Wednesday, February 07, 2007

What do you do in that situation?

I'm sure all of us have been in this situation before. The train is uncomfortably packed. Almost every square inch of standing room has been taken. You can hardly see the carpet on the train floors anymore because of the excess number of feet. You are breathing into the person in front of you, while feeling the breath of the person in back of you right on your neck or head. Every little movement by the train causes everyone to swing left to right....any sudden movement causes you to trip over, falling into the person in front of you. It is so crowded that you can actually physically feel the lack of oxygen and the excess of CO2.

When there are THAT many people on a train, the train operator usually yells repeatedly, "There is a Pittsburg/Baypoint train just 3 minutes behind this train with plenty of room....there is a Pittsburg/Baypoint train just 3 minutes behind me with plenty of room!"

Do you actually get off the train to get out of the overcrowded train for a little more space? Do you ever see people getting off to take the next train?

For me, that's a no to both questions. I always just feel that I can endure the uncomfortable conditions in order to be home just 3 minutes earlier. I also have never seen anyone actually get off in order to ride in a more spacious train (or it's too crowded that I don't get a full view of who's in and out). Not only do I not see people get off, I actually see people lining up still trying to squeeze into the train somehow, making it unbearably crowded.

Do people get off? Do you get off? Have you witnessed an instance where that very announcement by the TO actually discourages passengers in line from getting in, while encouraging those inside to get out? Maybe people with suitcases?

Just wondering. I was in that situation today and did not get off, nor did I see others get off.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I do the same as you, stay on the train. I would rather get home quicker, or (yikes!) get to work a few minutes earlier. Also, I don't quite trust Bart - what if the next train is delayed, or something happens.

Maybe Bart could run 10 car trains on the Bay Point line in the afternoons. That would help with crowding.

Anonymous said...

I don't get off either. It's not worth getting out and getting in the back of another line. And like the other guy said, who knows if there really is a train two minutes behind?

Andy said...

Once on a train, I don't get off; but if the train is truly that crowded, and the operator is saying there's another train directly behind that one, I will wait for the next one...

I have found if the operation is saying the next Pittsburg/Baypoint train is directly behind the current one, then it's true. If the operator says there will be another one, or another one is 5, 10, etc minutes then the operator is just referring to the next scheduled train....

ConcordCommuter said...

Usually I'm already seated when this happens, so I am of course staying put. The few times I have had to stand in these horribly crowded conditions, I will exit and wait for the next train. I figure, it isn't going to make a difference at work if I'm 10 minutes later, and neither will it matter on my way home.

Anonymous said...

From a few years ago on a Dublin-bound train, waiting at Embarcadero a little longer than is normal in the middle of rush hour. Every person coming down to the platform did the OMG A TRAIN A TRAIN THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER ONE AFTER THIS ONE I MUST GET ON THIS ONE NOW OR I WILL NEVAR SEE MY FAMILY AGAIN OMG OMG A TRAIN A TRAIN run from the escalator.

So the train sits there and more people pile in, and we continue to sit there, and more people pile in, and we continue to sit there and MORE people pile in. The crush is unbearable. I give up and get out, and since I was in Most Important Person In The World mode, I was rather pissy about doing so.

Imagine my delight and surprise when, one second before the door closed, what had to be the smelliest, nastiest and foulest homeless person I have ever seen ambled into that crowded car and the doors snapped shut before anyone else could get out.

The looks of helpless terror and disgust on the people who just HAD to be on that train, as it rolled out of the station, still makes me laugh to this day.

And that is why if I have the chance and they make the announcement, I'll always wait for a less-crowded train.nsx

bartmusings said...

You're really good at descripting the scenario. Wow! Sounds really nasty. I think I probably would have pissed everyone off by sticking my arm to prevent the door from closing (never ever done that before) if I were stuck standing in an unbearably crowded train next to a homeless person. Good thing you made the decision to get out!

Rafael said...

I've taken bart plenty of times from Montgomery to San Bruno and most of the times 6pm to 615pm the train isn't that crowded. Yes, I've had to stand up the whole time, but it's not as bad as my fellow posters experiences. Getting off the subject here a bit. Have you ever taken the Muni train from Montgomery to Balboa Park? Holy smokes talk about an overcrowded train. I've seen videos on the internet of crowded Japanese trains, but the Muni trains can give them a run for their money.

bartmusings said...

Hi Rafael, worse than Japanese commuter tains? Goodness, must be insanely crowded!!! If you ever shoot a clip (I know you're good at that!), share it with all of us!

The Pirate Lucky said...

For me, nobody ever gets off.It's useless. It's true, people actually cram in their faster, to get that last golden ticket. and for what?

It's like racing to a red light sometimes. At least with BART you know there is another train right behind you. With MUNI, when a bus driver says there's another one right behind him, we all just roll our eyes and sigh. Wait time for bart=3 minutes. Muni=20min or more!

No one wants to back track. It's probably just as hard to GET OFF the train you're smooshed into as it was getting on!

Anonymous said...

If by chance I hop on and can't get anywhere else other than right there at the door, I'll hop back off and wait . . . what's another 3 minutes!

Scott said...

I'll wait if I can hear the announcement from the TO saying there is one 3 minutes behind since it's usually true and I'll wait.

Once you're on a train that is packed like that, though, it's like the most unpleasant Hotel California. You can come but you can never leave. It's too hard to get off again unless you're right by the door and you'll have an easier time getting off when it thins in a few stops, anyway.