Archive for October, 2011

Your safety is our top priority.

I was taken by surprise this morning when I saw a SEPTA bus pass by me with a ‘student driver: no passengers’ sign hanging from the front window. To be honest, I didn’t even know SEPTA even trained any of its staff based on my experiences riding this poorly-run excuse for mass-transit. 

Given the way most of the bus drivers I have encountered conduct themselves while on the job, I can only assume the training consists of these basic principles:

  1. Treat all passengers with disrespect. This applies even more if the passenger is of a different race than yourself. Bonus points for getting pissed off at disabled people who need extra assistance.
  2. When coming to any kind of stop, be sure to aggressively apply the breaks as to frighten any passengers who doubt your level of control on the bus. This also insures that the bus will break down easier, therefore, giving you a much needed break while a new bus is sent your way.
  3. Always, always, be sure to honk your horn at other motorists and bicyclists for no apparent reason. YOU own the road.
  4. When you see a passenger trying to stand up, be sure to catch them off-guard and slam on the breaks. Again, bonus point for the elderly and disabled passengers. Double bonus points if they fall over.
  5. If there is a stop that is not next to a stop sign or traffic light and there is only one person waiting, it is 100% acceptable to drive past the stop and not pick up the passenger. Because, really, what are they gonna do?
There are bound to be dozens of unwritten rules (and I encourage posting them here), and different rules most certainly apply to the other modes of transit: regional rail, subway, trolleys, unicorns.. well, not quite yet. Their basic principle is to be lazy above all other tasks. So if you visit Philadelphia, or live here, remember: you must play their game at all times because its not YOU that matters.