What’s the deal with people on public transit who crowd around the entrances of the vehicle? Instead of moving further inside, they clump and prevent people from getting past. It particularly bothers me when this occurs on the newer model “low rider” (aka low floor) buses. Due to the internal configuration, a newer low floor bus has about 1/3 less capacity than an older model. These new buses lend themselves to the clumping, as no one seems particularly interested in climbing the two small steps required to access the seating at the back of the bus.
Come on people! Is it really that hard to get up there? I’ve been particularly annoyed with these lazy bones riders through the winter. We’ve had some bitter cold weather, and the bus driver will leave people standing outside rather than make any attempt to corral them to the back by shouting.
To make matters worse, the automated stop announcement system has also provisioned drivers with a button to push which plays a recorded announcement asking riders to ‘please move back’. Unfortunately there are some problems with this.
- When the bus is sufficiently crowded to warrant playing the message, the message cannot be heard over the speakers.
- The message lacks proper enunciation. I’m still not sure what the entire message says. It needs to be replaced with a clearer recording. Use a female voice this time, to match the stop announcements. The male voice is too monotone.
- It’s too quick! Not only can you not hear the message, the text version that gets displayed only flashes for a quick moment, and then it’s gone. You need to be paying attention to catch it.
- The message is too polite.
People only care about themselves; they certainly don’t give a shit about pre-recorded messages. We’re bombarded with recorded messages all day long to buy products, return overdue movies and stand back from the yellow line until the train has come to a complete stop. The most effective messages are personalized; this can’t be more true of the relationship between rider and transit vehicle operator.
The masses need to be shamed into action sometimes. One of my favourite demonstrations of this is when a dumbass on the subway holds the doors open; then the Guard who operates the doors unleashes an oral tirade over the PA system on the train to an audience of over 1,000 people during rush hour. The Guard purposely doesn’t allow the train to drive forward until he’s finished. If the perpetrator has any decency, they should feel like shit for delaying everyone because they were a selfish ass.