Worst Transit Riders, Ranked

The ongoing effort to rid transit systems of riders incapable of living by the Golden Rule continues in Boston, written by a columnist with an obvious case of the Mondays.

2 minute read

November 4, 2019, 10:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


This little doggo did not make the list. | PongMoji / Shutterstock

Every now and then, according to this article by Nestor Ramos, a transit system functions exactly how it's supposed to, and the world almost seems kind.

Leave it to an inconsiderate or potentially even outright rude rider to ruin a moment like that, like the rider who doesn't hear the message about removing their backpacks, and swings around and smacks you in the head on their way out the door.

An uncomfortable truth about riding the T in Boston, according to Ramos:  "A big part of what we talk about when we talk about hating the T isn’t the T at all. It’s each other."

The transit riding courtesy public service campaign is found in most cities with a transit system. Los Angeles, for instance, has pushed the genre into surrealism and opened itself to critique about its biases, so the message is not without risk.

Ramos's approach to transit scofflaws is to provide a list of each variety, as identified in the wild, some with a short nickname associated with their behavior. So there's the "Doorstop," the "Speakerphone," and the "Masticator," but others get a more prosaic signifier, like "people who don't get up for the young" and "people who don't get up for the old."

Number one on the list isn't a stranger at all, according to Ramos. "Kevin From Engineering" is that random person from some other corner or floor of your office that suddenly grabs a spot next to you forcing small talk most of the way home. Not sure if we agree if that's worse than number two on the list, "The Unsolicited Compliment," but nobody asked us.

Monday, November 4, 2019 in The Boston Globe

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