My memorable transit experience

Image credit: Unsplash

As part of a job interview for a start-up developing a mobile app, interested candidates were asked to write a brief article regarding a “memorable” transit experience. Lucky for me, I am a huge believer in public transit and I love to write. Unfortunately I didn’t get the job. However, I still have the article, which was written on December 13, 2014.

A memorable transit experience is a bit of an oxymoron. At the very least, the experiences of riding public transit are almost supposed to be forgettable. For it is the place that we are coming from and the place that we are going to that matter to us the most.

Unlike the sadness of leaving or the anticipation of arriving at our destination, the drama of public transit — the emotional side that leads to memory formation — is mostly related to everything required to get to the right vehicle at the right place at the right time.

There is drama when we have not gotten those things right. Add in a new itinerary for a job interview, a different city or language or writing system while on vacation, or an odd hour to travel while the sky opens up and the temperature drops, and the stress of getting the vehicle, time, and place right goes up rather quickly.

That being said, there are a range of human emotions made possible when taking public transit. The smile that crosses one’s lips as your bus passes cars stuck in traffic. The satisfaction of knowing you did the right thing by giving your seat up to an elderly person or a pregnant woman. The joy of nodding your head to the summer’s most popular song as it flows from the earphones of the person seated in the row in front of you.

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