If you take public transit in Brampton like I do, you know what it’s like to take the bus at all times of day. You know how packed the bus can get during morning and evening rush hour, you know all about that blessed, empty bus afternoon lull, and you know how sketchy taking the bus can feel late at night.
Any skilled Brampton Transit user has experienced a lot in their years on the bus. In my experience, taking the bus during rush hour exposes the worst of Brampton Transit. The bus is packed, timings are delayed, drivers are tense, and people are itching to get home or to work.
Here are five things that have definitely happened to you on Brampton Transit during rush hour:
5) Someone’s bag has crushed you.
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At 8:30 a.m. on a Tuesday, you’re guaranteed to be crushed by someone else’s massive bag. They’re probably carrying a laptop, a few chargers, a bundle of notebooks, stacks of forms and papers, a sweater or five, some gym clothes, and a bucketload of food in there, and all of their stuff is geared towards helping them survive their long day, which is great – for them. For you, their overstuffed bag means you’re going to be pinned against the back doors if you’re standing, or knocked in the head every 30 seconds if you’re seated. Or, even worse, their bag will be hogging the seat beside them and crushing your hopes and dreams of sitting there.
4) You’ve come to know too much about someone’s personal life.
During rush hour, someone is bound to be chatting on the phone or with their friend beside them pretty loudly. You can’t help but overhear their plans for the weekend, their problems with their significant other, awkward encounters with their coworkers, and gossip about their friends. By the end of the ride, you know what Sheena said to Mark about Jasmine, what Keith’s mom’s making for dinner, and how fed up Preet is with her boss. Bonus points if you’ve ever overheard a conversation and purposely looked at the person talking to put a face to the voice you were hearing!
3) You’ve smelled a stench.
At the end of a workday, people often board the bus covered in a stench. Working Bramptonians are coming from long shifts at factories, offices, fast food joints, retail spaces, and more, and if you’re on the bus between 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., you’re bound to sniff some unknown odours. You’ve probably taken the bus during rush hour only to discover Brampton Transit is prone to absorbing interesting smells, especially at that time of day. You’re no stranger to holding your hand over your nose to block the scent, and you can probably beat a lot of your friends at a breath-holding competition, all thanks to Brampton Transit.
2) You’ve had your hair pulled or your head grazed.
When you’ve managed to snag a seat during rush hour, you’ve definitely had your hair pulled, or the back of your head or neck grazed by someone behind you. You know all too well what it feels like when someone behind you stands up to exit the bus, using your seat to help them up, and your hair gets caught under their hand. They probably stole a few strands of your hair in their haste to get off of the bus, leaving you with a stinging feeling on your scalp. If you don’t have long hair, you’ve definitely experienced a back-of-the-neck graze. You’ll never forget the feeling of someone’s ghostly fingers skimming the back of your neck, and you’ll never know where those hands have been. The only solution to shake the feeling? A hot shower as soon as you get home.
1) A ride that should take you ten minutes takes you forty.
It’s painful for me to even think about how long it takes to get from Square One to Shoppers World on the 502 or from Bramalea GO to Shoppers World on the 511 or the 11 during evening rush hour. A ride that should take 20 minutes takes almost 45 on the 502, or a ten minute ride turns into at least a half an hour, if not 40 minutes, on the 511 or the 11. Brampton Transit users know that taking transit means taking longer to get places on the bus than in a car, but rush hour traffic makes even that look like a joke. As annoying as transit times during rush hour may be, rush hour riders know to be prepared with hours of music on their phones, a good book, or a creative imagination.