the price of admission

Well, I finally wrote to Translink recently, beseeching them to come up with a way to get riders to take off their backpacks when on the Skytrain. I even gave them some suggestions. They did reply. It was some boilerplate language about how they appreciate rider feedback. This isn't new news to them but am at a loss as to why they don't bother doing anything about it. I pay the same price for a ticket as other riders do, except many have a two-foot deep sack slung to their backs taking up the space of 2 people. Meanwhile, we're all jammed in there, crab walking around each other trying to find space or get in or out. The best is when pack-toting riders attempt to "get out of the way" and turn sideways - sending their Santa sack careening into some other rider. Then, after hitting them, they look all doe-eyed...."sorry" they mumble, and then turn the opposite way, swinging back in the direction from whence they came, plowing into the person at their other side. If it wasn't so frustrating, it'd be comical. Get out of your head and have a look around you. I, (and a few others) are there blinking, dumbfounded as to how you could be so oblivious to your own actions. Having an just an ounce (or 29ml if you prefer) of self-awareness, could be such an easy collective solution to what is a chronically overcrowded transit system. I don't get angry or cause a fuss. There's no point. But I do regularly ask people to please lower their backpacks. It's my ticket's space too. And if I had wanted to dance, I'd have asked.

15 Comments

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Vancouver Rider

Nov 7, 2023 at 9:13am

Your comments and criticism are misdirected. Often trying to handle a knapsack on the floor, between your legs, or at your feet is far harder as a rider on packed transit. What you SHOULD instead be clamouring and demanding of Translink is MORE transit. Since that is the entire problem here. The fact you are packed in like sardines on skytrain, as are all bus riders as well is the problem. Greater Vancouver's public transit in general is far too inadequate, far too crowded and far too little of it for the growth the region has undergone the past 25 years. THAT is what you should be complaining about. And because this region persists in remaining with skytrain technology instead of far cheaper light rail technology for a fraction of the cost, it's doubtful Metro Vancouver is going to be seeing any new transit anytime soon. While we all watch a completely bone-headed decision to prioritize a skytrain being built to Arbutus Street. Madness.

19 9Rating: +10

Really

Nov 7, 2023 at 10:49am

That’s how these corporations work sadly. They’ll just apologize for any inconvenience, thank you for your concern and assure you that it won’t happen again. It starts at the top.

10 1Rating: +9

Yes, this!!

Nov 7, 2023 at 5:08pm

Riders should take their packs off before boarding and put them back on only after exiting the transit vehicle.

10 5Rating: +5

Hey shitface

Nov 7, 2023 at 8:40pm

Some of these people could be homeless traveling with everything they own !
I bet you have a home with your momma still!

4 18Rating: -14

Yup

Nov 7, 2023 at 10:52pm

I’ve had those giant backpacks hit me in the face as I was sitting in my seat and the person turned. I pushed the backpack to let them know it was in my face. Taking transit during rush hour can be an ordeal after a long day. I’ve resorted to sunglasses and earbuds to block out the seething humanity all around me.

17 3Rating: +14

Hello….

Nov 8, 2023 at 6:29pm

I don’t care if your backpack is hard to hold between your legs…it’s your choice to bring it, have some fucking manners.

16 4Rating: +12

Rider

Nov 8, 2023 at 8:01pm

I am fortunate that I can avoid most public transit.
I have never liked buses, even skytrain. I always feel like I am being treated like "cattle".
Perhaps if it was not so crowded it might be better.
I might feel differently if I had not been able to access decent vehicles for the last 5 decades.

4 4Rating: 0

Never

Nov 9, 2023 at 12:33am

I have spatial awareness and don't hit people, but will never take my bag off. Never. I have mobility issues and there's no way I'm taking to time to do that. I get on and hold on. The able-bodied people steal my seat so at least I'm getting myself a handhold and just hope not to pass out from standing too long. Also I'm not putting my bag on the grimy disgusting floor along with all of the rain puddles, bedbugs and old fingernail clippings. Not gonna happen. And people, STOP flossing your teeth and clipping your nails on transit. It's effing disgusting!

15 5Rating: +10

Backpack Queen

Nov 9, 2023 at 9:10am

I carry a backpack with me everywhere. It is my survival kit with all of my medications, etc. I am able to sit the backpack on the tops of my feet and hang onto the bag at the same time so I don't get ripped off as I am sensitive to other riders. However, people shouldn't be vilified for not taking theirs off. I agree with @Vancouver Rider. Poor planning by transit authorities and government has led to the current crowded conditions on buses and SkyTrain. Light rail is the way to go. I now try to avoid transit as it is not a very pleasant experience, reminds me of Tokyo trains with extreme overcrowding.

3 3Rating: 0

Kipawa Harder

Nov 9, 2023 at 1:41pm

One sentence: And this is why ridership is down.

4 1Rating: +3

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