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BIF
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Mass Transit Safety

Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:15 pm

I mentioned this in one or more of my posts in the "EV to buy or not to buy" thread, and I've been thinking a lot about it. Spinning this off to keep the conversation more organized.

You may recall that my opinion in that thread is that mass transit is not safe enough for me to use it. I also mentioned the inefficiency of routing in so many mass transit systems across the US.

For this conversation, I'll focus on the safety and crime factors. Point of fact: I will freely admit that I am completely unconvinced that mass transit is safe. Safe from terrorism, safe from violence, muggings, or even from those mentally ill who are violence prone. I think a lot of people are like me. Unwilling to use mass transit due to the safety factor, and easily able to afford our own transit, so that's where you can find us; taking up more room in our individual vehicles.

I have done some searches to try to find out (with more authority) whether or not crime really is impacting mass transit. Interestingly enough, I can find tons of information on the supposed effects or non-effects of mass transit on local crime rates. But that's not what I'm looking for.

What I really want to know is "how does crime impact mass transit and the people who use it?" I'm strong on mass transit, but I'm even stronger on law enforcement AND the freedom to protect one's self.

I'm precisely the one you want taking mass transit, the one who earns a living, does not take money from the system, pays his taxes, and especially, the one for whom mass transit is 100% optional. This is how you REALLY reduce traffic and improve throughput; get individual vehicles off the roads. If you do it without passing laws and forcing me, then you have a willing participant, which is the strongest kind of advocate you can get.

I'd like to find out if there's any trustworthy documentation available showing crime statistics directly involved with mass transit (limited to mass transit vehicles, stops, and stations (including bus, rail, and air transport)). Where is it worse, where is it not so bad, and where (and how) is crime it being effectively controlled and minimized?

Where can I find out some useful info?
 
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Re: Mass Transit Safety

Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:20 pm

The fact that you're in a vehicle moving at (or faster than) the speed of traffic, yet not required to use a seatbelt bothers me enough that I never feel safe on public transportation. That has always bothered me more than concerns about crime.
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Re: Mass Transit Safety

Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:11 pm

Are criminals really going to make heavy use of a system that puts them on a fixed route with lots of witnesses? Worried about terrorism? We already have mass transit in the largest US city AND the nation's capital. Those are the most likely targets for a terrorist to have the greatest effect, yet I'm not aware of any major attacks ever happening there. General violence? What would make mass transit less safe than any public place?

I can get a general concern about your own safety, but I think your concerns are just perception. If there was a systemic problem, I would expect there to be a smoking gun study presented every time a city/metro area tried to expand their public transit system. On top of that, it's always going to be difficult separating "mass transit" crime from "city" crime.

kvndoom wrote:
The fact that you're in a vehicle moving at (or faster than) the speed of traffic, yet not required to use a seatbelt bothers me enough that I never feel safe on public transportation. That has always bothered me more than concerns about crime.
1. Passenger vehicles can go much faster.
2. Even low-speed (~30 mph) accidents involving passenger vehicles can injure occupants. Buses--being heavier--can absorb a lot more punishment, and they have more room to deform (better for passenger safety).
3. Trains are on fixed paths, so most collisions are going to be "train wins" situations. Derailing accidents are more likely to have gross negligence involved.

Seat belts might offer some additional safety in some accidents, but that's a relatively small benefit for a substantial cost increase. We're also talking about vehicles that would sometimes require evacuation after an accident, and seat belts would slow that down. That's why you don't see many seat belts on public transit, and most of the people using them are bus drivers (who face the biggest risk of injury in an accident).
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Re: Mass Transit Safety

Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:17 pm

BIF: So, I don't really think there is one centralized place for this kind of info. I'm sure cities keep the data somewhere, but I doubt it'll be very easy to extract. However, as someone that has used mass transit quite extensively in Boston, NYC, and SF, the only times I actually felt unsafe were because of my own stupid decisions, not because I was riding/waiting on public transit.

A couple articles/studies I found with a quick search:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 6517304362
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/04/nyre ... crime.html

kvndoom: "at (or faster than) traffic" is terribly ambiguous though. Traffic could be moving 5 miles an hour, and if you're on a bus, that likely means you're traveling that speed too. I can only provide anecdotes from my own experience, but I have never been even remotely injured from a train or bus stopping abruptly (or any other reason that I can think of) in the years of mass transit experience i've had.

