This is a BART Advisory

I get it, you’re petrified.

You are horrified, and you don’t know what to do. So you just stand there. You stand, as a river of humanity rushes past you, in every direction, pushing you and shoving you while trying to get by you. It doesn’t have to be this way, fellow BART rider. I am here to save you from this daily humiliation and restore your dignity.

Imagine this, you are on a crowded BART. It shouldn’t be hard to imagine as you are in fact on a crowded BART, twice a day, every day Monday through Friday. You have barely just figured out where to hold on and how to keep your balance, and are now intently staring at your phone pretending you are not here. I can’t blame you, having a stranger breathe down your back, or an armpit in your face (maybe just an elbow if you are lucky), how could I blame you? No one wants to be here, and we all do our best to distract ourselves from that hateful reality.

Then suddenly it happens, the train stops. The doors open. You are by the door, just a few steps away from the door, when the “excuse me’s,” and the pushing, and the shoving starts. And you just stand there, clutching your phone, steps away from the door, rushed from all sides by your fellow BART riders. You stand your ground, feet firmly planted, you’re not going anywhere. You do your best to block people from the singular goal they have: get off this train now.

See, all of this could be avoided, and the solution is terrifyingly simple. Take two small steps and step out of the train, let your fellow BART riders off-board and then get right back on that train. These two small steps for you, are indeed a giant step for all of humanity on BART. When you do this, people will be able to get off faster and therefore you’ll be able to eventually get off faster, escaping this nightmare.

And trust me, when I say this BART will not leave without you, this BART will not shut its doors on you while you are trying to be a good, caring human being. I know when that “doors are closing” message comes on, it makes you panic, but that message is often played prematurely, the doors will not close on you, my friend. Just do it, just take those small steps, for you, for all of us!

And while we are at it, if you are going to sit down in those seats that are designated for the disabled, elderly, or the pregnant amongst us, try this: look up from your phone when people get on and see if someone might fall into this category and might need this seat more than you. And in case you don’t want to be making judgements on whether that’s a beer belly or she’s in the first trimester, then maybe play it safe and don’t sit in those seats.

Thank you for reading, my fellow BART rider. Together we can make riding BART a slightly less awful experience.