Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Human repellent

Somehow a homeless man got on the train and whoa, he carried a very pungent smell. The scent instantly permeated through the train and one by one, everyone seated near him quietly got up and walked to the other side of the train or to another car altogether. I was seated two rows from him. I tried to be brave about it and not let the scent get to me, but I couldn't do it after 2 minutes. I got up and slipped into a seat on the opposite of the trian. Many other passengers followed. Those who couldn't find a seat ended up standing on the other side of the train! Anything to get away from the smell.

After 3 stops, there were a bunch of empty seats around this homeless man. He didn't mind or notice. He was sound asleep with his feel hanging off the edge of the seat.

I'm not bashing on the homeless by any means! If they are paying to ride BART to go somewhere, then I think they definitely belong there, whether they smell or not. But if they are sleeping in a warm train, I think someone (train operator perhaps? or BART police?) needs to do something about it!


Josh said...

If you're in this situation again, you should use the intercom button and call the train operator. You could even go to the next car and do so, if you don't wish to make a scene. I've had to report issues before, and they are pretty responsive. Just give them the car # or about which position in the train you're at. For a fellow like this, they would probably send BART police to do a "health and welfare" check and get him off the train.

Anonymous said...

Maybe passengers are reading this blog, and calling the operator? I used to hear other TO's calling this in (on the radio) about once a week. Now I hear it every day.

Make sure you have a good description - race, sex, rough age, weight. Then go top to bottom - Hat, hair color, glasses, facial hair, shirt and jacket colors, pants, socks, shoes. The car number is a must, and, each window has a number over it.

Wait for a quiet place to call in - outside the tunnels, just after leaving a station.

The Pittsburg line is really crowded, police do respond to these calls. Other trains get held at stations - it's common for the controllers to tell trains to wait at a station, until the next station clears (you can see the next station, at downtown stations).

Don't be afraid to call it in.

As far as spraying, don't even bother - they won't notoce, or even wake up.

Anonymous said...

also remind operator that you believe a welfare and safety check needs to be done on this person. remember key words.