Thursday, December 22, 2011


'Tis the season.

The season for lights at Temple Square, lots of shopping downtown, EVE, Jazz games, etc. etc. etc.  It is also the season for lots of people who never ride trains to ride one.  I support this.  I think everyone should ride TRAX.  Always.  Forever.  However,  I find that some people's experience riding trains is less awesome than it could be--for the sake of these people's health and well-being, let me offer a few suggestions:

1.  Do your homework.  I thought people generally did this, but sometimes I hear evidence that people have not done their homework before embarking on a TRAX trip.  Look it up online.  Call ahead.  Pick up a train schedule (if nowhere else, there should be free ones sitting there when you first get on the train.  They are saying "take me! take me!", if only you could hear them.)  That way you won't have to wonder from which nine stations out of the 25 on the Red Line you can switch to the Blue Line; that way you won't have to worry that you might accidentally end up in Murray, because the Green Line train you're on does not, in fact, go to Murray.  Oh, and if you rode TRAX to Temple Square last year, check again.  It changed.

Let me make it that much easier for you.  That's how much I care.

2.  Use crosswalks.  It is way more fun to walk a few extra feet or wait a few extra seconds than to get hit by a train.  If you don't understand that, you're an ignoramus.

3.  Stand on the correct half of the platform.  TRAX trains are shorter than TRAX platforms.  If you're standing on the southern end of the platform waiting for a northbound train, you're suddenly going to have to do some running to catch up to the last door of the train when it arrives.  Once you reach that door, you and all the other people like you are going to try to crowd through that last door, which takes forever, while listening to the train operator snidely saying over the intercom 'There's more than one door on this WHOLE TRAIN for you to get on!"  I would not post this if it had not actually happened.  Spare yourself the aggravation.  And the rest of us, who are all waiting for you to go through that ONE.  DOOR.

4.  Remember that children and adults are, generally, cognitively different.  Children are great.  I was one once.  I work with them at Church every week.  I plan on raising a whole gaggle of them someday.  I love children-poos!  But children-poos need a little extra help.  While an adult (probably) understands that you're supposed to stand behind the yellow line, a children-poo might be so distracted by the pretty lights that it might forget how it got there to see the lights in the first place, and that how it got there is going to come by very soon and rather fast.  I recognize that it is a sacrifice of a parent's personal enjoyment to be constantly monitoring their offspring while on a train platform, but if, in exchange, you get to keep your children, isn't it worthwhile?

5.  Kindly consider that, while the vicissitudes of your life are fascinating to yourself (else we would not call them vicissitudes), they may be slightly less fascinating to the people around you.  Interesting people abound on trains anyway, but it seems like I've had to bend awfully low over my crossword puzzle sometimes when people who aren't aware that what they're talking about might make me uncomfortable talk about things that make me uncomfortable right next to me.  All I'm asking is that you consider it.

Conscientious attention to the suggestions given above will help assure that your TRAX experience is of the kind that makes you want to ride TRAX again someday.  I would hate for you to not have a pleasant time because of minor circumstances that are easily avoided.

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