Exploratorium asks: Why do people act the way they do on transit?


Oh, Muni, you are one big sociological experiment gone very right or gone very wrong, depending on the day—or hour. Or minute. OK, I just changed my mind again. I’ll calculate an average at the end of the day, how’s that?

The Exploratorium’s new exhibit, The Science of Sharing, encourages us to explore something we think about every day: Why and how do people act the way they do on public transit?

What are my two cents, you ask? Well, especially since backdoor boarding alleviated the front-of-bus bottleneck (think of a koi pool during feeding time), I’m not big on first-come, first-serve entry referenced in the pic above. In any case, for the love of god, let people off the bus/streetcar/train before you board.

My favorite of these ads, though, asked “bon appetit or wait to eat?” regarding that ever-present phenomenon of eating on the bus. I maintain, stridently, that it depends. Fried-chicken drumstick on Muni? Odor and messy factors say no. Fiddling with fresh vegetables on the bus home? I mean, I wouldn’t, but if you want to start prepping dinner, why not. An ear of corn on the Metro? Hmm, somewhere between the first two.

Spoonfuls of mayonnaise (however likely it is actually tapioca)? 100-percent yes, always.

One comment

  • Derek Dees via Facebook

    fantastic development, San Francisco needs to figure out how to ride the dern bus like the rest of the world. Soooo much arrogance here and we don’t even know how to use public transport. Let us change that…..great post.

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