Monday, July 11, 2011

OC Seating

Congratulations! You've embarked on an urban adventure by boarding on a local bus near the start of it's route on a sunny afternoon. Chances are, after popping your new purple and red and white bus tickets into the fare box and grabbing a POP transfer for good measure, you have 38 seating possibilities to choose from. You can sit at the back like a cool kid, or up in co-operative seating without any worries, or that one regular seat you love using but can't always. The only thing that can top it is being the only person on a 95 — so rare an event that when it happens, you wonder if it's the right bus at all.

Perhaps you went downtown for the Canada Day fireworks and chose to take advantage to the free service to get home. After pushing your way from the Hill to the Transitway, and pushing your way onto the fifth or sixth 9X that has left in the last few minutes, you are lucky to have any seat. Chances are, however, that you've been relegated to the standing space and isn't a bar helping you keep your balance, but rather the cushion of people crowded in your personal space that is keeping you up, all of whom simultaneously apologize to one another with every jerk and turn of the bus.

 This is pretty roomy, compared to the free ride at night

Riding OC Transpo in Ottawa is usually in between these extremes. Getting to the mall is more like the former, traveling rush hour to/from downtown or from a Sens game is more like the latter. In most instances, finding an empty seat is, while not guaranteed, usually a probability. As Rebecca Black might ask, which seat do you take?

That split-second decision on where to sit can be disorientating

I have seen (and used) many different strategies in this regard. There's the favorite seat, the seat closest to the driver, closest to the back door, in the back where nobody can see you, close to someone, away from someone, aisle, window, the first available seat, sunny seat, shady seat, an "accordion" seat... Then there are the standers who prefer to stand in the back door well or cling to the front-most pole over taking a seat, even when the bus has very few passengers. That lot confuses me the most. But that's another topic...

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