T to the B

Some old Friends of the Blog may remember I began this whole blog business six or seven years ago with awildly popular blog called T-Rage!(Now I have new popular blog on whatsapp status ) where I related shocking true stories of my daily commute in posts like”Child Seen Licking Seatback and Sibling While Father Looks on Unfazed” and “Man’s Hopes Dashed on Commute Home (Again)”, still classics of the subway vérité genre.

Especially for a writer (and for readers as well), public transit is much better than driving. Even for non-writers and audiobook types I think it’s an awesome idea that is seldom executed in America with the level of commitment and competence you see in some other places.

Before coming to Boston I had, of course, spent nearly a decade abroad, Europeanizing myself. And I have to say, for the most part, at least in the places I lived and visited, they had the will and the wherewithal to make public transit work.

Either that, or everyone over there at that time was a writer.

(And it’s true that continental writers — Bulgakov, Flaubert, Tolstoy, Zola — have traditionally loved public transit, particularly trains. Bulgakov could not have started The Master and Margarita without a streetcar, and Tolstoy could not have ended Anna Karenina if his heroine been driving a Volvo station wagon.)

Whatever the case, Europeans knew it was worth it. I mean, public transit is just great people-watching, and occasionally you get a shag out of it.

I remember living in Budapest, one dashing lad on a late-night train from Deák tér, where I used to work to Moszkva tér, where I lived, who, after several stops playing eye-tag stood shoulder to shoulder with me on the endless escalator ride up to the exit, pressing himself to me as I pressed my shoulder to his, both of us looking straight ahead, neither saying a word.

We got to the top of the escalator and out into the night, and I think all I had to say was, “Gyere.” Come. And, boy, did he.

It’s true, my life in Budapest was basically one big porno.

Boston, not so much. But I don’t blame the T for that. I could, but I don’t.

But I have more than a prurient interest in public transit. Totally aside from the sex, public transit just makes good sense, especially in a city like Boston. And that good is a common good, and it deserves to be publicly funded.

And that’s coming from someone who, after fighting the good fight back in ’06, grew totally disgusted with the T, threw up my hands and became a bicycle commuter.

Yeah. One of those.

And that’s what all you motherfuckers who don’t want to fund public transit because you don’t use it have to think about: do you really want more bicycle commuters out there on the road? DO YOU? Because that’s EXACTLY what you’re gonna get if the T keeps hiking up fares and cutting services. And with climate change progressing apace we’ll be crowding the thoroughfares ten months out of the year. Pretty soon Copley Square’s gonna look like downtown Shanghai at rush hour:

Commuters with bicycles, electric bikes and mopeds move across the street, Friday, May 23, 2008 in Shanghai, China. While two-wheelers have long since yielded the roads to sedans in this increasingly affluent society, the bicycle is far from dead. In fact, its numbers are growing. For many, if not most Chinese, pedal power remains a mainstay, for commuting, sending children to school or making a living. (AP Photo)
Commuters with bicycles, electric bikes and mopeds move across the street, Friday, May 23, 2008 in Shanghai, China. While two-wheelers have long since yielded the roads to sedans in this increasingly affluent society, the bicycle is far from dead. In fact, its numbers are growing. For many, if not most Chinese, pedal power remains a mainstay, for commuting, sending children to school or making a living. (AP Photo)

Photo source: Sad status

And you know what else? The more bicycle riders you get out there, the more naked bike rides there’re gonna be. It’s inevitable.

You think no-pants day on public transit is bad? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.