Off Topic: Public Transport

I don't know about you but I catch public transport every day. Sometimes this is an uninteresting, banal experience. Other times it's the most frustrating experience in the known universe. Let's talk about public transport. Let's share our terrifying stories. Let's talk about the people that annoy us.

Things that annoy me:

— People who put their bags on their seat on busy trains. — People who make you climb over them because they want the aisle seat. — People who talk really loudly on the phone at like 7am.

I've recently moved house and now I have to get a bus into work. Strangely the atmosphere is slightly different. It seems nicer. People queue to get on the bus and the rules are respected. BUS PEOPLE>TRAIN PEOPLE.

Anyway let's talk Public Transport. Anyone got any weird stories?


    There used to be a dude who threw poo at people in the mornings around burwood station and the trains that go through there...

    I now take the train super early so I don't know if he's still around...

      And nobody decked the filthy c*nt?

        People, especially in the morning seem to be non-confrontational, most of us just ran away to other carriages. I for sure didnt wanna go anywhere near that douchebag...

    I like the prime real estate by the door on trains even if there's seventeen seats available. The train fills up soon enough and I'm way more comfortable standing in my cosy place by the door than sitting with weird strangers.

      Very different on the bus. It's frustrating when folks do that because there's not enough room to get around them, they're just getting in everyone's way. On the train, at least you can go stand up against the opposite door to the open one so there's a path.

        I'll even press the button on a train for people, cause I'm a gentleman. :P

      I try to be the last person on the train most of the time so I can get that sweet door corner spot. :)

      Yeah, but do you stand in the exit door during peak and not get out of the way when the train arrives in a station, because that shit is annoying!

        I stand in the corner out of the way of the door.

      I do the same, of course making sure im not in the way of ppl getting in and out. But I find myself getting unjustifiably mad at other ppl who do the same thing, like in my mind "NO! This is my thing! I wanna be the first off at my stop!" in glorious hypocritical fashion lol....

      I'm the same way. I prefer to stand anyway so it works out nicely. Plus I know when the platform switches sides so I can usually work a nice place out of the way up the back by standing in the doorway on the first two stations. I have to get out of the way so people can get on/off twice, but from there out I can just lean back and relax.

      Personally the thing that bugs me is the way passangers stop moving and clump together. It takes like one person standing at the bottom of the esculator at Flinders St Station to cause a shoulder to shoulder pile up when there's plenty of room like 5m further down the platform. The same thing happens on the train. Someone will get on, see there isn't a seat, then stand there blocking the isle. The section with the door fills up and they'll stand there oblivious to the fact they could create a ton of room by taking a few steps back down the isle.

      Man, one of the best things I ever did was work it so I didn't have to travel in peak hour. =)

    There was a couple having sex on a grey rattler coming back from Circular Quay one Friday night. They were so damn loud, too.

    I read on the bus every day. Love my little kobo e-reader.

    My pet peeve is people who swing their legs around to let you get past instead of just getting up and out of the way.

    Also people talking on the bus, not because it's rude, but because it distracts me from reading a LOT and I can't tune it out.

      People on the aisle seat who swing their legs are the god damn worse. Just, how the fuck are people on the inside suppose to get out? The rest of your body is still in the way!! Then it becomes a question of crotch versus buttocks... Like why would you subject yourself to that? I'm a skinny person so I somehow manage, but god have mercy on regular sized people. It's like, standing is the hardest thing in the world or something..

      Last edited 02/09/14 11:49 am

        Depends which way they swing. I swing my legs out into the aisle and then back in so they can get past. It's not like I'm stupid enough to do the swinging then expect you to magically get past the aisle I've just blocked with my legs :P

        How is standing better than moving your legs. If you move your legs then the walk way is clear. If they stand then they are in the middle of the walk way. Or if you are saying they should stand and then move into the centre passage they are then blocking everybody.

          Getting up on to the aisle is what I was suggesting yes. The space between rows on buses isn't exactly plentiful (and extends to Brisbane trains). Oh, and this actually happens when the buses aren't full with people standing. Full buses I understand, but "normal" passenger numbers? -_-

          Last edited 02/09/14 11:50 am

          They're only blocking everybody temporarily in order to let the window-seat person get out. After that person is out, the aisle-sitter can sit back down and there's minimal disruption. It's the smoothest way to do things. If you just try to cram yourself into your seat to allow someone to get past you, it's harder and slower for them to get out. I honestly haven't seen anyone even try that, in recent times.

