There is a certain happiness sighted when your bus comes along. It is of course a small specialized form of happiness and will never be a great thing.

-Richard Brautigan, The Old Bus

Monday, October 29, 2007

No good fortune goes unpunished

I wanted to write something today about Sacramento Regional Transit's new Transit Master Plan update process. The RT board held a workshop on the topic last week, and tomorrow RT officials will meet in the morning with a bunch of people called "stakeholders."

This seemed like a good time to explore my ideas on what would make transit something more than an entitlement of the poor and disabled.

And then I noticed the little stream of liquid with tiny chunks in it coursing back and forth in one of the grooves in the floor next to my seat in the light rail car.

Today, had started out rather optimistically. I should have realized the warning.

My bus arrived five minutes early at 65th Street station, which made it possible for me to dash from the bus and catch the train downtown, cutting 15 minutes from my regular commute.

But no good fortune goes unpunished.

I caught the movement of the unidentified river out of the corner of my eye as I was reading my book. Looking up, I followed the stream to its headwaters -- well, really stomach waters expelled from some head. Whatever. Someone had barfed, and by the time I noticed it no one was taking credit for it.

Today I find it harder than, say, last week to imagine enticing what RT calls "lifestyle" riders to join me on the train. Why would anyone want to leave their car for this?

Perhaps RT could take some of the stakes from the stakeholders and give them mops. Maybe RT could put "transit sickness bags" in pouches in front of each seat. Just a thought.

I will admit this is only the second time in nine months that I have had to ride with the aftermath of someone puking on a light rail car, but it strains my transitarian enthusiasm.


The Derek said...

They should require a breathalizer test before you can get on the train lol. personally, ive never had to deal with barf on a train, but id imagine after drinking a few, the train would be the last place id want to be. can you say motion sickness? hell, with the flu going around, id expect it to happen fairly often. Even not being sick, the motion of the trains took me a couple of weeks to get used to.

John said...

When you give rides to as many people as light rail does, I suppose it is not surprising that stuff like this happens. Unlike the bus, where you can warn the driver you are going to puke, light rail isn't going to stop for a queasy rider.

ByJane said...

Puts me in mind of the evening at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion when the woman in front of me heaved during the Second Act. And sat through to the Third.