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public transport.

(32 Posts)
dc Mon 16-May-11 13:55:41

due to my eyesight getting a bit dodgy, i voluntarily gave up driving in february. i am not overly old (knocking up 70) nor am i a grumpy old man (well perhaps a bit). my wife and i now use public transport all the time, and by and large we are quite happy to do so. in all fairness we get around as much as we want to. the point i would quite like to make is how drab people appear to be, be it in their dress or their manner, however, having said that, may i also say how friendly people can be, if given the chance. can i also say i have learnt quite a few choice words whilst travelling on buses. let,s hope that the bus pass is a permanent fixture.

bikergran Mon 16-May-11 14:10:49

Hi dc that is much common sense you have, knowing when to give up your licence...and yes lol im sure you have learned some "new words" whilst traveling anway what I am offering is when!! I pass my motorcycle test and get my BIGGER bike..I shall come and take you for a spin and your wife will have to take turns lol...I need the parctice and im sure you will learn MORE! new words sat on the back lol...keep smiling..[smile]

nanafrancis Mon 16-May-11 14:14:56

I'm inclined to agree with you. Most folk are friendly but its hard to make the first move in case you get rebuffed. I'm not good at making the first move because I usually pick a wrong 'un.
I once stopped to ask some tourists if they were lost. I found them peering at a town map on my way home. A very abrupt German voice told me 'Ve are not lost, ve just don't know vere ve are' (apologies for German accent). Luckily I was able to smile and say 'That sounds like lost to me!' and walked away and left them to it. It was some time before I found the courage to ask anyone else if they were in need of help, even if they looked lost.

supernana Wed 18-May-11 12:26:08

I'm a young-ish 70 at heart but somewhat frail in limb. I regularly travel 600 plus miles from the west coast of Scotland to see my grandson in London. The bus journey from home to Glasgow takes about three and a half hours. The train journey, a further four and a half. I then need to negotiate the tube at rush-hour and have two changes before I reach my destination. Naturally the tube is packed to capacity and I'm often squashed against the door or whatever. My point is this...on the rare occasions when a seat could have been made available [if a parent would have had a small child on their knee] I would have been so very grateful for the gesture. As a child, I understood that it was courteous to offer a seat to an elderly, infirm or pregnant person. Any thoughts? smile

Pandemonia Wed 18-May-11 19:51:55

Just to say that priority seating exists on all buses and tubes. It is regrettable that some people will concrete their arses onto these seats and pretend that there isn't someone who rightfully needs to sit down but actually, they have to moved if asked.

I don't think you can blame young people for a lack of manners so far as giving up seats is concerned though. A few years ago when I needed a stick to assist with walking, it was fat middle-aged men who were the worst culprits and I recall the tiresome requirement to evict these lazy tossers every time I got on the train to work.

Grossi Wed 18-May-11 20:09:30

I agree with Pandemonia that it isn't necessary young people who don't give up their seats.

I have noticed people of all ages who sit in the aisle seat on a train with their bags on the window seat and when asked claim it's someone's seat.

Mysteriously, the owners of these seats never seem to return from wherever they have been wink.

I, on the other hand, am far too truthful and as a result have ended up squashed next to Mr Fat Man who snored grin, Woman with Large Dribbly Dog, and Smelly Woman (who told my then ten-year old son that he was a beautiful baby). I could go on, but this post is already long enough.

dc Wed 18-May-11 20:28:52

hi pandemonia, with reference to your comments. rightly or wrongly i am quite dismayed when i am offered a seat on a bus. to date all the times i have been offered a seat, it has been by young ladies. now i am not disentegrating, at least i think not, nor am i infirm, so the only conclusion i can arrive at is that i look knackered, now that i will agree with. oh well, back to my wheel;chair. please, anybody in a wheelchair, this is not a comment, rather a derogatory dig at myself.

Elegran Fri 20-May-11 16:17:10

I recently read a letter from someone who was heavily pregnant and asked a young man if he could please let her have his seat.

His reply? "No, its just like being fat, isn't it?"

Any comments......?

Elegran Fri 20-May-11 16:17:57

I recently read a letter from someone who was heavily pregnant and asked a young man if he could please let her have his seat.

His reply? "No, its just like being fat, isn't it?"

Any comments......?

Elegran Fri 20-May-11 16:18:36

Sorry, I seem to have posted that twice.