    I catch the train for about 45 minutes each way. The worrrrrst thing; people's B.O. I can handle someone hogging the seats, or being noisy (even in the dang quiet carriages), but you cannot escape smell! There is nothing worse.

    I personally brush my teeth before leaving work in the afternoon, and put on deodorant when I'm waiting for the train, but I'm very cautious, I guess. I don't want to be the smelly person.

      Yeah my number one peeve! Some people STINK at 7:30am of curry or BO. Seriously bad. And these people are heading into the CBD presumably for office work. I'd hate to work in their office.

    So glad I don't have to take public transportation. I need occasionally need to travel for work too.

    Rural Vline trains. There's certain trains that you can hire a seat for but what is annoying is people who don't hire for a specific seat get crammed into 2 carriages. Not good when the footy is on.

    I only have to travel 5 stops for my train journey each day so I don't know that it's long enough to comment on.

    Train rides with @dc are fun though. Ya'll should get a DC wherever you live.

      Now available on the Ipswich/Caboolture lines for all your DCing needs.

      *note: do not talk to DC on train. Or make eye contact. or sit next to.

        Caboolture is possibly sister town with frankston in the terms of behavior, how do I know, went there 2 years ago, 1 of the places there was a 16 hour pub, best to be avoided if you are on public transport

          Definitely used to have Adventures on that line when I lived farther out.

            Certainly a lot of security guards moseying about that train come nightfall. I appreciate this.

    People playing music at ridiculous volumes through crappy headphones that do nothing for noise isolation is a pet peeve of mine but my own non sucky headphones solve that problem for me mostly.

    The thing that annoys me to this day and is still a problem [email protected] is people breaking the rule.

    The rule is the same for trains, buses, elevators too ;)

    When the doors open let people get off the bus/train etc before you start steam rolling the doorway. Fark people!

      It's the old apple earphones mostly. Crappy earphones that do nothing to insulate the sound.

      I hate people who go on public transport and complain about other people's noise. Seriously if noise bothers you so much, buy a $25 pair of Sennheisers or similar and wear them for the noise isolation it offers (approximately 25db or more). Don't even have to listen to music.

      Better still, go to your local chemist warehouse and buy foam or silicon hearing protectors for $3 and put them to good use.

      Why waste energy being angry at our noisy modern society when it is YOU who has a problem with it. Fix it.

      Last edited 02/09/14 12:17 pm

        Because it can be a quieter society with a little something called respect. Catch a train in Japan and it's completely the opposite: no loud conversations, noone mucking around, people listening to music do so quietly. People respect the other passengers by not being obnoxious and inconsiderate and "too loud? your problem, not mine".
        Makes for a better trip and better society.

          I traveled in Japan with a friend of a friend who was "that inconsiderate guy" on Shinkansens and subways. I told him many times how disrespectful it is (particularly in Japan) but his attitude was, more or less, "they'll get over it". Was morbidly embarrassed every time but there was no way the average Japanese commuter was going to do anything but silently tolerate it.

            Thing is, one day you'll come across someone that won't tolerate it and things'll get really awkward

        When it's too bright you wear sunglasses, when you don't want to see something, close your eyes. If you don't wan to smell something breath through your mouth of cover your nose. When you don't want to taste something, spit it out. Why then must everyone else shut up when you have a problem with the sound?

        For the record I hate noisy people on the train but I've travelled on Cityfail for 15 years with sound isolating earphones and I've never had a problem, not once. I can't hear them. In fact I'd argue to say my daily commute is very quiet and peaceful. An oasis of calmness in fact, one of the only times during the day that I can totally zone out and be at peace with the world. Truly. That's because I can't hear anything.

        Instead of making it a crusade against the world, why not just fix the problem yourself and be in audio bliss while you're at it? Why be mad? Be happy, cost is only a few dollars!

        If your answer is you couldn't be bothered to use earphones, but you can be bothered to get angry every day, twice a day at people for being people, then I say you are a hypocrite.

