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Friday fun post: are you the designated transit encyclopedia among your friends?

If you like, skip to the end of this post to answer the transit encyclopedia poll.

Last week: are you bothered by cell phones on transit?

Last week’s fun post [1] asked if people talking on cell phones bothered you on transit.

Crazily enough, we had basically a 50-50 split, which has never happened in this history of these polls. “It bothers me” had a tiny one-vote advantage though — out of 177 total votes, 89 said cell phone chat bothered them, and 88 said they didn’t mind.

In the comments, it seemed you didn’t mind cell phone chatter as long as:

And many like Scott, lala, Reva, and Ric emphasized that it’s unacceptable for transit staff to be using phones while they’re working, too.

Lots of people also mentioned that other things are just as bad or worse than cell phone use. Tessa had a thoughtful take:

What’s the difference between having a conversation on a cell phone and a conversation with another passenger on a bus? I would think a conversation with someone on the bus would be louder and more disruptive, because you can hear both sides. Personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with anybody having conversations – while transit is technically private it’s basically a public space – and most converations are very unobtrusive.

Of course, if someone is yelling/shouting, doing those kinds of things, then that’s a problem, regardless of whether they’re on a cell phone or not.

And here’s Kenny:

I bothers me more when people with earphones turn it up loud so that I can hear them…
1. – it ends up sounding to me like a repetitive endless pounding sound because I can’t actually hear the music…not good.
2. – I imagine how they’re ruining their hearing.

Henry also mentioned Japan’s etiquette laws around cell phone use too.

I was just in Japan and they have specific explicit ettiquette regarding cell phone use.

Near priority seats for the disabled and elderly, there are signs requesting that your phone be shut off in the priority seat area. In other areas, they kindly request you set the phone to silent and refrain from speaking on the phone.

When on the train in Japan, I rarely noticed people speaking on the phone. However, everyone is texting constantly around me. So it is definitely considered rude in Japan to be speaking on the phone when on the train. I even saw one gentleman receive a phone call and pardoned himself from the train in order to continue speaking on the phone.

In another case, I saw a man watching TV on his cell phone (Yes, some Japanese cell phones can get a TV air-signal!!). He was listening with the loudspeakers on and all the people around him were obviously unhappy with his behaviour.

This week: are you the designated transit encyclopedia among your friends?

This poll was suggested by Tsushima Masaki, who wrote in with the following:

Today I wondered if any of the other readers are heavily depended on by their circle of friends to provide them with transit information (best bus routes, transit news, or just how to get from point A to point B). I guess I would call myself the “designated transit guy” because all of my friends seem to call me when they need to get somewhere. If that’s workable as a quiz question that’d be great!

So, here we go!

Personally I would have to say yes, but I think that has a lot to do with my place of work :)