There’s a number of really good reasons to take public transport. It’s good for the environment, it adds social experience, in some cases it’s cheaper than cars and it avoids traffic jams, accidents and death.

Yet somehow the majority of people prefer to sit in the tin death traps that are cars and face at least two crawling, snaking queues every day. I think I know why.

 

Since the little country I live in has some rather infamous traffic in certain places, especially in the mornings, I occasionally take public transport to get to my destination. The reasoning is, I’ll spend less time traveling, there will be less stress due to traffic jams and if I take a laptop, I might actually get some work done on the way home, opening up free time later. Yays!

 However, as today proved, all of those happy thoughts are negated by the fact that I really dislike public transport, for reasons that probably make me a horrible person.

  •  Time. The most important reason to take public transport into a city is to save the time you would otherwise spend sitting in a car, waiting for the cars around you to move. Since I’m not a habitual train traveler anymore, I prepare ‘complicated’ trajectories in much the same way as I would a trip up a mountainside. I spend an hour planning my trajectory, writing down which trains I need to take at which hour, noting the platform etcetera. This doesn’t, however, take into account that trains hate me. So the first train I take is naturally delayed by ten minutes, which means I miss every connection I need. I arrive at my destination nearly an hour too late.
  • Other people. From the child that spends the entire half hour I have to wait for my connection stomping through the waiting room (on purpose, I caught her walking quietly when she forgot to stomp). To the guy that delays the subway for five minutes by trying to force the door open when it’s about to leave. To the girl yelling at her phone about stuff everyone hears, but no ones gives a fuck about. To the woman so impatient to get on the train that she won’t let others off, leading to scuffles. To the person putting on her coat in the middle of the isle with complete disregard for the people sitting behind her (me), thereby slapping them with a face full of coat. To the incredibly bored conductor, who obviously doesn’t want to be there either.
  • Weather. Obviously, horrible weather will always be there, whether you want it or not. However, unlike cars, public transport doesn’t actually get you to your destination. It drops you, hopefully, in the proximity of your destination. After which you spend twenty minutes walking through sleet looking for said destination, in a rundown industrial estate with no pavement for pedestrians and no street signs, armed only with a Google Maps printout.
  • The buildings. From the urine stained metro tunnels to the station that has six clocks, all telling different times, none of which are even close to correct.

 The oddest thing about all of this is the habitual travelers. The people that go through this every day. They seem to take it in their stride with the apathy of a medieval peasant being confronted with the power of nature. It’s nothing they can do anything about, so the annoyance runs off them like raindrops off the greased back of an Olympian (whut? where was I). If a train or bus is late, it’s late. C’est la vie. And they go back to their book.

I admire that. But I’m far from it. I just get bloody annoyed.

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