Mass transit can be frustrating at times. Dirty, delayed, canceled, a real PITA, but rarely do I worry about my safety when i'm riding on mass transit.
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Re: Mass Transit Safety

Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:18 pm

In both Toronto and Ottawa, Mass Transit is an excellent way to dodge traffic - GO Trains in Toronto (as well as the subway) and in Ottawa busses have their own dedicated lanes and transitways

I am, of course, in Canada where armed individuals are somewhat rarer than the US, I can think of only one mass transit related murder; a guy on a greyhound who literally killed someone and ate him. (After googling "bus murder" and "mass transit murder" the first nine results were all this case, though also a bus driver was stabbed to death at 3 am in Winnipeg by the last patron refusing to leave the bus)

Beyond that, most transit scenarios are ones in which there are dozens of witnesses... and it's somewhat challenging to do acts of violence with any kind of coordination on a moving bus (a train not as much). Fear of murder, terrorism, and violence I would imagine is largely unfounded just simply based on sample size vs simply existing in a crowded public area. People from all walks of life take the bus for better or worse but you'd be surprised at how often that's a 'better'. If you would be willing to walk in an area, you can bus to that area. Being worried about personal harm in transit strikes me as overly paranoid.

On the other hand, I can imagine if pick-pocketing is a problem in an area, transit would be a good place for that to occur if it's tightly packed and crowded. People are jostled by others frequently. Not to mention - especially for women - an unwanted grope.


All train transit i've been on has emergency alert systems everywhere that are easy to push, I don't think busses have them but I'll double check on my way home. Most-to-all public transit has video surveillance onboard.
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Re: Mass Transit Safety

Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:46 pm

Well, the Chicago subway system certainly has its share of homeless, panhandlers, and mentally ill people hanging out around the stations and (sometimes) on the trains themselves. They're generally non-threatening though.

Occasionally you hear about a crime being committed on one of the station platforms or on one of the trains. I wouldn't say there seems to be an unusual concentration of crime there though.

Can't say that I've ever felt unsafe on a city bus, and maybe only once or twice in my entire life on the subway. I have never been the victim of an actual crime on public transit.

My daily commute these days is on public transit, but does not involve the Chicago mass transit system per se. I catch a bus out in the 'burbs which takes me to the nearest commuter rail station; the regional commuter rail system (Metra) covers a multi-county area in and around the Chicago metro area, and operates using their own equipment over tracks maintained variously by Amtrak and other commercial rail operators (e.g. Burlington Northern). I take the Metra all the way into the Chicago city center where I currently work. I would consider Metra to be very good from a safety standpoint. Minimal crime (most of what does occur seems to be people trying to pass counterfeit tickets...), and a solid safety record overall. They do have a lot of mechanical issues due to aging equipment, but the breakdowns tend to be of the types that cause delays, cancellations, or other inconveniences (e.g. malfunctioning lights, heat, or A/C in a car), not crashes/derailments. From a general safety standpoint, I'd say I am much better off on public transit than I would be driving into the city.
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Re: Mass Transit Safety

Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:15 pm

The Go Train Toronto has sounds a lot like Metra
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Re: Mass Transit Safety

Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:39 pm

To more directly address the issues raised in the first post, I'd say that yeah, you may be somewhat more likely to be a victim of a crime if you routinely take public transit in a big city vs. driving. But if you're in a city with a serious enough crime problem to make that a valid concern, you're also at-risk for a carjacking while driving your own vehicle.

Furthermore, you are probably less likely to be killed in a traffic accident, since in a collision between a city bus and a smaller vehicle, the bus will win. Sure, there's the lack of seatbelts to consider; but the sheer mass of the bus will mean it isn't going to get tossed around as violently. You really don't want to be the guy in the sedan that gets crushed by the bus!
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Re: Mass Transit Safety

Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:59 pm

After years of riding mass transit (buses, trains, taxis) I expect a mass transit system to have the same level of crime as the city it serves. If you can walk down the street without being held at gunpoint, chances are you have the same breadth on the train as well.

The surprising thing I learned is how poor oversight can be a real safety issue. Washington, DC's Metro was built poorly and stuff kept breaking. There were some rider deaths, due partly to poor management decisions during emergencies. Hopefully the 'new' leadership can turn it around.