Joan Sat 21-May-11 04:28:35

I recently read a letter from someone who was heavily pregnant and asked a young man if he could please let her have his seat.

His reply? "No, its just like being fat, isn't it?"

Any comments......?

I was once on a bus to Dewsbury where I worked, about 8 months pregnant and very big. I was standing, and a young man was sitting right by me, with an 'up yours' expression on his face. I found it hard to balance with a severely compromised centre of gravity. Also, I was wearing high heels (daft, I know, but I liked to look nice)

Anyway, the bus swung round a corner, and I accidently-on-purpose stood on his foot, with my heel, letting the entire 75 kilos of my pregnant body concentrate on the two centimetre square of my heel.

His face turned a hundred shades of pink, red and purple, and he staggered off the bus - not his real stop I'm sure.

Revenge is sweet.

Penman Sat 21-May-11 10:35:34

At age 78 I suffered a slight stroke, it affected my sense of balance and I decided not to drive any more. Lizzie and I rather painfully bore with the obligation to use buses or taxis. Expecting a rather rude and common experience we were amazed to find courtesy and consideration, and when I began walking with a stick it was almost like a magic wand; young people including Asian and Black gave us a smiling albeit silent courtesy offering seats and help when at bus stops; drivers usually waited while I scrambled off. We were frankly relieved that such consideration still existed in a world too busy for kind behaviour. We have not found the discourtesy and rudeness so commonly described in today's literature.

I have forgotten all the hassle of keeping a car, parking problems in the London area are too bleak for serious consideration. Buses are plentiful and always stop for us and we always say hello to the driver, the few incidents of discourtesy receive silent disapproval from other passengers.

Maybe we are too unobservant, too kind about other peoples' condition, maybe we think we are too far apart from the common crowd to see things realistically, but with four years experience of public transport I can find no cause for discontent.

Elegran Sat 21-May-11 10:51:13

Joan -

About you standing on that young thug's foot - I had been shopping downstairs in M&S food hall and made for the stairs heading for the exit. There were a large number of people crowding at the bottom, waiting to go up in single file.

Why? Because a man ( a member of the public, not an employee) was standing just below the bottom step, sideways leaning on the rail, with one foot on the first step, blocking nearly half the width. He was just gazing into space and obviously had no awareness of the crowd, and they were meekly filing past him.

I did what you did, when I reached him I stepped heavily on his instep and on up the steps. He gave a yowl and moved his foot. Now why had no-one asked him to move before that? They acted just like sheep.

Nannyliz Sat 21-May-11 12:31:41

I'll be getting my bus pass in December, providing our council doesn't do away with them in the current economic climate. I have been seriously considering giving up driving as petrol is so expensive and I really don't enjoy driving at all any more. I certainly won't be doing any more long journey's by car. Too stressful!

Your comments on public transport, Penman, are very encouraging and I will definitely be thinking long and hard about giving up the car for public transport.

pinkprincess Sat 21-May-11 12:59:05

My DH and I make full use of our bus passes.
My main gripe is the young parents who get onto buses with buggies and take over the whole space allocated to them, including the seats.My husband is 78 and has cardiac disease and it is very rarely one of the above mentioned offers him a seat.I tell him that the floor is for the prams/buggies, and the seats are not necessary for the young and fit parents.Dont get me started on buggy rage as it is rife where I live.
I was once standing on a crowded bus when a middle aged lady got on with a walking aid.There were two young mothers sitting down with their buggies parked in front of them, and they suddenly became blind.One got out her phone and stared texting.A few stops along one of these young women got up to get off the bus, as the lady with the walking aid moved to get her now vacant seat, she said to the young woman.''I hope you don't end up a f###### cripple like me''.Of course the young woman went deaf.

Joan Sat 21-May-11 13:55:11

I bet that felt good, Elegran (you not him!!)

I think people are afraid, all the time, of risking embarrassment. They would rather walk round an obstructive person than risk an earful by asking them to move.

I was once on the suburban train to work here in Queensland Australia, when some schoolkids, in uniform, were acting up and creating a disturbance. I simply told them, in my strong Yorkshire accent, to back off and give us all some peace, or else. (The 'or else' would have been ringing the school principal) They obeyed. Everyone looked relieved.

Some people find a strong Northern accent a bit intimidating, which is fine by me.

Elegran Sun 22-May-11 11:00:42

I was on a bus once, with three small children (a 3-yr-old a 5-yr-old and a babe-in-arms) In those days there were no buggy spaces, You had to fold the buggy and put it on the luggage shelf.

