Why I really haven’t missed my daily commute

05Feb07

Within a span of about 60 seconds, I saw a guy on the subway do the following last night:

  • Stop in the middle of the stairs leading down from the ticket booth right in front of me to absent-mindedly fish through his pockets and hold up everyone behind him.
  • Enter the train without letting the passengers disembark first, instead just squeezing right past them.
  • Sit on the aisle seat of a pair of transverse seats while leaving the window seat empty.

In only a minute, this dolt managed to make himself the poster boy for obtuse and inconsiderate transit behaviour. I debated whether to try to smarten up by pointing out his various breaches of etiquette or to simply smash his cup of Starbucks in his face and scald him horribly. In the end, I settled for giving him several nasty glares and a couple of withering looks. But that was only because I was in a good mood, mind you.

Oh, and in related news, Torontoist reports that the TTC is removing the “Walk Left, Stand Right” signs on escalators, thus further eroding transit etiquette in this city. The TTC is trying to discourage people from walking on escalators at all, citing previous accidents. Whether or not this measure will cut down on accidents is a matter for debate, but I can certainly see it sparking a surge in deliberate escalator-rage-based violence. You want a ride? Go to Canada’s Wonderland. If you’re making me miss a train because you’re too lazy to walk up or down the escalator and prefer to just stand there and block me while you rest and let your mind wander off into dreamland, don’t be surprised when I plough right through you. The TTC’s usage of signage to educate the public on transit etiquette was admirable while it lasted, but their boneheaded reversal of policy doesn’t change what the actual etiquette is. The rule is “walk left, stand right.” And the corollary to that rule is “stand left, get punched in the back”. Remember that.



One Response to “Why I really haven’t missed my daily commute”

  1. 1 Jim

    It’s the opposite here in Perth, Western Australia. The same rule that applies our traffic applies to escalator travel.

    If you’re going to dawdle or stop, get on the left side and STAY there. If you want to power walk up so that your corporate muffin is still warm when you get to work, use the right hand side.

    I must remember to invert that, should I wind up in Canada.


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