June 28, 2005

Train tickets

I see that the MTA is instituting some new rules for subway riders -- most of which don't bother me, but I do have some questions about them. The list of no-nos:

Moving between cars
Drinking from an open container
Straddling a bicycle
Skateboarding or wearing inline skates

First question: what's the big deal about straddling a bike? Yes, it takes up a lot of space -- but so does standing next to a bike. In fact, standing next to it probably takes up more space. I don't get it. Second question: Speaking as someone who usually has a bottle of water in his backpack, does a bottle with a cap count as an open container? I would like to see a definition of "open container", because honestly, if you can drink from it, it's open, right? I presume this regulation is meant to prevent the thing where people put a half-finished coffee on the floor, it tips over, and then the floor gets all gross, in which case, more power to that. Because I don't want to have to come up with some kind of semi-permeable membrane that I can put over the neck of my water bottle so I can say, look, it's not open, it's covered with a membrane! Anyway, if the goal is to keep people from spilling their drinks, capped bottles are probably okay, but some official confirmation of that would surely put my mind at ease.

They are also not going to ban photography after all, and you may put packages on a seat next to you if it's not interfering with other passengers. Hey, guy who was sitting next to me yesterday, do you think "interfering" includes "constantly poking in the rib because you're not willing to put your bag on your lap or on the floor"? Do you?

Posted by Francis at 03:22 PM

Ah, the subway. But it gets you there!

Since we're used to the subway, we New Yorkers should feel right at home at the crowded LA con.

Posted by: Ellen at June 28, 2005 03:40 PM

Are there really going to be people walking through and enforcing? Hell, I picnic on the damn train. How about the guy I saw cleaning himself with disinfectent soap the other day? That's still legal right? Maybe only if it would cut the smell...

Posted by: marsha at June 28, 2005 11:50 PM

What about an individual lying across the seats, taking up five of them, while his girlfriend sits in a folding chair in the aisle? And the stranger near his feet having the effrontery to take up the sixth seat with her bag? Tell me that's still legal, because it really makes my day.

Posted by: John at June 29, 2005 01:28 AM

What I want to know is how they're going to enforce any of this on my workhorse train, the L. Is that what the one conductor is for? To make sure you keep the cap tightly sealed on your Gatorade?

Posted by: bpd at June 29, 2005 02:02 PM

What? No prohibition against eyebrow tweezing? 'Cause I've seen that on the El in Chicago. A bottle of water is, well, slightly less bothersome than stray hairs being flicked.

Posted by: Orange at June 29, 2005 08:13 PM

A bottle with a cap on it is not an open container. It's just an opened container.

Posted by: Eileen at June 29, 2005 11:44 PM

Was there any mention of what else you are or are not allowed to straddle?

Posted by: Rick at July 1, 2005 06:00 PM