Public transport: give up yer aul seats
Sir, – It’s 8:30am and I’m about to get on the Dart, six months pregnant and wearing my Transport Infrastructure Ireland “Baby on Board” badge. This morning, I think optimistically, someone will offer me a seat. It’s twice as packed as usual, given the last train was cancelled. I squish on with the other poor sardines, and ask some people if I might be able to slide past them to the seats, but I’m met with blank vacant stares and ignored.
Eventually I get close to the seats and park myself next to four men in suits. Not one of them offers me a seat. The sad thing is, it’s not just this morning, but every morning. In the six months of my pregnancy nobody, literally nobody, has offered me a seat on the Dart or any public transport. Not once.
This is shocking. I’ve noticed such ignorance on the same commute many times over the years. I’ve often seen elderly persons left standing, even people on crutches struggling to maintain their balance as nobody sitting down even bats an eyelid.
However, now that I’m on the receiving end, now that I actually need a seat, the frequency of such rude interactions is staggering. Now I wonder – is that elderly person left standing every day? Has that injured person been standing on one leg trying to balance for weeks? How frequent is this?
Perhaps it’s nostalgia taking over me, but the Ireland I remember being raised in is not this one. When did we get this rude, and what happened to basic good manners?
Common courtesy, it appears, is not so common after all. – Yours, etc,