Sorry, can I please get by?

Photo by Analyn Cuarto

Photo by Analyn Cuarto

Just let me get off the bus!

By Jillian McMullen, Staff Writer

 

I don’t have a car (or a license, for that matter), so I’ve spent years taking public transportation. Most people who join me on my ride to work are respectful and quiet. They, like myself, try to make the ride as easy as possible. They don’t take up seats that should be used by elderly riders, and they don’t hog space on crowded buses by placing their bag on the seat next to them.

But every once in a while, there’s that one person who sits next to me on the bus, seemingly just another responsible transit rider, who, when I voice my intention to exit the vehicle at my intended stop, only makes a fleeting effort to let me pass by them. Those people, despite my commitment to believing in the best in humanity, make me want to scream. If you don’t move out of someone’s way when they’re exiting a bus, you suck.

If I see an empty row of seats, I’m going to take the seat further away from the aisle—I don’t want to rob anybody of their chance to have a seat for their ride. However, so many people think it’s okay to trap you at the window seat, then, when you need to escape, only slightly swing their legs to the side to let you pass by them. How is that okay? It’s like they’re asking for you to accidentally whack them with your bag or purse during your exit, which is so infuriating because then you’re the asshole in the situation.

Don’t make me awkwardly try to climb over your lap, anxious that I’ll accidentally brush against your limbs in a weird way. If someone asks you to get up to let them exit the bus, as long as you are able-bodied and have the room to do so, just get up!

Worse are the people who stand by the doorway of buses or trains and don’t step off to allow room for the people getting off. I get that many people are perhaps worried that new people boarding the vehicle will somehow take their place, but I’ve so rarely seen that happen in my many years in transit that it hardly warrants the frequency of this problem. Step off the vehicle, let the people needing to exit get off, then hop back on. It’s not difficult and it saves so much of the time wasted by people holding up the bus, struggling to make it through the back doors.

A lot of transit riders take transit not because they’ve chosen to, but because it is the only option available to them. It can cause a lot of anxiety for some, especially when those vehicles are packed. Let’s make it easier on everybody and let people get to where they’re trying to go without any added hassle.

 

The Other Press

The Other Press, Douglas College's student newspaper since 1976. Articles, insight and updates from the New West and Coquitlam campuses.

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