When I visit Seattle I stay with my son in Bellevue, but usually I am there for work, so I take the bus every morning and every evening. Seattle has a really good public transport system, and busing it is kind of nostalgic for me, particularly as the Seattle weather is similar to that in Dublin.
One thing about traveling on a bus during rush hour, you get a lot of time to observe people and to think about what you are observing.
|In this picture from 1952 it is possible to see the bar|
Photo from Irish History links
People chatted at the bus stop, formed an orderly queue and never, ever jumped the queue. There was a bus driver and a bus conductor on every bus. The conductor walked up and down the aisles of both decks, collecting fares and issuing tickets. From time to time an inspector would get on and go through the bus punching tickets to verify everyone had paid their fare, and that it was the correct fare. The inspectors had perfected the moving mount and dismount of the bus.
Needless to say, no one had electronic devices, least of all smart phones.
Now I observe old women, some unable to move without the aid of a cane, standing while children and apparently healthy young men and women remain seated. Everyone is glued to the screen of their smart phone.Texting, reading or playing games. No one talks and certainly no one volunteers their seat to someone in need. At the bus stops it is a free for all, there are no unwritten rules. And, no bus conductor. Back in the days of the conductor, the driver was in a separated cab, not to be disturbed by anything. Now the driver is seated by the door, he doesn't even take the fares, but monitors people as they get on to ensure they either use their ticket to electronically pay the required amount, or place the exact cash in the every hungry machine - it you don't have the correct amount, you better have more because you won't get change, and you won't get on without paying.