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Friday fun post: does it bother you when people talk on cell phones on transit?

If you like, skip to the end of this post to answer the cell phone poll.

Two weeks ago: answers to the 1937 Buzzer trivia

Can you guess which Vancouver streets these picture puzzles are describing?

Can you guess which Vancouver streets these picture puzzles are describing?

The fun post from two weeks ago asked you to solve the three 1937 Buzzer picture puzzles shown above. The solutions were all Vancouver street names, which all still exist!

And the winner of this round is….. Reva!

Which means the answers are: Templeton, Jackson, and Wallace. A “jack” does apparently mean a sailor, which was also confirmed by Dave 2 in the comments.

Well done to all of you who wrote in though — kudos for puzzling it out!

And Reva, I can mail out those buttons and the flashy pocket radio if you want to e-mail me your address.

This week: is it OK to talk on your cell phone on transit

Transit is a public space, so a single person’s cell phone conversation can affect quite a number of people at once. But do you tend not to care, or do you mind very much?

By the way, there aren’t any actual rules against cell phones on transit here — we don’t prohibit their use unless you’re really causing problems for fellow passengers.

And personally I lean towards “It bothers me,” since it just seems so intrusive to have a conversation in the middle of all these people!


  • By Gord, November 20, 2009 @ 5:38 pm

    Dear cell phone user… don’t forget your shh cards.

  • By Scott, November 20, 2009 @ 9:52 pm

    Not really. It bothers me when drivers talk on their phones when they should be focusing on driving and what is associated with doing that. Too many drivers talk on their phones and have nearly gotten into accidents several times on buses that I have been on because of it

  • By Kenny, November 20, 2009 @ 10:09 pm

    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.

  • By Cree, November 20, 2009 @ 10:53 pm

    Why don’t we have manner mode rules here? This includes not answering phones on buses and SkyTrain.

  • By Dave 2, November 20, 2009 @ 11:47 pm

    It bothers me. A month ago there I was on a train a loud women on a cell next to me…. An announcement started: “This is Skytrain control, we regret to inform you “BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH” on the tracks “BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH” service will be “BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH”….. I was too polite to say st{*}u, but that was one time I nearly lost it… that’s happened twice now… it seems that people on cell phones are obolivious to PA announcements.

  • By ;-), November 20, 2009 @ 11:49 pm

    Perhaps the worst situation is when you are sitting at a seat in front of someone who is near deaf…. Yelling into a phone to get their point across….

    As the population ages and cellphone use goes up. I really hate to see where we are going….

    Perhaps that’s why I like my blackberry so much…. non verbal emails and texting is much more quiet.

  • By Dave 2, November 20, 2009 @ 11:51 pm

    A lot of people don’t seem to realize that you don’t need to yell into a cellphone’ They think because they can’t hear the person on the other end, then that person can’t hear them… People, Talk quietly into your phone…

  • By lala, November 21, 2009 @ 10:59 am

    Drivers talking on there cell phones. Same as Scott’s response. as well STA’s Texting & Talking on there cell phones while on shift. The excuse i keep hearing is they are on a “coffee break” I think the only time cell phones should be used is in an emergency and not to order pizza or to tell your bf/gf how much you miss them. Safety is number one and that has lacked dramatically in this system.

  • By Henry, November 21, 2009 @ 12:23 pm

    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.

    For me personally, I lean towards cell phone calls bothering me. I don’t mind if you have a quick conversation, but I can’t stand those who are blabbing on the phone for their whole bus ride.

  • By CJ Stebbing, November 21, 2009 @ 1:19 pm

    Cell phones bother me a lil bit. I have to admit that I am guilty of this when I get a call, but it rarely happens because I use texting and IMing more than I do talking.

    I also have to admit that I did get a Bluetooth for mý blackberry, but for 2 main reasons: 1. I can hearthe phone ring in my ear so if I’m driving my car or at home I don’t have to search for it. And 2. The new law coming into effect in the new year that its MANDATORY to have hands-free (Bluetooth) devices when we drive.

