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An Observation on the Train

Marion Charatan

Posted on May 15, 2022 18:13

2 users

Why didn't anyone but me help a woman who was locked in a restroom? Is it a pandemic of "I don't give a s*#t too?!?"

I just took a lovely trip down the West Coast on an Amtrak train. I'm not a big proponent of public transportation, especially during the pandemic. Being enclosed in a small space with a group of strangers makes me skittish, even if I'm wearing a mask as I choose to do, although fortunately, I have no underlying health conditions.

This is not an ad for Amtrak, and I have no affiliation with the company, but I was impressed with the Coast Starline that goes all the way to California. The conductors were attentive and thankfully, people on the trip were well-behaved. Forgive me if I sound like a snob, but I was concerned there would be riffraff acting out. The last time (and it will be the last time!) I took a bus downtown Seattle, a 50ish and poorly dressed woman was raging that she had a gun and was going to shoot up the bus. I sensed she was bluffing, but who knows. right?! I braced myself to get ready to duck and crawl out the exit if shooting erupted.

Luckily, a 30ish well-dressed man, likely a commuter, yelled in a very non-forgiving tone, "Will you sit the f*&k down and shut the f*&k" up!" I thought everyone would burst into applause. The driver appeared nervous, understandably, and had called 911. Seattle PD was waiting in a bus tunnel when we got there and escorted the woman off. She did not look well: I hope she was able to get the help she needs. From my perspective, I decided I didn't want to deal with that kind of stress again simply attempting to get to a destination I could drive to.

We are encouraged to take public transit but there are not enough safety measures to make it palatable. I'm lucky to have my car as an alternative. Taking a cab or Uber is another choice because you can ride alone or with your partner, or in a small group. The only thing I'd recommend is to make sure you know the driver is reliable. I'm not sold on rideshare because my most recent driver was a no-show. Luckily, I was able to get a cab for my destination. 

Amtrak turned out to be a pleasant surprise. The trip morphed old-fashioned train service I remember as a kid with my family. The snack bar had great food choices: the coffee was delicious. The only weird thing on the trip was that a female passenger got locked in the bathroom. She was loudly screaming for help. I was sitting near the front and got up to help her. I yelled through the door, "I'll get the conductor, don't worry." He got the frazzled woman out, and she thanked me. It was no big deal, but I'm trying to understand why no one else would step in. I think either people are preoccupied or don't want to get involved. 

 

Marion Charatan

Posted on May 15, 2022 18:13

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