“When boarding, please move to the center of the car.”

5 06 2009

“When boarding, please move to the center of the car. Step back, doors closing.”

The all too common voice of the Metro announcement must go right through Metro passengers’ ears everyday. (Beg my pardon as I rant a little here.) So here’s my constant problem with Metro riders: every time I board a train (especially in the morning rush to work) I experience the same frustrating conundrum…

It starts out fine and normal: We patiently wait on the platform for the riders on the train to exit; once the passengers have left, we all hurry to crowd into the train; and then completely against the gentle, informative Voice Of The Metro, everyone just stays where they are, right by the doors, refusing to make their way to the center of the car. Many times I have witnessed this absolutely absurd rebellion. I guess most people are thinking that if they hang out by the doors, it will be easier to get off the car and not have to fall victim to the nightmare of missing your stop due to crowding. This is especially what people are thinking (myself included, I’ll admit it) when you only have to travel a couple stops. 

But it’s a ridiculous sight! Many times I’ve laughed at the absurdity of seeing a train car absolutely packed at the ends by the doors, but then the middle is basically deserted, save for the people seated.  It’s as if the middle of the train has some sort of deadly animal, threatening the lives of the Metro passengers.

On a few occasions, I have gotten stuck on the jam-packed end of a train car and pushed and squeezed my way through the crowd to the middle of the car for some breathing space and room to move. Sometimes people have even given me odd looks, like, “why would you want to risk your life to go to the middle of the deadly animal-infested center of the car, when you could stand safely scrunched on the ends?!” Yep, people are pretty crazy on the Metro. Usually when I am able to squeeze my way through to the center of the car (just like the helpful voice reminds us to do every time we board!), I am greeted with plenty of space, and no worries at all when exiting the train. It’s really hypocritical how people seem to crowd the ends of the trains by the doors in order to quickly leave the train; because they just keep crowd more people in those areas, so it becomes just as difficult to leave the crowded train ends.

When will these people realize that the Metro workers really do know what they’re doing and that the helpful messages they voice out, are for a reason?!

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