You Know What Yanks My Cord …
… the passengers on the GRT.
Now I know we are fortunate and haven’t reached that point of hiring Waterloo bus pushers (unlike our pals over in Japan.) However with poor attitudes and the difficulty in getting overwhelming pockets of teenagers focused on their BlackBerries to slightly move just an inch over, I have been inspired to put a pause on writing my Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) etiquette book and focus on a chapter specifically dedicated to the Grand River Transit (GRT.)
We have all been there. Waiting patiently for the bus that seems to never arrive on time, you wait anxiously at the stop just wanting to get to your destination at a reasonable hour. The bus pulls up, you flash your OneCard to the driver and to your horror, there is a bulk of people situated right in the middle of the aisle and will not seem to move — no matter how many groceries you are carrying or how badly you want to get to that seat in the corner.
This brings me to my first issue of GRT passengers: their placement on the bus. There must be some fear that passengers are not going to be able to get off at their stop. This is a reasonable worry, however, the crowding at the two doors are completely unnecessary. Not only does it block traffic for other people to get off and on at stops, but it also blocks off room for passengers to get to seats that are open. Believe it or not, everyone on the bus wants to get off eventually.
To fix this, simply all passengers have to do is pick up their stuff and move to the back. Back in elementary school, the back of the bus was the coolest place. There is nothing intimidating about the back and it might be awkward to stand up on the platform but trust me, more room makes bus rides way more comfortable.
So if you are one of those people who have the “I’m not going to get off at my stop” fear and need to be clumped in the area that blocks movement for other passengers, I have an experiment for you. Spot the seat that is open and go there. Sure, you may not be with your friends for the two minutes you ride the bus but I can guarantee that you will be more comfortable sitting and that poor person with the billion grocery bags trying to squeeze by will deeply appreciate it.
The second thing that really yanks my cord is the teenagers who flood onto the buses with their neon BlackBerry covers, their large backpacks constantly hitting people and their infectious know-it-all attitude. They scream, they flirt with each other (oh puppy love), swear louder than a sailor, block traffic way and will give the death stare to anyone who tells them to move. It is probably because the poor passenger who just wants to get to a seat has interrupted their focus of “BBMing” their friends who are sitting right next to them!
Unless you are on the bus before 3:30 p.m., us intellectual beings who attend university are doomed by the teenie-bopper plague. My solution to this is simple: stay as far away as possible from them and tell them to watch their mouths and to please move. The last suggestion should be done with caution — you never know how they will behave.
People always have different expectations of how one should behave in public areas. It is not expected that everyone will have the same polite manners as you do and depending on their long, tiresome day, they may not even give a shit to stop and think about how their behaviour is affecting the dynamics of a bus. But to spare frustrations, be the better person and do not add to the number of jerks who ride the bus from time to time. We quiet passengers trying to hold our composure will greatly appreciate it.