Commuters Reveal Their Worst Experiences On Public Transit
Public transit can be incredibly convenient or a nightmare, and sometimes both! It's a wild ride and these commuters tell us the most memorable experiences they have had while going from point A to point B.
What's your public transport horror story?
When you are not clean enough for anyoneGiphy
Back in San Francisco, I took the MUNI home after a late shift. Due to the time, the compartment was only a third full.
At one of the stops, only one woman gets on.
Take a better look at her, she's dirty as hell. Like, you can see literal layers of dirt all over jacket and jeans. Also, she seems extremely anxious. She's kind of hopping from one foot to the other and panic is written on her face.
I figure she's simply homeless, which isn't uncommon in San Francisco. Everyone just kind of gets used to it.
But then people started to migrate away from her. Subtly at first, a few people got up and shifted seats a little bit over. After a few minutes, everyone around her had moved towards the ends of the compartment.
Then the woman started to get more anxious and moved to a seat closer to people. Those people all made a face and left their seats.
Pretty soon, people were walking from that end of the compartment to mine. This caused the woman to panic and follow them.
When she walked by me, I caught a huge whiff of her odor and it all made sense. The stench was unmistakable. The lady wasn't covered in dirt, it was human s***.
Chaos ensued. Everyone in the compartment was running away from the woman and she was in full panic trying to be a part of the crowd. On a MUNI train, that meant people were just running back and forth from one of the train to the other.
Heatwave during rush hourGiphy
BART. Evening rush hour. Heat wave. Breakdown while halfway across the water. At least eight bodies smooshed against mine. Everyone staring intently into their phones, trying to be somewhere else.
Not a great dating techniqueGiphy
I generally wear ear buds to avoid conversing with people on the bus. Some dude yanked out my ear buds to hit on me.
Big party foul!Giphy
Once, I was on a bus in San Francisco, and a woman sat next to me. I didn't think much of it and was just staring out the window when I smelled something unpleasant, and turned to identify it. The woman had pulled off her sneakers and sweaty socks and had propped her foot up against the back of the seat in front of us. She was clipping her toe nails.
A legitimate nightmare!Giphy
When I was 17 I was on the bus with my girlfriend and a pregnant lady entered screaming in pain while her husband was trying to calm her down. Everyone on the bus tried help somehow but a few minutes later she gave birth to her baby. I mean the baby dropped on the ground stillborn.... And if this wasn't horrible. Enough, she (non pregnant woman) fainted on the baby.. Almost with all her body... I had massive nightmares for years because of that event.
When it's too good to be true...Giphy
Sometimes when you take the subway here in NYC you'll get the mysterious subway, almost empty as it is pulling in on an otherwise crowded train, then you walk into the car it hits you - the pungent order of a hobo. Really gross.
When there's a clownGiphy
I was on the subway in Seoul. A clown entered our car. The train started to leave the station, but stopped once it was in the tunnel. Some mumbled staticky Korean gibberish came over the loudspeaker; someone had thrown themselves in front of the train. The clown looked at me. I looked at the clown. He decided at that point that it was his job to entertain our car, and I was his unwilling stooge.
A train without doors?Giphy
In my country, train doors are always open. So people lean out holding the bars and handles, sometimes due to the rush and sometimes just for the thrill. The train was passing through a slum where some kid threw a stone at the train which hit the commuter standing in front of me. Luckily the guy fell in the train, with blood all over his face.
I kept on dreaming about the same incident over and over again about a scenario of him falling out of the train, and woke up out of bed, for nearly a week after the incident.
The most difficult passengerGiphy
I was the first person to board a Greyhound bus in Some town in Texas, so I picked the first row across from the driver. Sweet! A minute later, a lady boarded. THE WHOLE BUS IS EMPTY, BUT WHERE DOES SHE CHOOSE TO SIT? Why, right next to me, of course! Then she has the nerve to ask me to move so she can have the row to herself!
The tale of angry WalterGiphy
I was taking one of those "accordion" busses, when a mechanic got on the bus. I assume he was a mechanic because he had a giant toolbelt, a toolbox, and a jumpsuit with "WALTER" sewed in his chest.
Walter immediately started rushing down the bus screaming and swearing at everyone in his way, which was like 50 people as this bus was very, very, VERY full. Walter finally reached the spinning middle part of the bus just as the bus lurched forward and turned a bit to pull away from the stop, which caused him to go flying. He landed right on top of an elderly woman and just started screaming. He blamed the old woman, who was being crushed by his giant a**. Everyone else was freaking out and a guy tried to help him off the old woman. Walter slapped the guy's hand and told him to mind his own business.
While on the bus he kept yelling at the guy who tried to help him up, accusing him of stealing his tools. He kept yelling this until he finally got to his stop and gets off the bus. Right as the doors closed the old woman opened her purse, pulled out a handful of tools, and starting waving them out the window at Walter, smiling.
Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.
Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.