Second day down….


It was nice having a rental car while I was away but not nearly as entertaining as my metro (train) rides can be.

This morning a train, a few in front of mine, had broken down so we were enduring a journey of stops and starts and little rests in the tunnels.  At one station the driver announced:

“This is the Green Line train trying to get to Branch Avenue;  Lord knows I’m trying to get there“.


So, I’ve just completed my second day back commuting and I’ve noticed something disturbing.  There is less space on my trains than a month ago!

This could be due to a few things such as:-
– the trains got smaller – incredibly unlikely
– more people found work – not very likely
– people have found a desire to ride public transport in peak times – now that would just be silly
or,  in my opinion, people have put on weight in my absence!!


27 responses

  1. Out here they’ve been cutting the number of cars on the light rail trains on Fridays, since all of the state workers are furloughed that day. The transit authority says it saves them money and energy not to have so many empty cars on the track. Maybe they’ve been doing that in D.C.

    Or….did they raise the parking rates in the city? One reason so many people use the bus and light rail in San Francisco is because parking averages $10-12 a day downtown.

    • During peak times the trains are 6 and 8 cars (non-peak on the quieter lines are only 4 cars) – according to Metro there are nearly 700,000 trips a day – and I’m making 2 of them 🙂 They always seem to be full even though some lines are running every 3 minutes at the peak of peak.

      Recently they put the fares up after “town hall” meetings determined that riders would rather pay more than have cuts to service. Most riders now probably think they are paying more and getting less!

  2. When I consider train drivers desire to supplement thier income with visions of national media attention, it seems fairly certain the commuters are playing the numbers. Their is, of course, safety in numbers.

    • LOL Raymond…some of the operators have lovely voices worthy of a radio spot. It’s nice to have some entertainment during a ride that otherwise can be uncomfortable and dull at the same time.

  3. It must be interesting riding on the train. Great people watching time. I hope you have a lot of entertaining stories to tell us!

    Maybe the train seats are being made smaller, just like the aircraft seats!

  4. Do you have a university or similar on your train line where semester started while you were away?? I had such nice commutes all summer… you could sit and read with about four seats per person… and then beginning of September it was stand up and hold onto dear life, there were millions of new clueless students and no-where to sit anymore.

  5. lol, a conductor with a sense of humor! Stick around another 10 years when the current generation of youngsters begins riding subways! Some 20% of American kids from 6-11 are obese. Not overweight. Obese. At this rate, it’ll be 20 people per car!

  6. Same problem here on the bus – I have been walking all week. It’s a conspiracy. Aliens have invaded, taking over the bodies of real people and like on Men In Black they fill up the insides. But if I walk to work every day I will get thinner. And the people will be even bigger. LOL!

  7. Could it be due to a change in perception after being in a more expansive environment? I often notice every time I go back east that many things feel smaller and closer together than they do in my west coast city. The transit planner in me thinks it might be fewer cars per train or residual demand from earlier delays in service.

    At any rate, I hope you can find enough personal space – and a seat! – to feel comfortable in your commute.

  8. I think Emmi’s hit the nail on the head. Just trying to maneuver through the aisles at the store, it’s evident that there’s something in the entire national food supply, I swear. I mean… besides the high fructose corn syrup and the transfats, etc…

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