I’m sitting in the coffee shop waiting for some kind of writing inspiration to hit me but so far, no luck, so let’s talk about the train ride in. First off, I would like to point not one, but all of my fingers at the woman who insists on sitting with her legs crossed every single day. LADY: We are in a confined area and there isn’t enough room for you to do this. The AMT doesn’t have First Class seating, and you’re not in your living room. Haven’t you noticed that the woman in front of you has no room to move and that she’s attempting to shove her legs under her seat to avoid being kicked? How comfortable must that be for her? But no, you need to cross your legs. Seems to me that if your foot is resting up against my shin, or if you feel the constant pressure of my leg against your foot, then maybe it’s a sign that you should uncross your legs. I dunno, I’m just sayin’… Also, an honorable mention goes out to the guy who was standing to my right this morning; I don’t know what you bathed in, or the type of cologne you put on this morning but dude, please refrain from using either again!
As we were zipping through the tunnel shortly before arriving at GCS, the train conductor came on the intercom and firmly instructed passengers who were sitting down to allow those that were standing up to get off the train first. Actually, it was more of an order “Passengers who are sitting down will let those that are standing get off first.” I found it interesting that as soon as the train pulled into GCS, one third of the people who had been sitting down immediately stood up to get off the train. I guess the train conductor’s orders were not strict enough. Either that or we have a problem with authority. Or is it that we just don’t give a shit? I suppose now is a good time to admit that I am one of the first people off the train despite the fact that I have a seat. I always sit near the doors and I strategically position myself next to the old dude who I know, will get up as soon as the train arrives at GCS – so that way, if the standers get annoyed, it’ll be at him and not me (sneaky, I know!). That being said, when the train conductors actually think to make the above announcement, I stay put for a while before getting up. I am not one of those people who will rudely push my way in front of you, or cut into the line. I usually wait until there is an opening or someone is kind enough to let me through. With my chronic back issues, standing or sitting for too long can be painful so when I stand, I’m not necessarily planning to hijack your spot in line OK? So relax. In any case, I can understand the frustration that some of the standers feel, when the sitters wish to get off the train as soon as we get into town. Their perspective is that the sitters are ‘privileged’ to have a seat for the 35-minute commute. Because of this ‘privilege,’ sitters should allow the standers to get off the train before they do. I don’t disagree with this, however I do disagree with the notion that it’s a “privilege” to get a seat on the train. It’s certainly not a privilege to be able to sit on the train when I’m paying $140 for a monthly train pass that does not even allow me the ‘privilege’ of taking the train when I want to. This also doesn’t allow me the ‘privilege’ of parking my car at the train station unless I get up at a ridiculous hour. So, I’m sorry, but if you’re paying less then I am for your train pass (and you are), you can sleep in later than me and you’re getting on the train further down the line, then you not having a seat isn’t my problem. If you want a seat on the train then move to the North Shore, where you can get on at either the first or second stops on the line, and have the ‘privilege’ of paying a higher fare combined with the added bonus of getting up extra early just to go park your car.
I know I’ve discussed my train issues here already but bear with me. Let me say that if either train station was within walking distance of my home, I would be happy to walk instead of using my car. However, it’s a minimum half hour walk to/from both stations, and frankly, I don’t see myself walking to/from the train with my laptop bag, my lunch and my gym bag when it’s +32C, -32C or pouring rain outside. If I had the benefit of taking the train when I wanted to, then I would be sleeping in, taking the train an hour later and not worrying about whether or not I could park the car. As it stands now, anyone utilizing the train in my zone pays significantly more to do so – more then the standers, thank you very much. In addition, many commuters who get on at the first and second stops have to factor in an extra hour into their schedule because if they don’t arrive at the train station by 7 a.m., they can’t park. Why? Because the parking lots (which are a joke and do not meet the needs of the commuters) are full. Yes, I’ve complained but neither the city or the AMT care – all they care about is hiking fares and pocketing the money.
Lastly, I’d like to add that just because you have a seat on the train, doesn’t mean you don’t have a job or a meeting to get to. Should commuters start taking the train earlier so that if they do have a seat, they can remain seated while all the standers get off? Everyone has a schedule people!