        Last edited 02/09/14 2:02 pm

          The sun doesn't respond to public opinion, so we protect ourselves from it. Ditto for rain. Odours and bad tastes we respond by removing ourselves from their vicinity, because we have no other option. We do all this because we can't compromise or appeal to empathy when it comes to rain, sun, pee-smells or liquorice.

          People, however, have the capability of empathy, so we have the option of politely asking them to be considerate of other passengers, which is especially valuable if we have no option of finding another seat out of earshot. Loud people aren't a force of nature - they're people. They're just unaware of (or flat-out heedless of) how much it bothers those around them.

            Empathy??? what is this Empathy you speak of? So you go on internet forums and complain in the vain hope that these empathic, loud, heedless people will take notice and change their mind?

              Er, might wanna re-read the first paragraph:
              Let’s share our terrifying stories. Let’s talk about the people that annoy us.

              Oh, no. If I wanted them to notice, and thought it'd do any good, I'd go up to them and politely ask them to keep the noise down, as I said. However, I can count the number of times it's worked on one hand, so I no longer bother. Like you, I retreat into the comfort of my music.

              I'm not a crusader, merely someone that would prefer to have the option of reading in peace and quiet during my commute. I'd rather not have to have my music at full volume to drown out other people just so I can read without distraction - the music in and of itself is somewhat of a distraction, anyway, so it almost defeats the point.

              Anyway, I was pointing out why we consider appealing or complaining valid for this situation, and why we don't complain to the sun when we get sunburnt. I can count the number of times asking a group of loud people to be more considerate has worked on one hand; however, I can count the number of times asking the rain to stop has worked on no hands.

      I hate the people that queue up dead smack centre in front of the train doors (usually also the last people to queue, cutting in front of everyone ; another pet peeve), then get upset when the people getting off the train are barging into them.

    My weird story is how In Japan or Switzerland I can put a blindfold on me and just step out according to the second hand ticking over.

    Firstly yes, Bus people for some reason are better than Train/Tram people!

    My biggest pet peeve is people talking loudly on phones. It makes me realise why in Japan it's banned on the Shinkansen and very much frowned upon on the metro lines.

    What I used to LOVE about public transport was the ability to draw for 40mins uninterrupted when I used to live in brissy. Would try to sketch a few pootraits in 15mins or so on the way to and from Uni. Nowadays I live a 10min walk from work so there's not much need for PT!

      Hah Pootraits... I meant portraits or did I....

        I think we found that excrement-flinging miscreant mentioned in the first comment.

    In my old job I used to drive to work. Since I started working in the CBD, I get the bus to work every day, and I've got to say it beats driving to and from work by miles. Basically gives me half an hour each morning and afternoon to do some reading, and most of the time it's nice and quiet and I get on the bus near enough to the start of the route that I always get a seat.

    Dislikes are mainly noisy people... occasionally there's this woman on the bus on the way home who just gets on her phone and starts talking (read "bellowing at the top of her lungs") to... somebody. "I'M ON THE BUS NOW. I'M ON THE WAY HOME. I'LL BE THERE SOON. ARE WE GOING TO (do something) WITH (somebody) ?" etc etc. But I just know that if I punched her right in the mouth that somehow it would be ME who came out of it looking like the bad guy.

    Also, people who listen to music and extreme volume through earphones that are so leaky they might as well be just playing it through the speaker. Then there are the (thankfully rare) people who DO just play their music/video through the speakers because they don't have or don't want to use earphones.

    Last edited 02/09/14 12:36 pm

    Used to catch a train and tram into work every day since I moved to melbourne. Then I moved to the stop that's just outside zone 1 and it doubled my costs ... So i went and bought a motorbike and it's costing my much less. Plus I get to shout nyoom as I go down streets

    Queensland Rail, worst run company, charge you a bloody fortune to ride there shit-house trains.
    Always late/delayed/cancelled, use 3 carriage trains during peak hour, but use 6 car trains between 7pm and midnight because apparently that's a good fucken idea.

      The costs for QR are insane. Wasn't there a poll recently, and we have one of the worst, but most expensive, public transport in the world? Like, top 10 bad. Like, only riding outside of bus in India is worse?

        Yes, public transport in Brisbane costs you an arm and then a leg for the return. This is a metaphorical fact.

