Monday, June 30, 2008

Drinking on Metro

Last week BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) came up with a weird idea to combat people breaking its no eat/drink rule: sippy cups. The San Francisco area subway and transit company knows that heaps of riders break the no eating and drinking on the train rule daily. Instead of additional enforcement or a rule change, BART decided to try and convince riders to use a certain kind of coffee mug; essentially a sippy cup with a fail safe auto clasp, or "dead man's trigger." You have to hold the button down with a thumb to drink. Riders and bloggers bristled, calling the idea "dumb" and "worthless." At the press conference, the BART representative intentionally dropped the mug for effect--and spilled coffee all over the floor... whoops.

I often wonder if Metro will get rid of the rule. I seriously doubt it. Washington in general and WMATA in particular are sticklers for rules, even if some are outdated. I know, I know, Metro is so clean, we don't want to be New York, what about the carpet, yada. Got it. But, let's be honest. Heaps of riders eat and drink on the Metro as we speak! I see residents, not tourists, I'm talking about regular riders, who eat fries, chicken wings, morning Starbucks, whatever, on the trains, and to a greater extent, on the buses. There seems to be less of a stigma of eating and drinking on Metrobus and only on rare occasion will I see a driver give the beatdown to a customer with a coffee in hand. But yes, many a rider drink and eat on the train.

On a rare winter morning I will take my Sticky Fingers soy latte filled mug on the subway. Believe it or not, I don't drink it! I only travel a few stops to work and I absolutely do not like being stared down by 'snide morning commuter.' You know who I'm talking about. It's lady who got on at Shady Grove, but didn't get a seat. So she's mad at her seatless ride and mad at you because you have a soy latte and are drinking it and she hasn't such a luxury. Or its government worker guy who really has to speak up and say "You KNOW that's not allowed." Really government worker guy... Really? Yea, I know.

So anyway, I want to avoid these people, some of whom apparently think that holding coffee is equitable to drinking coffee. Sorry! Two totally different activities people! One is lawful, the other is unlawful. I, sir or madam, follow the law. On Metro. The one about eating and drinking on it. That's the law I follow. For now. I guess I have to concede. The rule does help to keep the trains cleaner. But sometimes I really want to taste the espresso and soy goodness.

Jeez. Ok, I gotta go. Sticky Fingers closes in a few minutes!