The Joy of Public Transit

There’s something new with my public transit. It’s the best thing in buses since the advent of air conditioning. Yes, if you have a car you can probably guess what it is. Global positioning.

It doesn’t come with a map like your car based system. It’s attached to an electronic sign that tells you either the street address or the name of the closest intersection.

I must add that we intrepid users of public transit are owed this. I’m not sure about your city but my city sells signs that cover the entire bus. There are little holes all through the sign that kind of let you see outside but it’s not as good as without the sign. As well, uncovered buses often have dirty windows so it can be hard to recognize the stops at night. That’s right, we passengers are owed this. Listen city and install the GPS’s in all the buses as soon as possible. I can’t wait till I have to find someplace new in the city and can rely on the GPS instead of the bus driver to find my stop.

There is one drawback to this system. You have to be able to read. And I’m not convinced that the bus driving public can.

You see in my city we have three different types of buses in regards to the back door. The oldest has vertical bars that need to be pushed on to get out. Then there are the other sensors. For one a sign says “place your hand here”. Another says “wave your hand here”.

I used to think that 98% of people could read most things. You know – the official literacy rate. That is until I saw that a large percentage of passengers do the wrong thing when trying to get out. Our city is doing its part in improving the literacy rate – I swear the type of bus you get is more randomized than most lotteries.

And I think that the public in my city has over internalized the idea that Canadians are politer than Americans. I’ve only seen this in the last couple years, passengers by the back door call “Thank you,” to the bus driver for stopping at their stop. Now the rider has to speak loudly to be heard when they are near the back, which in my opinion is rude. They are cutting through other conversations all in an ill conceived idea to be polite.

This over politeness reminds me of guests who ask if it’s okay to use your washroom. Trust me it’s much ruder to pee on my floor. But I digress from the ongoing bus riding saga.

About Larry Russwurm

Just another ranter on the Internet. Now in the Fediverse as
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2 Responses to The Joy of Public Transit

  1. Bob Jonkman says:

    I was speaking with a bus driver (same city as you), who told me that there’s a conversion project going on right now that should be completed by 2011. As you wish, all buses will have the location/next stop info signs.

    On the express buses there’s also a spoken announcement: “Next stop, Charles Street Terminal”. That should help those of us who might otherwise snooze through a stop…


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