By Jessica Berget, Staff Writer
Public transit is my salvation. My commute is one of the only spaces I can relax before going to class or work. It is my time to listen to music or catch up on reading. It is like a safe space where I don’t have to talk to or try to impress anyone. I can just put my headphones in, bury myself in a book, and make my commute. This is why it is so awful and annoying when strange men approach me and intrude on that space by attempting to hit on me, even though I am clearly not interested. I am not looking for a date; I am just trying to get to home.
Public transit is not a social event or a place to get dates, so stop treating it as such. The bus is not a place I get all dressed up to go to in the hopes someone will ask me out. It’s literally just how I get around. I didn’t ask to have an hour long commute.
Isn’t it some sort of social code that transit commuters just leave each other alone? It is an invasion of my privacy when strangers attempt to talk to me on public transit if I am either in the middle of a book or listening to music, or even staring wistfully out the window.
The bus especially is not the place to try and hit on people. It’s awkward for everyone when I have to reject you in front of some 20 or so fellow commuters who are probably eavesdropping on our conversation, and you will have no one to blame but yourself.
The idea of meeting someone on the bus may be romantic to some people, but it comes off as a little desperate and very creepy. I can’t think of a less attractive place to be hit on than public transit. It can often get uncomfortable. Some guys are so aggressive and persistent about getting your number that it can put you in an awkward position. You might be too scared to reject and feel inclined to give out your number just so they leave you alone, which can put you in a lot of danger. But unfortunately, sometimes this is the only way to get rid of them.
Bars, parties, Tinder, these are places where it would be okay to ask for a number. The public transportation system is exactly what it sounds like—it’s solely for public transport, not a place to get dates. The next time you find yourself thinking about asking the person next to you on the bus for their number, don’t.