Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hideous delays today

My usual train was delayed by 16 minutes. It's not so much being 16 minutes late that upsets me (although standing on the platform with the wind continuously blowing on my face for 16 minutes is certainly miserable), what I really dislike about delays is the long lines of passengers that await an already packed train at every station, and everyone insists on squeezing on. Can't blame them I guess, waiting sucks. Sometimes, if there's a train 3-5 minutes behind, I'd consider waiting for the next train to avoid the crowds but no such luck today. The next train status was completely unknown. Alright, I thought, in I go.

By Orinda, the train was at maximum capacity. I was literally standing between the legs of an older man sitting down in the handicapped seat, with my face 2 inches from another woman's curly hair which poked me at every jerky motion of the train.

Rockridge is a popular station, and as we approached, I saw how crazy long the lines were. There were at least 15 people who wanted to squeeze into my particular train car. I ended up with a man standing so close to me that our shoulders were joined as one, and his shoes were touching mine. It was incredibly uncomfortable-- I felt body heat (not to mention some body odor) all around me. One second, someone's backpack runs into me, another second, someone steps on me because they didn't have a bar to hold on to.

Not to mention, only 2 people got off at MacArthur while at least 5 more piled in. It was unbearable. I felt people's exhaling breath on my face since we were all so close together. I knew what song the kid in back of me was listening to because I was only a few inches away from his iPod.

It didn't get better at the Oakland downtown stations. We pretty much were beyond maximum capacity all the way through Embarcadero. The train ended up arriving nearly 20 minutes later than the usual time.

I was actually relieved to breath the biologically polluted air as I reached the street level of Civic Center Station.


Bill Dailey said...

That sounds like a brutal ride! I try to avoid super-crowded cars at all costs even though I only ride BART between Embarcadero and Lake Merritt. I'm usually willing to wait for a train or two to come to avoid the packed cars that follow delays just to have a little bit of space during the ride.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to Japan.

Anonymous said...

I took a much more crowded New Year's Eve BART train where it was still not Tokyo-esque, but in which people where crammed against each other in all the aisle and door space (it was the last East Bay train of the night from SF, at...1 am? Something like that). So one couldn't move, but on the plus side, everyone made it onto the train.

Anyway, things were getting a little rough until someone at the other end of the car smoked up, and the car turned into a giant bong, after which everyone seemed to relax and the ride went a lot faster. I thought "welcome to San Francisco!"