Mass transit is probably the safer way to travel in and around a big city. Some employers even offer to pay to transportation if you take mass transit. Mass transit commutes are usually longer, but you get to relax instead of sitting in traffic each way. Out in the 'burbs it's not worth it, but in a city, sitting on a train sure beats hitting the brakes every few seconds.
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Re: Mass Transit Safety

Thu Jul 04, 2019 6:49 am

FireGryphon wrote:
After years of riding mass transit (buses, trains, taxis) I expect a mass transit system to have the same level of crime as the city it serves. If you can walk down the street without being held at gunpoint, chances are you have the same breadth on the train as well.

This, pretty much. If you're in a dangerous area, it isn't mass transit that puts you at risk; it's being in the area in the first place.

FireGryphon wrote:
The surprising thing I learned is how poor oversight can be a real safety issue. Washington, DC's Metro was built poorly and stuff kept breaking. There were some rider deaths, due partly to poor management decisions during emergencies. Hopefully the 'new' leadership can turn it around.

When we were in DC recently (May) the Metro seemed to be reasonably well-maintained. Well, at least the actual transit part of it. Some of the stations seemed to have some issues (broken escalators and such). Still in better shape overall than Chicago's (but that's a low bar).

FireGryphon wrote:
Mass transit is probably the safer way to travel in and around a big city. Some employers even offer to pay to transportation if you take mass transit.

My employer doesn't cover the entire expense, but we get to pay for our mass transit fares pre-tax. There's a monthly pre-tax payroll deduction, and my bus/train tickets arrive in the mail.

FireGryphon wrote:
Mass transit commutes are usually longer, but you get to relax instead of sitting in traffic each way.

In my case, it doesn't even take longer. If traffic was very light, yeah I could get there faster by car; but in actual daytime weekday traffic, mass transit is faster. It also saves me money - parking fees alone would be more than I'm paying for the transit fares, and once you factor in wear and tear on the vehicle it's a complete no-brainer.

FireGryphon wrote:
Out in the 'burbs it's not worth it, but in a city, sitting on a train sure beats hitting the brakes every few seconds.

Yeah, commuting between outlying suburbs on mass transit is so painful here it is basically a non-option unless you're OK with spending 4+ hours/day commuting. Unless your home and office are both near the SAME Metra line, you'd need to go all the way in to downtown Chicago and back out again. And all of the suburban transit schedules are geared towards people who commute in to the city for a normal-ish 9-5 workday, which means no express trains for the second leg of your commute, and likely no bus service between your office and the transit station either.
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Re: Mass Transit Safety

Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:45 am

Some of this I think is just outlier effect. You read about a crime on a bus or subway and it's easy to conclude that public transport is horribly unsafe -- but of course, you don't hear that on the same day 1 Million + other people used the same mass transit system completely safely. ("1 million people got safely to and from work today" isn't much of a news story, whereas "1 Stabbed on Subway Platform" is.)
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Re: Mass Transit Safety

Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:23 am

K-L-Waster wrote:
Some of this I think is just outlier effect. You read about a crime on a bus or subway and it's easy to conclude that public transport is horribly unsafe -- but of course, you don't hear that on the same day 1 Million + other people used the same mass transit system completely safely. ("1 million people got safely to and from work today" isn't much of a news story, whereas "1 Stabbed on Subway Platform" is.)

Sort of related, platforms and stations being areas that attract panhandlers and thieves makes sense in that it's a high traffic area more than 'there are thugs getting off the train'
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Re: Mass Transit Safety

Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:38 am

GO Transit has a recurring issue with commuters that were somewhere they shouldn't have been getting hit & killed by trains. Happens a few times a year... this is a separate issue from "trespassers" on the tracks, i.e. people who are seeking to die by train
 
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Re: Mass Transit Safety

Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:42 am

If by 'safety' you mean danger to your health then I think the risk is very small in general if you consider just how many people gets transported by mass transit every day. Driving in busy traffic isn't exactly safe either, although the risk of serious injury in a modern car is relatively small, particularly if you are driving in slow stop-and-go traffic.

Terrorism doesn't exist in my mental list of dangers. You are probably more likely to get struck by lightning than being exposed to terrorism so it seems silly to spend any amount of mental CPU-time on it.

I ride my bicycle every day and the statistics say that it is one of the most dangerous ways of traveling. Luckily we have bicycle paths almost everywhere around here so I probably won't get killed while riding it, but the risk of a non-fatal injury is still quite high. This is something that I choose to accept, although I do try to ride responsibly so I don't put myself in more dangerous situations than I need to.
 
