Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Readers Sound Off: What Makes For a Good Or Bad Commute?

Hello again, friends and neighbors! It's time for "Your Opinion Matters." Yes, the best kind of post is the one that writes itself. I ask readers a question, gather up the responses, and make a story out of it. You get some variety in your TTIV read, and I get content that didn't have to come from my brain. We're all winners! Hooray for us!

When it comes to good and bad commutes, there are some standards on which most everyone can agree. For example, an uneventful ride in a quiet, comfortable car with clean seats makes for a good commute. Major delays make for a lousy commute.

TTIV wanted to know about other things that make the commute good or bad, and took a reader survey. As usual, TTIV protects the anonymity of contributors with Shakespearean pseudonyms.

Platform Roulette
Ajax: Long Island Rail Road, Ronkonkoma Branch. "It's a good commute when the train stops on my mark. When the door opens, I'm in the right spot. I walk on, I get a good seat. A bad commute is when the train overshoots or undershoots the mark. This would piss off any anal-retentive person like myself."

To paraphrase, Ajax is stating that he's a pro at Platform Roulette, a topic we explored some time back. I'm terrible at Platform Roulette, I never seem to stand in the right place. Sounds like I could learn from Ajax.

Agamemnon: Eastern Pennsylvania TTIV Bus Bureau. Agamemnon is a super-commuter, traveling many hours into Manhattan via bus. The commute is long, and the strategy complex.

Morning."I always sleep, and it's great when I wake up in the Lincoln Tunnel. It's not so good when I wake up still in New Jersey. It's downright awful when I wake up in New Jersey and can't find my pants."

Evening. "It's great when I'm the first to board the bus, have my pick of seats, and there's no traffic. It's not so good when a large person sits next to me, or I'm stuck in a seat that doesn't recline, or I arrive late. It's downright awful when the bus wi-fi doesn't work, and my missing pants haven't been located."
Sleeping in trousers is uncomfortable. I get it.

Octavius: Long Island Rail Road, Ronkonkoma Branch. If you think I'm a "Type A" commuter, you haven't met Octavius. He's what you'd call a Type "AAA" commuter. He's got lots to say, and here it is in digestible form.

"A good commute is simple. If you're on schedule, and each leg is efficiently timed, you've got a good commute. Things go bad with additive time, which can be driven by a variety of factors out of my control. For example, I might have to navigate through slowpokes, dodge wrong side escalator standers, or face subway or LIRR delays."

He continued. "Beyond the things that slow me down, there are the things that make it unpleasant. A few that come to mind are the loud talkers, those with chirping mobile devices, people who put their bags on the seats, the poker players, and the "crews" traveling together. Beyond that, there are the loud earbud offenders, and just about everything else described in the publications of the esteemed TTIV website."

I didn't edit that last part out, as it seemed relevant.

Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, Chicago South Shore Train Line, Metra. Humphrey said that on a good commute, he'd find himself in a quiet car, holding a full flask. If things go really well, there will be a contingent of Korean models on their way to a convention. A bad commute involves a contingent of folks headed to a "Men who love leather" convention.

I'm going to side with Humphrey on this one. Those are indeed good and bad commutes. Unless the men who love leather are selling stylish leather jackets on the train at discount prices. Then it shifts from bad to good.

Nerissa, LIRR Babylon line. To round things out, Nerissa kept it short, succinct, and very much to the point.

"A good commute is working from home. A bad commute involves the LIRR."

That pretty much covers it, doesn't it?

Happy and safe commuting, and may you encounter uncommon sense.
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