Gave Up On Transit Altogether

Thank you so much for launching this project. This summer I decided stop taking transit altogether and bike or car2go instead. I’m really lucky to have the resources and ability make that decision and have felt a lot safer since; I wish transit was safer so that I didn’t have to make that decision in the first place. Besides the creepy leering, unwanted touching, and unwanted comments, I had two notable and really terrifying experiences:

1. Four years ago I was waiting at Seymour and Davie for the #10 to Hastings – there were about five or six other people waiting. A huge intoxicated man was sitting on the curb across the street and for no reason, he decided I was his target. For about ten to fifteen minutes, he yelled and muttered racist and misogynist things at me (“Chink bitch cunt! Go home!” was one of his favourites). When the bus came, everyone got on and suddenly the man ran across the street, right up to the window where I was sitting and starting pounding on the window and screaming that he was going to get on the bus, fight me, and kill me. No one on the bus said anything, the driver didn’t do anything, and the man tried to pry the back doors open to get on the bus while I cowered into my seat and just stared in disbelief. The man was too high or drunk to get his fingers fully through the flap so he couldn’t get it open, and eventually the bus pulled away and left him jogging alongside and punching the side of the bus for a few feet. I was scared enough that I called the VPD non-emergency line right away to report the man (the VPD sent a car around while I was on the phone with the operator, but the man had already left the area and they didn’t find him) – and after I hung up, a passenger next to me said, “Oh, so you didn’t know that guy?”

2. This July, I was on the Skytrain from Commercial to New West in a mostly empty (older model) car when another huge and very drunk man got on and sat in front of me (even though there were free seats everywhere and I was sitting in a back corner row) and immediately turned around, glared right in my face and yelled at top volume at me. I had my headphones in and stared steadfastly down at my phone while he shouted, “EXCUSE ME! I KNOW I SHOULDN’T BOTHER A PRETTY GIRL BUT HEY! PRETTY GIRL, YOU SHOULD LOOK AT PEOPLE WHEN THEY’RE TALKING TO YOU! I’M JUST TRYING TO TELL YOU THAT YOU LOOK BEAUTIFUL, EXCUSE ME! YOU’RE BEING VERY RUDE TO SOMEONE WHO JUST WANTS TO PAY YOU A COMPLIMENT! LOOK AT PEOPLE WHEN THEY TALK TO YOU, GODDAMNIT!”
I didn’t want to move because it was pretty clear that anything I did would engage him, so I couldn’t press the alarm strip or move cars, and the two other passengers were little old ladies who got off the train right away. He finally gave up and got off at Joyce – and then two Transit Police got on at the very next stop to check fares. This time I didn’t even bother telling them about the man because every other time I’ve complained about something similar, Transit Police say, “Well, he’s gone now.”

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