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Re: Mass Transit Safety

Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:46 am

I must admit I don't use mass/public transit/transport much but I've never felt unsafe or at risk of crime on it.

There seems to be some information about safety (IE injury though an accident) just by googleing "car vs bus safety" (and similar) but from the look of the domains this information is mostly on pro public transport sites. Of course that's likely to be the case if it's true as it's not like GM or Ford is going to tell you to use the bus instead. The few sites I looked at suggested numbers like 10x safer to use public transport. I suppose people aren't very good at driving cars without crashing into things.

I can't see anything obvious about crime. Not being in your own sealed metal box makes it seem like your more vulnerable but then on public transport your usually surrounded by other people and being monitored on CCTV. Also the sealed metal box your driving around in might be worth 10s or 100s of thousands of dollars which kind of paints a target on you and you have to get in and out of the thing in isolated places (parking lots, late night filling stations etc).

Also, if you don't have a car it can't be stolen, vandalised or broken into so there are lots of crimes that can't happen to you. Likewise you can't be the victim of an insurance fraud scam (other than paying slightly higher ticket prices when the transport companies get scammed).

I'd assume the risk of terrorism is higher (probably a lot higher) on public transport but it's so low to begin with that it doesn't really matter. Also, if you have a car crash anywhere near a terrorist attack on public transport you're probably not going to get a fireman to cut you out the car or an ambulance to take you to hospital so you are still at risk from that kind of attack even if you aren't using public transport yourself.

Health wise you're probably better off on public transport as it tends to involve a lot more walking than using a car although your more at risk from colds and flu etc.

I did find a report from London about crime there but it doesn't do any comparison between public transport and cars:
https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default ... nsport.pdf
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Re: Mass Transit Safety

Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:05 am

TwistedKestrel wrote:
GO Transit has a recurring issue with commuters that were somewhere they shouldn't have been getting hit & killed by trains. Happens a few times a year... this is a separate issue from "trespassers" on the tracks, i.e. people who are seeking to die by train

Turns out the yellow lines weren't a suggestion, who'd have thought
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Re: Mass Transit Safety

Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:06 am

Just think about this, roughly 5 MILLION people ride the MTA (NYC Subway including all the boroughs) on any given day. It's usually closer to 6. In 2016, 42 people died getting hit/crushed/whatever by trains.

That's 42 of ~1.8 BILLION riders per year (though obviously not unique riders, but let's call it "rides"). I'd say that's pretty good. And that's taking the low number of 5M per day rather than the closer to 6 figure.
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Re: Mass Transit Safety

Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:28 am

demolition wrote:
I ride my bicycle every day and the statistics say that it is one of the most dangerous ways of traveling. Luckily we have bicycle paths almost everywhere around here so I probably won't get killed while riding it, but the risk of a non-fatal injury is still quite high. This is something that I choose to accept, although I do try to ride responsibly so I don't put myself in more dangerous situations than I need to.


Don't get me started on bike commuting. While I think the acceptance of bike commuting is becoming more commonplace, it still has a long way to go for it to be viable in a lot of places. Having moved from a very pro-bike city to a city that claims it's bike friendly (when in reality it isn't) is one of my constant gripes. I got hit by a car last summer (luckily no serious injuries), have had several near accidents since, and have had countless driver's display excessive aggression towards me because I'm biking. I wish more bikers would actually follow traffic patterns and laws, but I could also say the same about drivers. It sucks man.
 
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Re: Mass Transit Safety

Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:33 am

The vast majority of mass transit related deaths around here seem to be either people being monumentally stupid (running/driving around gates at a grade crossing as a train approaches, or walking along the tracks while wearing headphones), and intentional "suicide by train" incidents.
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Re: Mass Transit Safety

Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:05 am

just brew it! wrote:
The vast majority of mass transit related deaths around here seem to be either people being monumentally stupid (running/driving around gates at a grade crossing as a train approaches, or walking along the tracks while wearing headphones), and intentional "suicide by train" incidents.

No joke, part of the reason the MTA said they saw a decrease of deaths-by-train recently is because they put up ads and had announcements telling people to stop playing Pokemon Go while near the trains. Not even kidding.

And like I said previously up above, the only times i've ever felt even remotely unsafe using public transit was my own stupidity. Just use your common sense and everything will generally be just fine.
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Re: Mass Transit Safety

Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:41 pm

BIF wrote:
...You may recall that my opinion in that thread is that mass transit is not safe enough for me to use it. I also mentioned the inefficiency of routing in so many mass transit systems across the US.

