Wednesday, April 14, 2010

#*$& People Who Swear on Transit

One thing I've noticed on transit is that you get an occasional person who drops a lot of profanity as if nobody around cares. Personally, I have a pretty tolerant attitude towards profanity, although its gratuitous use is annoying to me. There are certainly lots more terrible things happening in the world than, say, the utterance of the word "fuck", but saying it just to say it has no real value.

That said, I know profanity makes a lot of people uncomfortable and so when I hear these people who get on transit and curse up a storm, it makes me sad. It makes me sad because I know somebody who is trying out transit for the first time could be hearing that and rapidly coming to the conclusion that he/she will be a permanent car commuter (or a long-time transit commuter could be making plans to buy a car). What kind of environment is that for a child?

It's hard to think about how the problem might be solved. People tend to look the other way and avoid confrontation on transit, probably for good reason. There isn't money to put a cop on every bus. The drivers are busy sticking to their schedules. It's just part of the problem of public space: it's public, meaning even annoying people kind of have a right to be in it if they pay the fare and aren't excessively ridiculous.

Most people on transit have more sense than to engage in this disrespectful behavior so I'll just say this. If you swear on transit, you're a big part of the reason why transit isn't attracting more riders, and if transit can't attract more riders it won't have the funds to become better.

You are truly shooting yourself in the foot.

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