General Question

occ's avatar

Do any Bay Area folks understand the system for waiting in line to board a BART train?

Asked by occ (4173points) May 6th, 2008

This has always struck me as very odd. In the downtown San Francisco stations, especially heading towards the East Bay at rush hour, people form lines on the platform and wait there. Then when a train comes, it’s only the right train for a few people, so everyone who wants to get in just ignores the line and walks in the doors. Waiting in line doesn’t seem to actually give anyone an advantage to getting in sooner or picking a better seat. Has anyone else noticed this phenomenon, and is there a point to the lines that people form? Am I missing something, or is it an excercise in futility?

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9 Answers

Bri_L's avatar

I noticed that to. It seemed to me that there were always places were there were hardly any people and some where they stacked up to. I wonder if it is a good psychological study. The ones who line up need order and think fairness counts and the ones who bolt on just wanna get on and live in their own little world.

bpeoples's avatar

At Montgomery Station, it has always seemed to work thus:
– You wait in line, when the train comes and it’s not for you, you sort of move a little to the side.
– The folks who should get on this train, go ahead around you
– As the train leaves, the people still waiting condense their lines

There’s always a few yahoos who just skip the line, and they’re usually let on with a little elbowing.

I also tend not to take bart duing the peak of the commute.

TheHaight's avatar

I noticed that as well. Try going on the Bart on your way to a Raider game! Its madness. I love it.

ecogal's avatar

I’m so glad I’m not the only one wondering about this. I’m not a stickler for the “no budging” rule, but I’m always perplexed when people wander up and stand in front of me. I find this very strange, including the fact that it rarely happens on the MUNI, just BART.

I’ve decided that the rule is that there are no rules. Waiting in line is an exercise in futility, unless you just enjoy standing in front of the yellow tile. :)

ecogal's avatar

Another BART behavior that always perplexes me is rushing onto the train without letting people out first.

shockvalue's avatar

Well I just wait until rush hour, and shove past everybody with my bike so I can get into the first car before I let anyone else off the train.

ninjaxmarc's avatar

typically everyone is just too darn impatient :)

monsoon's avatar

people want to get a head start, so by standing in line for the three trains before theirs (particularly if it’s a busy place or time of day) they’ll be way in the from once their train comes, and more likely to get a seat.

usually people don’t all wait in line and then scramble to cut each other when the train comes. if its not your train you stay where you are, and if it is your train you get on in the order that you were in among the people who’s train it is.

people paying no attention to the lines are annoying, okay, but there’s a system, no denying. even if people ignore it some times :)

Grim's avatar

System?... Line?... these words are entirely new to me! D:

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