Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Wheels on the Bus go Round and Round

I don’t like public transportation. I grew up in a town of 112, so, as you can imagine, there wasn’t much need for taxis and such. Even after growing up and moving away, I never did hop on a bus, hail a cab or set foot on a subway. The longer I went without trying it, the more frightening the idea became. Then, when I was 23, newly engaged to LT Fromage and spending New Year’s Eve with my friend, Pat, I did it. I rode the light rail. Not because I wanted to, but because Pat lived near the station and we opted to avoid traffic and possible DUIs. When it came down to actually using public transportation, I decided I would have preferred risking the DUI.

I hate crowds. I hate not being in control. Droves of people crammed into a fast-moving bus-train thing that stops, well, who knows where it stops! certainly not when I want it to stop, and heaven forbid I have to actually change busses…. What the eff was I thinking? Of course, the boys thought it was a wonderfully funny game to “forget” what stop we needed to get off, or what route we would take to get home. Thanks, fellas.

After the night out, there were tens of thousands of people waiting to get back on the light rail. Why? I sure didn’t want back on! But we waited. A little drunk and among more people than I’d ever seen in my life, a fight broke out right beside us. The boys thought it was exciting. I found myself sitting on the wet, dirty curb, rocking and covering my ears until it was over.

Yes. Totally sitting on the curb, covered with vomit, gum, dirt. Eyes squeezed shut, plugging my ears and rocking back and forth.

I don’t do well in crowds. I don’t do well when I’m not in control. I don't do well on busses.

Eff public transportation.


  1. Oh, dear! You're even more uncomfortable in crowds than I am. How do you do on airplanes? Sorry you were put in that situation.

  2. Yikes, you poor thing. I ride light rail almost every day to work. And it's horrible. Not as horrible as your experience (I've never seen a fight break out) but probably b/c I'm with commuters instead of late night partiers. Different clientele, I guess. But I have many pet peeves on the light rail. It's just so much freaking cheaper than driving and parking uptown, that I can't justify not commuting that way.

    Biggest peeves...
    Smokers. Don't have a ciggy and then come sit next to me. Yes, I will spray perfume in your general direction.
    Touchers. Yes, the seats were made for 10 year old girls to fit in. That does not mean you have to sit with your legs spread apart (yes, I'm talking to the stupid men who are afraid it won't look masculine to sit with their legs together).
    Talkers. Must you really carry on a conversation for all of us to hear on your cell? I'm trying to read (and thus tune out all light rail annoyances). And you're annoying.
    Coffee drinkers. I'm a rule stickler. There's a rule about no eating and drinking on the train. Yet almost every morning, someone is drinking a coffee next to me. I swear to god, if you spill on me, I will beat your a$$.
    Bumpers. You know you're carrying a big bag. Must you bump into everyone down the aisle with it?

  3. This is where living in the south is amazingly wonderful. First, there is a large lack of public transportation. I mean, we have buses, but the Big City is much more vehicle friendly than cities up north. Second, everyone down here hates public transportation as much as I do. And third, it's cheap to live here so we can afford cars and gas.


    Last spring, I took a trip to Chicago and it was terrifying. The EL is freaking scary. I don't think I need to say anymore.

  4. And yet, I live in the "South" -- yes, public transportation is lacking a lot, but it exists. With light rail trains, not just buses. And a ton of commuters use it. My "big city" is vehicle friendly, but parking is astronomical! I refuse to pay $140 a month just to park my car.


Do I need to be liked? Absolutely not. I like to be liked. I enjoy being liked. I have to be liked. But it's not like this, compulsive, need, to be liked. Like my need to be praised. - Michael Scott, "The Office"

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