        Yeah we were the 3rd most expensive city in the world in 2012 I think. We have dropped slightly since then.

        Also, I had a Translink card with a hairline fracture in it due to aged plastic or something... they refused to replace the card and I had to spend another $10 "deposit".

        Also... public transport is worse the further out from the city that you go. In my area(Sandgate), there was a gap between buses at night of 1.5 hours, 1hr between buses on the weekends, and the last bus on Sunday finished at like 7pm or something. Not the best deal for the 3rd most expensive city in the world... I just drive everywhere.

      Devil's advocate style, maybe those 6 Car trains late are heading to their resting places so that they can be used for the reverse journey in the morning?

        ahh but if that was the case, why are the morning trains all 3 cars?

          I can't vouch for your personal travel routes but at my travel times in the morning (between 7:20 and 7:45) there's only 2 services I can think of that are 3 car. A 3-car Cleveland and a 3-car Park Road. The other services (including a couple Roma St) are 6 car.

      Holy shit QLD Transport prices are insane! INSAAAAAAAAAAANE!!!

    What really pisses me off about bus riders, is when the bus is filling up and the people standing don't move to the back of the bus. Getting angry, just thinking about this.

    I've seen some strange people on public transport. One was a male transvestite who'd hopped on to the busy morning train at King Cross. He/she was alone and stood in the middle of a very tightly packed carriage. He/she yelled out "OMG this isn't gum in my hair, this is cum."

    I used to take trains, now take buses. The pros of constantly having 4G internet access on buses, outweighs the pros of speedier train travel for me. Bussing also cheaper.

    Last edited 02/09/14 11:48 am

      I used to catch the bus and those people would annoy the crap out of me. It's like nobody is capable of standing past the back exit door and so the bus driver thinks there's no more space and stops picking people up.

        We've had some pretty good ones of those recently where the bus driver has told the folks getting on, "Wait while we make room," and looked meaningfully to the people up close, who've then turned around and sent that body-language message all the way to the back.

          I've seen this happen as well. Sometimes the bus driver has to get a bit more straight forward and/or yelly with people to pay attention. I've also seen when the bus driver doesn't seem to gaf and just tell people there's no more space and drive on.

    – People who make you climb over them because they want the aisle seat.Hahahaha, this is me.

    But screw sitting under the window. They always have the air conditioning on Arctic, and that's where the majority of it goes. I'm not sitting under that for the whole trip, and the aisle seat is the furthest from its chilly blasts. I'd sit in the seat up the back but there's usually someone already where when I get on.

    Last edited 02/09/14 12:58 pm

      Well, I don't actually make anyone climb over me. I'm happy to get up and step into the aisle to let them in, that's an acceptable cost to me for getting to sit where I want. Less of a problem these days since I don't seem to be able to sleep through the trip as easily as I used to...

      We would work quite well together, because I love that air-con blasting onto my head and my preference is always for window so I can lean on it to rest.
      Lounging insouciantly is my comfort zone.

        I've got myself sorted so that I can get a slight slouch, arms folded and head down, and be perfectly comfortable enough to have a free-standing nap without side support.


        You could say it took a bit of training to achieve.

    Fat people who take up more than 1 seat and spill over into your space but I have a mild claustrophobia when people impinge on my personal space so maybe it's just me.

      As a larger gent, I apologise. I, unlike a lot of others of my ilk, give a rat's arse and I try and keep myself as contained as possible to one seat. That being said, I do try and gravitate to the 1 person seats, even though I don't really fit into them to stop someone else being uncomfortable.

    I used to catch a bus between QVB and Waterloo, where this dude would get on blasting Urban shit out of his crappy phone and he'd sing along to it, thinking he had 'game', but he just looked/sounded like an idiot.

    He would give his seat to other people though, so I never had the heart to tell him to shut up.

    Public transport is the worst. I gave up and bought a bike, which gets me to and from work in half the time, and at whatever time I want it to.

    It's also way cheaper. Even if I were to buy a brand new, good quality bike every year I would still be saving money.

    -Straight to the back of the bus.
    -Avoid eye contact
    -Headphones in
    -Game on phone / surf the net

    Saw these two guys at the station. One of them was abusing the other calling him a "ciggie butt brain".