To get off I retrieved the buggy, unfolded it and put in baby and shopping, and marshaled the toddlers, all on a shuddering moving bus so as not to waste the stop. Then we all headed for the door just before the bus stopped - one door for in and out then.

A whole herd of people instantly tried to swarm on past us, although they must have been blind not to see us filling the doorway - they just stood there waiting for us to get out of THEIR way - back into the bus was the only escape route!

.I put on my best schoolteacher voice and told them loudly to step back and let us off if they wanted on. Crowd shuffles reluctantly back.

Meanwhile the driver said nary a word.

gregory2 Sat 11-Jun-11 13:26:43

I use a stick as I have knee problems - I find the handle of the stick good on ankles of someone who canot read the disabled seat sign! If they protest I just pretend I am unaware of my stick misbehaving!

Valkyrie Tue 14-Jun-11 08:48:06

Public Transport - what's that?
Don't see much of that around here since the County Council decided it costs too much. So does the car, but what can you do? Shop online and do without or make do. Humph
Escape to the Country? I want to escape to the town.

Gally Tue 14-Jun-11 09:19:03

On a recent visit to London, I was offered a seat on the Underground on no less than 3 occasions. I didn't know whether to be horrified or grateful. I am (I think) a fit, young-looking 62 and it was quite a shock to realise that that these young people perceived me as someone in need of a seat. On the other hand it was gratifying to realise that chivalry is not dead and manners are still being taught - just as I did with my own children. (I accepted once and refused 2x!)

Littlelegs Tue 14-Jun-11 09:25:47

When I was pregnant with my eldest daughter I lived in London at the

time. I used the tube to go to work. I often had to stand in

crowded conditions. As I grew in size, if I was unable to get a seat I

would stand bump facing usually a man get eye contact

and say "can I rest the bump on your lap" it soon got the person

seating offering up their seat.

MrsRegAJones Wed 15-Jun-11 13:28:39

Well I haven't read the whole thread. But I must say that I travel by bus often myself. I don't go in the car with Arthur because he drives like a loon and I myself do not drive due to incident that happened many years ago and was blown out of all proportion. So anyway I travel on the bus often and generally find it to be full of school children. Oh how I enjoy listening to their conversations, I have learnt so much!

em Wed 15-Jun-11 20:39:11

Was reminded of a trip to London last year. I was very pleasantly surprised when my gd's (12 and 9) and I were returning to our hotel one evening and the tube was busy but not overcrowded. Although there were vacant seats, two young men stood up and offered us their seats so that we could sit together. Not absolutely necessary but a lovely example of thoughtful behaviour.

JessM Fri 17-Jun-11 20:51:52

Oh dear Joan, I digress slightly from transport but your story reminded me of something I had not thought of for years.
33 years ago in a tesco cafe (I think) in Oldham with my 6 year old and an 8 month pregnant bump. A slightly drunk man and his mother were occupying the other side of the booth style seating. He kept bumping his knee into mine. Once more, I thought... The next time he did it I kicked him very hard in the shin with my doctor marten booted foot. He yelled, I apologised sweetly and departed as gracefully as was humanly possible.
Maybe there is something about pregnancy that makes us feel it is OK to be violent in public - or that we will get away with it.

BTW, getting back to transport, does anyone else sit at the gate at airports eyeing up the other passengers and spotting the ones you REALLY hope you will not be sitting next to? First long haul i ever did was in the middle row of a jumbo next to a 6ft 7ish man. So spent the whole trip with his knee in my space.

Anne58 Fri 17-Jun-11 21:22:11

We live in a rural area, and at one point I looked into using public transport to get to work. I live only 8 miles from the office, but found that if I wanted to use public transport it would have meant:

I would only be able to be actually in the office one day a week

On that day, I would arrive at around 10.30, and would need to leave at approximately 1.30 to be sure of catching the only bus.

Yes, the village I live in has a bus service to one of the nearest towns (Holsworthy) once week on market day, and only 1 bus in, and 1 bus out.

The other nearest town (Torrington) has a far better bus service, but I dont happen to work there!

OK, the gov. want us to use public transport to reduce carbon footprint etc, I would be happy to use it so that we don't have to have the expense of running 2 cars (that is if dh ever gets another job, bearing in mind the problems of getting a job when one is over 55, but that is another story)

Answers on a metaphorical postcard please!