Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Have your ticket handy! Is that too much to ask?

I'd like to think of myself as a pretty understanding and patient person but at the same time, I am fairly efficient when it comes down to my daily commute routine. For example, I know where to park (1st to 3rd choice of area) in the BART lot, I know the shortest way from lot to ticket turnstile, I know which train to enter into and exit out of, and I always have my ticket handy or at the very least know where exactly it is. Of course this routine is established after years of riding BART, but even as a new rider way WAY back in my college days, I clearly recall always having my ticket in hand or very close within access in a pocket or purse. I don't think I've ever taken more than 3 seconds to pass through the BART ticket gates...usually it takes me 1 second. Even in a foreign country's public transit system, I go out of my way to go with the flow and not ever slow things down.

Now...the point of my story today! I just don't know how some passengers can take so long digging for their tickets and block the ticket gate while they aimlessly search for each pocket and bag. I mean, you know you're about to cross the turnstile...it's no surprise, so why not have your ticket ready?

Saw a woman who has a roller business suitcase stood in front of the gate for at least 45 seconds trying to find her ticket. Finally, she noticed she was blocking the gate and stepped aside to continue feeling her pockets. Later, I saw a group of 6 teenagers, blocking 3 ticket gates, and none of them had a ticket handy! The girls were searching their purses and laughing, joking around with each other! Commuters started to line-up behind them. Finally, one commuter asked if they can step aside so others can get through. I was lining up to redeem my commuter checks so I had plenty of time to observe! Later, I saw two men, who looked like regular transit riders, who were deeply in chat as they walked towards the ticket turnstiles. As they approached the turnstiles, they remained talking! Neither could pull out their tickets and walk through while continuing their conversation. Both literally stood in front of the turnstiles, searched their pockets and then their suitcase for their BART tickets while they continued talking!

I guess there are all types of people out there! 99% of us are quite efficient! It was just bizarre to see so many that were inefficient and inconsiderate today! They can take all the time they want finding their tickets if they aren't blocking the turnstiles and sort of move their belongs and their bodies out of the way. But to block the flow of passengers going in and out of the station is just a bit lame!!! Funny.


SongMonk said...

AS far as I'm concerned, people can root in their bags all they want as long as they stand out of the way while they do so.

I don't know if I'd characterize myself as being particularly polite, but I'm hyperaware of keeping other people waiting one me...even in cases where it's reasonable that they wait on me (e.g., I'm using the ATM machine, filling up my gas tank, etc.).

At the airport, I actually step aside *before* I get in line in order to stash stuff in my bags, pull out my ID, etc.

Obviously I'm in the minority to take things to that extreme. :-)

bartmusings said...

I'm sort of the same way, songmonk. It's just being considerate of others. I don't step aside at airports but I do make sure I have instantaneously access to liquids and things that I need to take out so no one needs to wait for me!

Anonymous said...

I'll cut directly in front of them or make sure I brush against them to let them know they're in the way.

On a real bad day, I'll kick their stupid roller bag they have no business needing.

Anonymous said...

Anyone noticed the number of riders with the swipe cards? I am sure the same sort of problems could occur if someone is not paying attention and gets the the fare gates and is not ready to swipe themselves out.