Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Transit Rider (we don't like)

For those of us that ride public transit we know all the different types of riders that join us for the daily journey. You could come up with of list of about 100 when you ride the NYC subway on a regular basis. Instead here is a list of these riders from the Bay Area BART rider. Below are some of my favorites:

Not to be confused with the Music Demon, these are the BART riders who wear their handbags, satchels or computer bags over their shoulders and walk down the center aisle banging heads and shoulders as they go, oblivious to the damage they cause. This species is often experienced in the center aisle on domestic flights as well. Be careful because they are also known to attack your cheek, your ears and the occasional eye. Advice: Put your bag on the floor between your feet. I would like to get off the train in a half-hour without damage to my facial features.

Bathroom Bessie
She proceeds to primp and preen herself on the ride in and applies creams, powders and jells, plucking her eyebrows, spraying perfume and, on occasion, painting nails. Please note, those of us afflicted by asthma really don't appreciate the smell of nail polish or cologne in confined spaces.

Usually observed during morning commutes, these riders take the seats just inside the doors. They normally wear dark glasses or read newspapers so that they can't make eye contact with any one boarding who may need the seats. These riders seem to have the built-in ability to ignore the elderly or frail riders, parents with young children and pregnant women. You will see them happen to doze off just before the train pulls into each station and hold that pose until the doors close again. Something in that tunnel is working miracles because the person occupying those seats designated for riders in need has undergone a transformation — by the time we're pulling into Embarcadero they've mustered all their energy, are jostling at the exit door and pushing their way up the escalator and out of the station.

These are the people we share our daily commutes with. You can read about the spitting on bus driver phenomena taking place in NYC here.

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