For this conversation, I'll focus on the safety and crime factors. Point of fact: I will freely admit that I am completely unconvinced that mass transit is safe. Safe from terrorism, safe from violence, muggings, or even from those mentally ill who are violence prone. I think a lot of people are like me. Unwilling to use mass transit due to the safety factor, and easily able to afford our own transit, so that's where you can find us; taking up more room in our individual vehicles...


The problem you see may be due to the 'cultural features' of transit populations along certain routes. Some may be too diverse in mores and customs and/or see too many miscreants who are ungoverned, for uniformly nice riding experiences to become the norm.
 
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Re: Mass Transit Safety

Thu Jul 04, 2019 4:11 pm

trackerben wrote:
The problem you see may be due to the 'cultural features' of transit populations along certain routes. Some may be too diverse in mores and customs and/or see too many miscreants who are ungoverned, for uniformly nice riding experiences to become the norm.

IOW: Some people just weren't raised right, and/or are stupid and/or disgusting. See: My post in DYMT from a few minutes ago. :lol:
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Re: Mass Transit Safety

Thu Jul 04, 2019 6:49 pm

FireGryphon wrote:
After years of riding mass transit (buses, trains, taxis) I expect a mass transit system to have the same level of crime as the city it serves. If you can walk down the street without being held at gunpoint, chances are you have the same breadth on the train as well.

This is generally the position I take as well. And I'm not a fan of mass transit.

Without going too far into the sideways R&P, my logical calculus on the matter is pretty straightforward: mass transit systems are either functional or dysfunctional. Functional mass transit systems occur in areas of high population density, and nothing good comes from areas of high population density, therefore functional mass transit systems are best avoided along with the associated cities. Dysfunctional mass transit systems (usually) occur in areas of lower population density, and areas of lower population density are less bad than urban dystopia but still not great, therefore I sometimes go to those places but since the system sucks there's no real point using it.

I also maintain that a lot of money could be saved by encouraging every American city to offer some space in City Hall to the local model railroad club. That way pols can play with the choo choo for a couple hundred bucks.
 
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Re: Mass Transit Safety

Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:56 pm

That’s a gross simplification. Big cities generally have high crime rates, but in many cases the high crime rate is because of very specific neighborhoods that have high crime, whereas most of the city has relatively low crime. In such cases, as in my experience, the crime is very localized and may not even overflow to the transit system at all.

Perhaps the bad rap that mass transit systems get is from the period a few decades ago where crime was really high across the board in urban areas, so mass transit was likewise dangerous. That would still be true today, but you’d need to find a city with rampant crime all over. If a city just has localized high crime that contributes to an overall bad rap, the mass transit system is likely fine.

Everyone’s threshold is different for what’s ‘fine’. I grew up in New York City and am comfortable on the bus and train. Friends of mine from more rural areas of the country who visit are often afraid to even touch the hand-holds or lean on the doors or look at people because they’re afraid. It’s all in the perspective you bring. Perhaps the correct way to phrase this conversation is, ‘based on the experiences of all you gerbils, does mass transit meet my level of comfort for safety?’
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Re: Mass Transit Safety

Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:32 pm

FireGryphon wrote:
Everyone’s threshold is different for what’s ‘fine’. I grew up in New York City and am comfortable on the bus and train. Friends of mine from more rural areas of the country who visit are often afraid to even touch the hand-holds or lean on the doors or look at people because they’re afraid. It’s all in the perspective you bring.

Yeah, very much this.

I first became aware of how sharp this dichotomy can be at a job I had when I was in my mid-20s. I grew up in Chicago in an area which was a fairly average city neighborhood at the time, and attended Chicago public schools. About a year after graduating from college, we (my wife, newborn daughter and I) moved back to the Chicago area, and my first couple of jobs back here were out in the suburbs. One day, a co-worker (who had lived his entire in the 'burbs) was telling a story about a bar he and some friends had been to in the city, and about how it was a really rough neighborhood, and how they were terrified they were going to get mugged (or worse). Partway through the story, I figured out the bar he was talking about was basically around the corner from the apartment where I grew up. To me, the area was no big deal... I had lived there recently enough that it still felt like "home".

So yes, it is very much a matter of perspective. If sanitized suburban subdivisions or rural "small town" America are all you know, then yeah a big city may seem scary and intimidating.

