Unnecessary Rudeness: A PSA of Sorts

Photo by Tantek Çelik

A lady gets on a full-ish 47 on Van Ness on Thursday morning. She was sorta not unlike a brunette Anna Nicole Smith, both visually and vocally. She tried unsuccessfully, twice, to tag her Clipper card. Since these were unsuccessful attempts, the driver asked her to try again. She says this in response:

“Can’t you read? It said ‘already processed.’ Fucking idiot.”

So … some friendly reminders and tips for everyone at home:

  • “EH-EH” is the no-no sound. “EH,” singular, is the good sound. Both are really loud and obvious.
  • Those machines always tell you, aurally and on the screen, when your tag worked. Pretty sure it displays a red light if it didn’t.
  • It happens to the best of us. I usually board the bus, rolling my eyes after two tries, and tag at the back doors.
  • The drivers can be faulted for a great many things, but failure to tag a card on persnickety machines isn’t one of them.

She was sweet as pie to the passengers, perhaps realizing how snatchy the whole exchange was.


International Public Transit Rules

taipei MRT
Photo by Jennifer

A little holiday traveling to Taipei reminded me that, just like there are unspoken rules in gyms, there are unspoken rules on public transit all over the world. For example, when riding the subway in Taipei, you’ll see that nobody sits in the reserved seats no matter how crowded or empty the train is. And if those seats are taken, everyone seems to offer up their seats when an elderly person gets onboard. Everyone seems to stand on the right side of the escalator even though the city’s transit authority had stopped encouraging standing on right hand side some time ago. I saw a sign encouraging riders to hold on tight to the escalator handrails: “The handrails have been sanitized regularly.” Hmm.

I thought about unspoken rules on Muni:
– Move back.
– Watch your backpack so you don’t hit people in the face.
– Step down to exit and yell “Backdoor!” for the uninitiated.

What else?

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