Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Bus Lines: Ditching the Morning Bus Ride Drama

The bus route that goes by my apartment complex is probably the best one in the entire transit system. I used to ride that bus to Other City around 9:30 a.m. at least once a week. I liked taking the bus, instead of the train, because I had less of a walk to the library.

But I won’t ride that bus in the morning anymore.

Some very needy people board the bus when it reaches a certain stop a few miles from my destination. I’ve learned that those passengers probably have just left a neighborhood homeless shelter or a nearby soup kitchen.

Unfortunately, several of them seem to have mental health or anger management issues. According to a deputy sheriff, many of them are on probation or parole. During almost every trip, at least one of them will become disruptive. Their loud rants and ramblings about politics, the transit system, and whatever else upsets them frequently offend other passengers who can’t pass up the chance to verbally spar with them.

Sometimes these sad individuals verbally attack other passengers whose only offense is asking them to please quiet down. I was brought up to be nice, but there are times when I have to fight the urge to tell them to shut up.

Yes, I do know better. Some of these people are scary.

Other passengers have told me that the transit company is reluctant to ban passengers with a covered disability out of fear of violating ADA regulations. One very rude and disruptive passenger said that she could say or do whatever she wanted to and get away with it. She boasted that the transit company would never ban her from riding the bus because she is disabled and would complain to the ADA.

Apparently the only way disruptive disabled passengers can be banned from riding public transportation is if they physically attack the driver or another passenger.

I feel very sorry for these people whose lives are in shambles. And I realize that they have the right to ride public transportation. But I’ve decided that I just can’t put up with their outbursts any longer. I don’t think that what they seem to believe is their right to freak out during a bus ride supersedes my right to have a safe, reasonably drama-free trip to the library. 

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