the phone, someone went up to them and said something (in Danish!) quietly, the person apologized, and ended the conversation.

In England, that could have provoked an assault from some stupid peasant who thinks that no laws apply to him/her if it means they cant do what they want to do, all the time. It seems our society is turning into a perpetually juvenile one, where people act like spoiled children all their lives.

"But there seems just something so impolite about people running their business political lives, phoning people up and bitching about how crap other departments are and so on. I have this urge to get business cards off them "to make sure I never accidentally hire you.." "

Yeah - is it illegal to make a note of someones credit card details when they give them over the phone, and to post them to the net? I guess if you heard where they worked you could give them a ring/email and report parts of the conversation to the person/department they were slagging off!

[ Parent ]
Celphone Jammers (3.66 / 3) (#61)
by J'raxis on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 03:41:10 PM EST

I`m from the UK too. When i first went to Denmark, about a year ago, i noticed they had `no mobiles/talking loudly etc` carriages. (they also have childrens ones, smoking ones, non smoking ones etc). I thought `how is this going to work`.
Well, if the people take out their phones, the conductors can simply ask them to leave. :)

Seriously, I've read some things recently about cel phone jammers being installed in theatres and such; possibly these things could be installed in train cars? Of course there is controversy -- people acting as if they have a natural right to do something A) on someone else's private property and B) that they couldn't even do twenty years ago -- but hopefully it'll happen.

-- The Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]
[ Parent ]

At least you get to your destination - ALIVE...... (3.00 / 2) (#57)
by acqant on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 11:20:21 AM EST

Wow, sounds as if S.F. really has cleaned up it's act! But since I was last in town a year ago I know that's not true! The Muni is FINE! BART on the other hand..... I HATE THE BART! 13yr old PUNKS willing to start fights if you touch their new sneakers.... any yr old DRUNKS yelling or screaming or breathing on you... little white surburban JERKS begging for change... Now this is no different than a NYC subway except you only have one car on a muni bus. At least in NYC if you feel a little pressured you can discreatly get off and move to another car.

You do realize you live in a CITY don't you? As for "the rules"..... Keep you head down, your mouth shut and you MIGHT not get hurt!

Possibly (4.00 / 1) (#63)
by thePositron on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 12:28:37 AM EST

S.F. is a 7 mile by 7 mile city. It is 49 square miles in all.
This gives one many options as far as transportation goes.
1) Bicycle.
2) Walk, I have walked from one side of the city to the other side the city plenty of times. This is also a good way to really learn about S.F. and it's little unknown nooks and crannies. I also try to get work as close to my home as possible.
3) If the bus is crowded or a certain route is crowded I always look for busses or trains that go to the same destination on adjacent streets or I just wait for a less crowded bus. Yes I have been late for work many times because of this but at least I had my sanity spared.
4) If shit goes down on the Bus I attempt get off the bus or train as quickly as possible.
5) If someone annoys me to much and I am trapped
I ask them kindly to stop sometimes you get looked at like you are nut but it has worked for me.
Note this approach should be taken with caution.
6) I generally sit on areas of the train or bus closest to an exit and near the middle of the train or bus.
7) If you are not up to it mentally take the day off. I have learned my peace of mind and sanity is the most important thing in the world why ruin it
for a few bucks?

I have been pick pocketed, been in bus wrecks, and seen people have their asses beat on the transport
here.
In the case where I was pick pocketed I confronted the guy and told him to give my money back.( I told them I was unemployed which I was at the time it was ny last 20 dollars)
He and his buddies glared at me for the rest of the trip but oh well, I quickly forgave them.
They must of needed it more than I.
In another case there were a group of hostile youth on the bus who were picking fights with random people on the train.
They targeted me and I told them point blank that
I had no beef with them. The turned there wrath upon another hapless soul who they gave agood thrashing. Anyway you have to stand up for yourself and not let fear prevent you from being firm yet non confrontational in many situations.
Anyway the best situaion is if you can arrange to telecommute.
---
Hope this helps I definitely can relate to the feelings you expressed..


You forgot one... (2.00 / 3) (#64)
by repster on Sat Jul 28, 2001 at 04:05:24 PM EST

Stop behaving like you are about to blow your lid. If you cannot stand the antics of your fellow humans, do not sit in the corner, brewing silently, looking like you are about to go postal. There is a reason why you are sitting alone in that corner. You scare people, they do not want to be first.

In other words, it seems like you dont like people. Well, BART is public transportation with the emphasis on public. No, people in general are not well behaved. There is nothing new about that. Accept the fact that if there are 50 people in the car you are in, odds are that one of them will be doing something that annoys you. Basic probability theory, same reason that there is almost always a line moving faster than the one you are in.

If you cannot face the daily BART ride, consider driving. Except, I think you will find your fellow drivers to be as annoying as your fellow passengers. Maybe you should consider changing your attitude. Lower your stress level. Accept that, in order for city life to work, you will have to deal with the strangeness of others. It is sometimes annoying, sometime frightening but often interesting.

Think about it.

And which of these was you? (none / 0) (#67)
by phliar on Fri Aug 10, 2001 at 01:20:14 AM EST

As Pogo said, We have met the enemy and he is us.

I'm sure I've done most of those things at one time or another... except the headphones and the laptops. But sometimes I find myself practicing my embouchure on BART. If you saw that....

Since you're in San Francisco: take the 22 bus some time. Get on around Market and Church, ride it to 16th and Potrero. Now that's life in the City!


Faster, faster, until the thrill of...

Public Transportation Etiquette | 68 comments (68 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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