SEPTA Training

Posted: October 4, 2011 by Tim in Completely Pointless
Tags: , , , , , , ,

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.
  1. phunnyphilly says:

    What about the passengers who also make riding SEPTA so onerous? Many appear to have PTSD — Public Transit Stress Disorder — with symptoms like:

    Disembarkophobia — passengers congregate around the exits miles from their stop because they’re afraid they won’t be able to get off the bus.

    Derrierephobia — irrational fear of the back of the bus, causing pile-ups in the front aisles; drivers are also incapable of dealing with this and seem to use it as an excuse to bypass stranded passengers.

    Many passengers seem to be in cahoots with drivers to make the SEPTA experience as unpleasant as possible…

  2. Tim says:

    I’d also add:

    Embarkaphilia – the obsession with crowding the entrance of a train, bus, subway car or trolley at rush hour as to prevent current riders from disembarking. This causes extreme duress for passengers with disembarkophobia. Chaos ensues.

    Nothing annoys me more than NOT being able to get to the back of a bus. There was one time I ended up winning some money in the back in a game of 3 card switcheroo run by a local scholar drinking a Steel Reserve High Gravity pounder. I kept winning everyone’s money because you had to guess which card was the queen (hint: it was the only card that looked like it had been folded in half several times) and apparently I was the only astute person to figure this out. I had to lose a few times because getting off at 7th and Fairmount with a couple hundred bills isn’t a good idea.

    Also right before Christmas I was shoved out of the way by the bus driver who apprehended a pickpocket, grabbed him by the collar, and literally kicked him off of the bus. Legendary bus driver.

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