I was on the bus and got annoyed. Have I ranted on this subject before? I can’t remember.
I am a big fan of public transit. It is cost-effective, somewhat efficient and reasonably ecologically friendly. By choosing to live close to Ottawa’s Transitway we have avoided the need for a second vehicle.
However, while I am a fan of public transit, I am not a fan of those who ride Ottawa’s buses, or at least a good percentage of them. People seem to forget their brains when they step on to the bus.
My Monday morning commute was fairly typical. In rush hour I expect the bus to be crowded. I may or may not be able to sit, and that is okay – it’s a short trip. The congestion doesn’t annoy me; the unnecessary congestion does.
Most of Ottawa’s buses allow rear door boarding. The theory is that by allowing pass-holders to hop on through any door, the bus will load faster, which in turn means we will get to our destinations faster. That is a good thing.
But why do those boarding at the rear feel they must huddle at the doors, making it more difficult for anyone else who wants to get on or off the bus? Whatever happened to moving to the rear? Or what used to be considered normal transit etiquette?
Monday was no different from any other day. I observed the cluster around the door while noting that there were still empty seats on the bus. At least some of those standing had the option to sit and ride in comfort – but then they wouldn’t have been able to block the door. No need to guess which option they chose.
There are of course those who don’t cluster around the door. Many of those have another tactic they use to delay the bus.
When the bus is full I plan my exit accordingly. I get up from my seat as the bus pulls away from the stop before mine. That way I am at the exit by the time the bus reaches my stop and I can leave the bus quickly (pushing through the cluster of people who are not planning on getting off). That strikes me as the most efficient method and the most effective in not holding up the bus while I head for the exit.
There are many people however who don’t take into account that the bus is full and don’t seem to pay much attention to their surroundings. They suddenly discover that the bus is already at their stop and those wishing to exit have already done so. They jump up, push through the cluster at the door and those trying to board the bus. At least, that is what they do if they have clued in to their situation. They are just as likely to miss the stop completely and start yelling at the driver to stop, they want to get off. The driver usually concurs, which adds a few more seconds to the trip.
When it comes right down to it, it really isn’t the time I begrudge when I see people acting this way. My daily commute is not so regimented that I need to worry about a few seconds or even a few minutes. It is the thoughtlessness that annoys me. Maybe the universe revolves around these people and I just don’t understand how important they are. More likely though they are just inconsiderate and have never been taught proper manners and bus riding etiquette.
Probably not my place to tell them though.