The Unspoken Rules Of Catching The Sydney Light Rail
Can we all silently agree on these, please?
Yesterday I wrote a thing on the internet about the Sydney Light Rail.
In short, it was about the light rail service that runs from Central to Dulwich Hill and what a nightmare it is to catch during peak hour.
I suggested the government might like to fix the overcrowding of this service before pouring any more taxpayer money into the new light rail system servicing the city to Randwick, due to open at the end of this year.
What I learned from whinging about the light rail during peak hour is that people are very passionate about light rail. Who knew something as mundane as my morning commute would be so personally offensive to some?
The crux of the response was, trams don't hurt people. People hurt people.
We could sit here all afternoon and argue (constructively, of course) about what came first: the mess of a light rail system that doesn't allow enough services during peak hour to deal with the demand or the commuters who don't know how to, well, commute.
Or we could do our bit to make the light rail a better experience for all.
Let's face it, the existing light rail isn't going to get any better any time soon unless we make it better.
So can I suggest to those who are brave enough to squeeze onto it during peak hour, that we start to live by the following unspoken rules?
1. Don't try to jump the queue when you were the last to line up
Yes, I know there is no clear queuing system, especially at its first stop at Central. But be a decent human being and if you just rocked up and hundreds of other people have been waiting, don't try to sneak in on the side of the line. We see you.
2. Don't crowd at the back of the queue so no one can get through
Now, these people don't upset me as much as the people that don't queue. I know you're trying to do the right thing but you have nowhere to go and that is not your fault.
But maybe suggest to those in front of you to move forward or start a new line?
3. Don't say 'I can fit if all of you move down'
Leave this to the light rail staff to dictate if more people can fit on the service or not. Otherwise, you'll likely be getting death stares until it's your turn to get off.
4. Don't get on and stand in the doorway
On the flip side of the above and in the words of every disgruntled light rail driver 'move down all the way into the carriage'. Don't crowd the doors. This is common sense. No one can get through if there is a human wall in the form of you in front of them.
5. Don't try to squeeze onto the service and get your back, or self, stuck in the door
When you can see that the service is full, please do not be that person. Do not be the person who holds up an entire service full of people because you think you are so important that you need to get on.
Do not inconvenience that number of people. Wait for the next service and be a better human.
6. Don't sit in the priority seating if you're not elderly, disabled, pregnant or injured
I know standing generally sucks, especially when the light rail has to come to an unexpected grinding halt when a pedestrian doesn't see the giant red entity coming towards them that has the potential to run them over. I know.
But don't sit in the red priority seating unless you need to. Give the people who actually need it a chance to sit and earn some karma points.
7. Don't yell at people for getting in your personal space
Honestly, it is just a fact of life that you are not entitled to any personal space on the light rail. Nobody wants people they don't know invading their bubble. Don't yell at people to move if you know full well they have nowhere to go.
If I had a dollar for every time a stranger got into my personal space I ... wouldn't need to catch the light rail.
8. Don't yell at the driver or light rail staff
This is a generally sh*tty thing to do. The driver and staff are just there to do their job -- make the light rail run on time and get people to their stop safely. I find catching the light rail to and from work irritating enough. These people live it all day, their life is already hard enough.
Featured image: AAP One