And on a lighter note, the main train station downtown serves both the commuter rail lines and Amtrak. For whatever reason, there are always quite a few Amish folks arriving and departing via Amtrak. Not sure if they are connecting through Chicago en route to an Amish enclave in another part of the country, coming to check out "the big city", or whatever. But you can always tell which ones have never been there before - they're the ones having trouble using the escalators and revolving doors! I try not to laugh, but sometimes I can't help it; witnessing an entire Amish family trying to cram themselves into a single section of a revolving door had me giggling the rest of the way to the office... :lol:

(They can be a bit of a menace on the escalators though, when they step off and stop dead in their tracks, not moving out of the way until other people start yelling or piling into them from behind.)
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trackerben
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Re: Mass Transit Safety

Fri Jul 05, 2019 6:36 am

just brew it! wrote:
IOW: Some people just weren't raised right, and/or are stupid and/or disgusting. See: My post in DYMT from a few minutes ago. :lol:


Yeah. Anyway, it also depends on the incidence as well as types of anti-social behaviors. Transport safety is just one aspect of a long commute. Lots of small slights or crudeness from others can wear on anyone as much as the rare breakdown of a line or some afflicted person.

I think that to socialize transit with the highest standards of experience, a population socialized into adapting orderly and helpful behaviors is key. A general example here would be the Japanese, who tend to be uniformly civil in their commons when enabled. They are the model for decent if ultra-dense mass transit.
 
The Egg
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Re: Mass Transit Safety

Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:03 am

Yeah...all depends on the person and their life experiences. I'm also just outside Chicago, but the difference is that I know the area and most of the neighborhoods. If I were coming in cold from another part of the country, I'd probably be somewhat nervous as well.

As it is, I'm typically more concerned with hygiene (i.e., sitting in a "wet seat") or bringing home bugs (probably my biggest fear).
 
DancinJack
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Re: Mass Transit Safety

Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:18 am

FireGryphon wrote:
Everyone’s threshold is different for what’s ‘fine’. I grew up in New York City and am comfortable on the bus and train. Friends of mine from more rural areas of the country who visit are often afraid to even touch the hand-holds or lean on the doors or look at people because they’re afraid. It’s all in the perspective you bring. Perhaps the correct way to phrase this conversation is, ‘based on the experiences of all you gerbils, does mass transit meet my level of comfort for safety?’

I think this really sums up what this thread should be (and kind of is).

Again, I can only offer anecdotes, but I've talked quite a bit about my experiences with mass transit in some of this nation's largest and most populous cities. My extensive experience lies in NYC, Boston, and SF, but I have also used mass transit in LA, Chicago, DC and a couple other less populated cities. Some of you know, but I am from super rural Kansas. And I don't just mean KS in general is rural (which it generally is), but I am from rural KS. I spent the first 18 years of my life there, then went to college in a town of only ~80K, but then moved around the country and gained a ton of experience and knowledge of other places. I think that's the main thing here. Knowing what you're doing in those urban areas is huge. I'll say it again, for the third time, safety on mass transit is honest to god mostly about common sense. Urban life might not be preferable to a lot of people here, but I also don't think it's way more dangerous in general either. It's just different.

All I can suggest at this point is to give mass transit a try for a week or two. If you don't like it enough to continue doing it, or if the monetary benefits (money/time primarily) don't outweigh the cons for you, then no big deal, but maybe you'll learn something along the way that changes your mind.
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Re: Mass Transit Safety

Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:00 am

The Egg wrote:
As it is, I'm typically more concerned with hygiene (i.e., sitting in a "wet seat") or bringing home bugs (probably my biggest fear).

You're probably more likely to "bring home bugs" from a hotel stay...
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Glorious
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Re: Mass Transit Safety

Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:20 am

JBI wrote:
The vast majority of mass transit related deaths around here seem to be either people being monumentally stupid (running/driving around gates at a grade crossing as a train approaches, or walking along the tracks while wearing headphones), and intentional "suicide by train" incidents.


This is true universally.

I would also argue that, by virtue of centralization, they are generally safer than the average area they are in: lots of people generally, and virtually every transit authority of note has either its own police altogether or dedicated officers. Usually good camera coverage too.

Just think about it, targeting people on mass transit means... you can be targeted by law enforcement yourself. Your options for escape are also more limited.

JBI wrote:
You're probably more likely to "bring home bugs" from a hotel stay...


Also true.

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