      I bet it was because he pocketed his lighter...

    I used to like being able to catch a rural train in Victoria and enjoy a quiet beer or glass of vino at the end of the day. Then all of the drunk arseholes that were on the train with their BYO pre-mixed bourban cans would get abusive and violent towards other people/conductors/children and now alcohol is banned.
    A few weeks ago I was on a train from Berlin to Frankfurt. There was a nice dining cart with table service and it was full of people of all ages sitting around chatting while the adults enjoyed a few drinks. Such a different vibe when you take alcohol abuse out of the equation.
    This is why we can't have nice things, Australia.

    Public transport nightmare is any public transport that connects to frankghanistan, frankston to people not native to the mornington penisula, as a certain percentage of them are to be avoided on public transports that comes from the once peaceful village that it once was in the 50's, now a hub to people you want to avoid if you are on public transport. What's that you say, you say it is peaceful now, but if you want to catch public transport with any connection to that place, here are some things to consider from someone who has repeatedly caught a train from there.
    1. Gunshop near train station
    2. The radius of how many cars have to long term park for people who wants to catch a train from there covers the local library carpark to the local cinema car park
    3. The size of the station's carpark is small
    4. Best time to avoid catching transport from there is the weekend

      I'm on the Frankston line but get off a couple stops before Frankston itself. I train to and from work at peak hours and it's fine during those times. Agree with you about weekends though, that's when you get the 'interesting' characters.

      Actually, you get those any time you travel the line in non-peak hours. I sat listening to some colourful conversations between ex cons the other day when I got off work early.

      I've caught the train a few times, often people you think may rob or stab you.

      To be clear, I only ever caught it to then head down the mornington peninsula.

      One time some girl who was a bit over weight got on. There was some douche bag wearing one of those horribly tracksuits brands only poor people and derros buy. He was there with a guy and a girl derro. He just spent the whole ride harrassing the poor lady. 'You're beautiful, come and sit with me.' Until she got off the train crying.

      It was one of those times where you wish you could intervene, but the worry of it not then going well for you and everyone was too high.

    I am fairly certain that the males who get on the same train as me must have the largest testicles on Earth. Either that or they are trying to compensate, considering the way they sit.

      I'm gonna guess it's about leg-room. I'm not ultra-tall at 6' neat, so I don't know how anyone even taller survives, but for me most bus seats give the choice of sitting with your legs apart or your knees up around your ears. I choose apart. Which is why I vastly prefer not sitting next to someone.

        I'd love to think so, but this is just as common in the side-by-side seats next to the door as well. Also, when I'm sitting in the standard seating with seats in front of me (I'm 6'3) I find it easy enough to keep both knees within a relatively close proximity of one another.

        I can totally understand buses though. Those seats are made for midgets.

        Not much taller than you (6'4") but it's all about standing if the train is packed. Much easier than trying to contort and fit before my knees start to ache and shake.

    Take the train and sometimes a bus to work everyday. About a 1 hour trip door to door.
    Apart from the usual things like people being inconsiderate a-holes its the fact the whole system seems to break down when there is a bit of rain or the temperature exceeds 30 degrees.

    Adds heaps of time to my travels and crams more a-holes onto the trains.

    Some of the worst things that have happened in regards to people have been:
    1) Guy on morning train just ups and vomits all over the floor pretty much at the start of the line. Then people getting on dont seem to see vomit on the floor so step through it traipsing it all through the carriage.
    2) Junkie trying to get rid of a used needle by kicking it along the floor, almost into a girls calf.
    3) Bunch of drunk kids riding between the carriages, tagging, drinking, smoking, spraying beer everywhere, saying inappropriate things to women on the train. Eventually they started threatening people so someone pressed the emergency button then bailed because they started getting in his face. Had to wait at a stop for half an hour while cops came. I had to take over the emergency button duty while they continually tried to bait me... idiots.

    Apart from that I like taking PT, it could be cheaper (I live out in zone 2 of melbourne) but I wouldn't want to drive. I drove when there was scheduled works on our line and when I went in and left early it was ok... but when you go in at normal peak times and leave at peak hour... it takes like 2.5 hours to get home. Plus you have to be concentrating on other peoples driving and cant just zone out like on PT.

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