Doof-free trains (Good News Week 23/2/09: Up-cut)

The West Australian Public Transport Authority is campaigning against inconsiderate commuters listening to loud music or speaking loudly on mobile phones. Huh. I don’t see them turning down the volume of their trains.

Are these passengers really being inconsiderate? Or just trying to be audible?

So far the campaign has met with little success, as none of those targeted have heard it.

They will be targeting people with overly noisy headphones, or who are engaged in loud mobile conversations. But gaggles of school kids, crying babies, raucous drunks and annoying station announcements will still remain.

Unfortunately, they’re still unable to do anything about flatulence.

Sure, you can tell them to shush, but you can’t chuck them off the train. So really, all you’ll get out of it is a faceful of knuckles.

They’re not going to throw offenders off public transport, but inspectors will shout at them until they quieten down.

So now if you get a call and it just sounds like the rattling of a train, you’ll have to assume your spouse is on their way home.

Not only do they want passengers to be quiet, they want the trains to run on time, the politicians to be honest, the earth to not be warming up, and a sparkly pink pony that can sing.

But without the bellowing of private calls over the tinny hiss of doof-doof, what will keep me entertained? A book?

But if they really want to make commuting more harmonious, how about asking those ticket inspectors to tone it down, what with their demands, and fines, and handcuffs and beatings about the head…

Meanwhile in Melbourne, commuters said they’d be happy to share with loud passengers if it meant they were actually on a bloody train.

Melbourne rail authority Connex also wants to clamp down on loud passengers. All that noisy complaining about the lack of trains – and the racket they make when they collapse of heat exhaustion on the platform – just makes it less pleasant for others.

Melbourne rail authority Connex also wants train commuters to turn down their MP3 players, stop talking so loudly on mobiles, and just get out and push.

Sometimes you can’t even hear the train over the sound of the passengers. In fact that’s a given in Melbourne.

They’re hoping to encourage people to use the train rather than driving their car. But unfortunately a main attraction of driving is being able to use your stereo and mobile phone as loudly as you want.

Oh well. Back to vandalism I guess. / Back to spray cans and seat-shredding.

But to truly make for a more harmonious experience, they should synchronise everyone’s iPods and ringtones to play the same tune, and make the whole carriage sing-along.

And anyone with a Crazy Frog ringtone will be summarily executed. I can dream can’t I?

The policy has been an unexpected success, although it has resulted in commuters becoming more aware of the irritating noise made by the train.

And they warn that, if people don’t keep it down, they’ll just turn up the trains.

If this campaign doesn’t work, they’re going to try the Cone of Silence.

The Authority says that if you continue to insist to have loud phone conversations, could you please also sign them so as to equally annoy the deaf.

But if you can’t talk loudly on the phone about your haemorrhoid operation, how are your fellow commuters going to know? Are you expected to tell each one quietly in person?

So now if you want to keep a whole area of seating to yourself, you’re just going to have to vomit on it.

They hope the campaign will encourage commuters to behave more socially, like the signage encouraging you to stand for senior citizens, mothers and the disabled. In fact if you refuse to quieten down, you will be asked to sit on the special people seats.

Because life is just so much better on public transport when you know that you can be berked by some meathead in a blue suit for talking on the phone. / for listening to some music. / for using your iPod.

Because what I really want is to have some wannabe cop telling me off for listening to my music when I’m already forced to spend half my day trying to catch some overcrowded understaffed tin of sardines in 40 degree weather because petrol prices have forced me off the road but I still need to get to work to be able to afford to live in my shitty shoebox hellhole. GET FUCKED.

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