The over-packed trams deserve an entire blog
30.9.08 - 30.9.08
As I've mentioned before, Bordeaux has a great transportation system called "Tram et Bus de la CUB" (Communité Urbaine Bordeaux) which basically ensures that anyone can get around the city either by bus or tram by a standard ticket, or by purchasing one of several passes. During my first couple of weeks here, the trams were so pleasant to ride because all the french students were still off on vacation. NOW, we're back in school and not only do all the inhabitants of Bordeaux have to strain the transportation system, but add on to that the hundreds of international students. The problem is simple and also a catch-22. Upon boarding the tram or bus, every passenger is supposed to validate either their pass or their ticket, but I'd have to say about half of everyone just rides the tram/bus for free. It's just so easy to get away with doing that now because the trams are so unbelievably packed that the little "tram maids" (as I've come to call them), could never get through and check passengers. The process of validating upon boarding is the system used to determine how many passengers are riding and how much traffic there is, but since half of everyone doesn't have a pass (or has a pass and just doesn't validate) or don't buy tickets, the amount of individuals riding the tram is severely underestimated; however, IF more trams were in circulation we could be slightly more comfortable, but I don't think people want to bother. I don't get it. I painfully handed over the 170€ (about $225USD) for my year pass because now i know I NEVER HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT PAYING, I don't get why the students here won't do the same. They would seriously be doing a great service to themselves. I know I'm not a model citizen and maybe just because this isn't my town I can easily point out the problems and offer a solution... I know that it's not that easy and I also know that not everyone can afford to hand over that kind of cash for a tram/bus pass.
All I'm saying is, the system is great and it deserves a little more respect. Not only that, people should have a little more pride for the fine transportation they have and actually pay for it so that the city can afford more trams and give us some damn personal space. Unfortunately, I know I'm just dreaming and that I'm going to have to hump and uncomfortably grope people on the tram because we're packed in so tight. The tram issue is on my mind today because this morning has been absolutely the worst it has ever been. I pressed a girl all the way up against the wall and we were back to back and I felt like I was suffocating her, but I couldn't do anything about it because I was already hugging Hillary to save the arm space and the guy in front of me was practically standing on my feet.
Hillary just read this over and agreed that this is an accurate description of how it was. =]