By Olek P.
“The next stop is Dalhousie Station.” It’s 8:10 in the morning and I’m taking the CTrain to Brentwood Station, then taking the southbound number twenty bus to Westmount Charter School to begin a regular school day. As the train approaches the station and slows to a stop, the swarm of people on the platform is not a welcoming sight. Great, and I still have to get through another crowd once I get to Brentwood. Thankfully, most of them board other sections of the train, with only a few entering through the nearest door. The train sets off again and, a mere five minutes later, we arrive at Brentwood. I open the doors only to find ten people crowding around me trying to get in the same door as I exit. Is it that hard to just let people off the train first? As I force my way through the crowd, I find more people trying to get in the doors of the other train cars without letting anybody out first. Really? Though Calgary Transit is a nice, inexpensive way of travel throughout our fine city, some things need to be called into question.
Public transportation is a commuting method of ever-increasing popularity for Calgarians. In 2014, 18.06% of all Calgarians said that they take transit to work, a 0.89% increase from 2011. Though a whopping 67.40% of the city’s population drives to work (in 2014), that number is slowly decreasing as Calgarians search for more sustainable modes of transport. While Calgary Transit is very sustainable, it is not without its flaws, which still need to be addressed. A notable flaw is the seating layout of some CTrain cars, especially during peak hours. In the image to the right is one of the three layouts, dubbed by many riders as “economy class”, the seats being arranged similar to those in an airplane. This layout is highly inefficient, with little standing room and making it very difficult for those seated at the window to exit. This has been solved to some extent with the introduction of a third layout on the newer train cars having two rows of seats facing each other along the outside of the train car and providing much more standing room. Some riders have criticized this configuration due to the plastic seats, saying that they are uncomfortable. This will be solved when the system adds new four car trains and another configuration with them in late 2015.
Though the services and vehicles themselves have their own flaws, many more lie with the users of transit themselves, particularly with, but not limited to, our generation. In the following image we see two teenagers clearly disobeying the prominently placed “keep feet off seat” sticker placed on the train windows of those with this particular configuration. It is quite disappointing and, to some extent, irritating to see how some of our generation cares little for public guidelines and rules. Another issue that comes to mind is the behavior and etiquette of some riders which includes, but is certainly not limited to, teenagers themselves. There has been many an instance where I have witnessed and heard people simply being loud and obnoxious in what should have been a civilized, public environment. Overall, Calgary Transit is indeed an inexpensive and green way to travel around the city of Calgary. The system has its flaws, however; it (most of the time) gets us from A to B.
“Calgary City News Blog.” How do Calgarians Commute to Work? You Told Us… 29 Apr. 2015. Web. 8 May 2015. <http://www.calgarycitynews.com/2015/04/howdocalgarianscommutetoworkyou.html>.
Markusoff, Jason. “Four-car LRT Project’s Price Tag Hits $300M”.Calgary Herald. 3 Aug 2013. Web. 9 May 2015. <http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/calgary/Four+project+price+hits+300M/10089255/story.html>.