February 8, 1999
Wimp City USA?
We quietly accept rising property taxes, disappearing trees, and a glut of unnecessary malls and sports stadiums. We watch city leaders offer obscene incentives to big stores so they can turn downtown Seattle into a sea of boutiques. We meekly pay big bucks to tag our vehicles. We put up with electrical outages from "Puny Sound Energy." And we seemingly agree as various government agencies pay big buck-settlements to whiners instead of contesting winnable discrimination suits.
Once a wild and woolly lumberjack and sailor's town, Seattle has become a hesitant city of wimps. Are we too politically correct to raise our voices and correct the insults and abuses we face daily? And are METRO bus riders the biggest wimps in the city?
Among the offenses to common civility and decency that METRO riders encounter and endure are:
METRO drivers can't drive and be policemen, too. But METRO security can educate wrongdoers ... with a little help. If someone is continually abusing you and other riders, complain to METRO Customer Service: 206-553-3060. Be prepared to give the bus number, time of day, and a description of the perpetrator(s) and his/her actions.
- Excessive noise and obscene language bombardments are routine.
- Angry-at-the-world teenagers taking up seats for two or even three passengers. (Often with legs extending out to obstruct the aisle.)
- Those same kids amusing themselves by spraying and igniting lighter fluid in METRO bus shelters.
- Smokers forcing non-smokers out of shelters to stand in the rain. (Be thankful when the bus stop has a shelter, you say?)
- Unsupervised toddlers running down the aisle and standing on seats. (Moms usually flare angrily when drivers mention the danger.)
- Finding bus seats and floors smeared with ice cream, partially-full drink containers, and burger leavings and wrappers. (Please, can we at least draw the line at bus passengers eating greasy fried chicken?)
Riding a METRO bus will never be as pleasurable as riding in a limo. But the bus environment should be pain-free. Riders, don't be wimps.
Gary Blevins, Woodinville