In class, I had to write a 2-3 minute speech on something that I was passionate about. I decided to take it upon myself to make a speech about the need for bus etiquette. This is because I wanted to make a social statement against the transit taking community.
I don’t have a license and therefore, bus everywhere. Even if I have to go out of town, I hop on a Greyhound or the GO bus and transit my way to my destination. It’s my own fault for not getting a license, but I manage. Because of this, I find myself surrounded by people who do not respect the others around them while aboard a bus. I had a thought, when I started this program, to create a campaign based on the principle of treating everyone with mutual respect on the bus. And every time I have gotten on a bus since (so, multiple times a day) I have thought about it more and more.
This brings me back to the beginning of this post. When given the opportunity, I had to jump on it. So, here it is in all its glory. You never know, maybe I can make it into a public service announcement one day. Enjoy!
We are always moving. We are always trying to get somewhere. We are always headed in a direction on a specific path to accomplish something. We are always moving.
While some can be in charge of how they to their destination, others cannot. We are forced to rely on public transportation systems to take us where we need to be. We wait at bus stops, in varying degrees of weather, we pay to get on and pull a cord to get off. It isn’t glamorous, but it is how we get where we need to go.
Statistics Canada says that we, as transit users, spend an average of 40 minutes commuting one way to our destination. That means we spend 487 hours the year on a bus. These long trips could be pleasant if it wasn’t for the collection of careless, cranky and sometimes even callous citizens we find ourselves sharing this never-spacious vehicle with.
My fellow transit users, it is time we demanded more from the other people we spend these rides with. It is time we stand up against the shovers who squeeze their way through the crowd to sit in a seat while to rest of us get packed in, similar to sardines inside a twenty ton tin can. It is time we rise up over the brazen body odor and the backpack bruisers. It is time we rebel against the empty seat squatters who refuse to move themselves or their belongings to allow standers a chance at a seat. It is time for us to set a standard for other transit users. It is time for us to come together and demand more from ourselves and others.
We spend too much time and money on this system to allow another person to step on us, sneeze on us or stand so close to us that we can feel their breath on our skin. We spend too much time and money on this system to dread using it.
We need to come together for change to happen. We need to set out ground rules. We need to lead by our own example. We need to show everyone what it means to be a respectful transit user. We need to make a change.
We are always moving. So, why don’t we move towards a brighter future for transit users. The bus is coming. Are you on board?