    The loud talking bothers me a lot though. My mom is guilty of this because she thinks the other person on the other end can’t hear her, yet she talks so loud that you can hear her talking as far away as Vancouver ( an exaggeration mind you, but it paints a picture in your mind.). If only I had a big. Foam wiffleball bat with me so I wack those people on the bus. Alas, the transit police would probably tackle me to the ground for bringing such a thing on any transit vehicle. So I shall live with it and play games on my phone to distract me, or come onto the BuBlog site on my phone :p

  • By Eric, November 21, 2009 @ 1:40 pm

    In general I don’t mind people talking on their phones, but I could do without the heated discussions and dramatic BS (over the phone) that I sometimes get to listen to.

    Also, as mentioned by everyone else, the loud-talkers get annoying too.

    I try to keep my phone conversations reasonably quick and quiet when I am on transit (but I wouldn’t go so far as to ignore calls as mentioned in another post, since they’re usually important)

  • By Tessa, November 21, 2009 @ 4:23 pm

    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.

  • By fp252, November 21, 2009 @ 5:00 pm

    Cell phones doesn’t bother me, as long as they keep their voices to a reasonable level.

  • By zack, November 21, 2009 @ 8:26 pm

    These are what bother me the most.

    1. People shouting on their cellphones especially if it’s nonsensical BS.
    2. People listening to music so loud that it becomes irritating.
    3. Loud conservations
    4. Profane conversations

    On cellphones, normally I don’t mind quick and quiet conversations, but I just can’t take it when people keep “Yadda!Yadda!Yadda!” loudly for a long time.

  • By Reva, November 22, 2009 @ 3:37 am

    Hey, thanks for the prize for last week’s trivia thing Jhenifer! I’ve emailed you my details. I am intrigued by the little radio. :)

    As for cell phones, I don’t mind people using them on transit as long as they keep their voices no louder than the level one would use to speak to someone sitting right next to you. Communication is a necessary part of everyday life. But one person’s communication need not become part of everybody else’s lives! I try to keep my conversations short and sweet. The noise of the bus/train is usually too loud to have a decent conversation on a cell phone anyway.

    As for transit operators talking on cell phones, I am very against it unless it is a work-related call. Listening to a driver yak about his girlfriend and what he had for lunch and how the hockey game was, while driving too slow/too fast/not in a straight line/jamming on brakes for red lights etc., is irritating and dangerous. I have reported more than one driver to CMBC for this. It’s not just unprofessional, it is putting other people’s lives at risk.

  • By Steve, November 22, 2009 @ 8:57 am

    I agree with other people, it only bothers me when people raise their voices. I have heard some passengers receive a call and they say they are on a bus and will return the call when they get off – which is really great.

    Maybe Translink would consider quiet zones, would probably work better on skytrain than the buses though.

  • By Donald, November 23, 2009 @ 6:36 am

    I’d rather see people talking on their cell phones while taking transit than driving, but people have to know that you can speak in a pretty quiet voice and the person on the other line can still hear you.

  • By Andrew S, November 24, 2009 @ 3:09 pm

    I think sometimes I used to speak a little too loud, but I think I realized now :P

    It only bothers me when some person is yelling in their cell phone.

  • By Ric, November 25, 2009 @ 9:56 pm

    It only bothers me when the bus driver is on the cell phone. A work related call is okay, but when they are making personal calls it bothers me.

  • By Laetitia, December 10, 2009 @ 12:21 am

    I saw a bus driver missing a stop, because he was too busy trying to answer the phone.
    When a passenger told the driver to stop, driver got mad for interrupting his conversation with his cell phone buddy.
    He actually shouted to the passenger “GET LOST! CAN’T YOU SEE THE BUS IS MOVING? GET OFF AT THE NEXT STOP AND GET ON WITH IT”. I really really hate West Van’s Blue Bus service.

    I envy bus drivers for not getting fired or even get in trouble for having private conversation during job and shouting to the ‘customer’.
    I don’t think there are any jobs like that.

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