Tuesday, August 27, 2013

the highs and lows in commuting with public transportation

commuting sthlm

A recent high on travelling with the commuter train is certainly the new happy informative stickers campaign - I've spotted two more since last time. I hope more will follow, because they certainly make me smile.

commuting sthlm

A reoccuring low is the fact that SL (Stockholm Local Traffic, the company responsible for public transportation in the Stockholm area) keep putting up these ridiculous glass bus shelters even though they KNOW idiots keep vandalizing them regularly. It's such a flagrant waste of taxpayers money, they're too small to offer any real shelter if there are a lot of people waiting and the old, larger shelters made of see through iron sheets with a large roof where much more convenient and non-breakable. Plus every time the glass walls get broken (and reported) it takes forever before they come and clean it up thus the nastiness of injuries for people and animals are imminent waiting for the bus or walking by. This is truly one of life's great mysteries...

commuting sthlm

Other lows (without picture proofs) in commuting is of course rush hours (which I'm just all too deliriously happy I can mostly avoid having my own business), especially the morning rush hours. The anxiety, zombie attitude of a 9-5 job, hate it.

Then there's the stupidity of not keeping shoes off seats
(incl letting your kids run around on the seats or kick fellow passengers with dirty shoes on).
Not taking the litter with you.
Not letting people get off before you push yourself on the train.
Begger gangs and street musicians forcing their message and more or less talented musical entertainment on you.
Being loud and obnoxious
(yes that includes having a loud conversation on a cell phone, intimate or brainless are of course the worst).
Not being considerate when people want to pass or sit.
Striking up conversations with strangers who clearly do no want to socialize, just want to be left alone. Recurrent delays, which can totally screw your day up, especially during winters when they apparently still don't realise that we have snow in this country.
Not to mention the prudent idea of using bus trousers always in the back of mind.

The obvious great high is of course the environmental advantages of not driving a car but instead sharing transportations with others.
Reading a book or paper, working, taking a nap, preparing for a meeting, knitting, people watching are all rather pleasant ways to spend the time on bus or train.
Not to mention tweeting and such.

commuting sthlm

And art spotting! The Stockholm subway system is in fact (as mentioned before) the world's longest art exhibition. Some pieces and stations more enjoyable than others, but pretty much all offering something unique to see. The ceramics wall above is one of my favourite art pieces. A quite recent piece installed on a wall at a nearby train station I think it looks like giant, rainbow colored chewing gum bits - love it.

commuting sthlm

And Carrotboy loved meeting Mr Happy-to-ride-the-commuter-train. I think he felt he had met a fellow excited adventure enthusiast.

How about you, do you commute by public transportation?
Love or hate, perhaps indifferent?
Every day or only now and then?
The best thing about it, the worst?
And in which city/country have you had
the best or worst public transportation experience?

1 comment:

Elephant's Child said...

Our public transport is slow, infrequent and dirty. And on the weekends they are less frequent and I have to walk nearly a mile to the nearest functioning stop. Which has glass windows. Sometimes.

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