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Illustration for article titled How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Hate Public Transit

So: I have one complaint about Pittsburgh, and only one. I'm not sure who it first was who told me the buses were great here, but I hate this unknown individual with the fiery wrath of 1000 dying stars. THEY ARE A LYING LIAR IN FLAMMABLE PANTALOONS. Christ, the Pittsburgh public transportation system almost makes the NY Subway system look good by comparison. HAHAHA JUST KIDDING NOTHING COULD MAKE THE NY SUBWAY SYSTEM LOOK GOOD (please note that if you have to utter the words "it works great if you know all of the nonsensical and random ways it works," YOUR SUBWAY SYSTEM SUCKS) (also please note: I'm not arguing with you about this, NY GTers. Your subway system sucks. Every time I've ridden it it's been a torture-gasm of rage and pain. The only reason you don't understand how awful it is, is because you have Stockholm Syndrome).

Public transportation doesn't HAVE to suck. I grew up in DC, and before the last three years, the Metro actually worked (as did the buses). I used to go to San Francisco every summer, which probably (and a bit inexplicably) has my favorite subway system. I've visited Toronto and Berlin, both of which have excellent subways. I know what a place with good public transportation looks like.


The buses I take are supposed to come every 15 minutes, and since there are two different buses I could take, you'd expect about a 10 minute max as far as a wait time. Yeah, you're more likely to get sanity out of the Tea Party than to see a Pittsburgh bus arrive on time. Or arrive ever. Today I waited 45 minutes in the freezing goddamn cold (I waited 55 minutes last Sunday), on the main fucking drag of the University of Pittsburgh on a Friday night (meaning THE PLACE WHERE BUSES ARE SUPPOSED TO SPEND MOST OF THEIR TIME). I may have lost a toe. One of the buses (the 71B) was supposed to arrive at 10:06, 10:21, and 10:36. HAHA THE BUS SYSTEM LAUGHS MIRTHLESSLY AT MY EXPECTATIONS OF "ONE BUS IN A 45-MINUTE SPAN." Caught the other one (the 71D) at 10:37, without having seen a single 71B from 9:52 to 10:37.

What's doubly funny is that it's $2.50 per trip, which would be a reasonable price...FOR THE FUCKING SUBWAY. $2.50 for buses?! It's like they're just fucking with me at this point. By the way, Pittsburgh actually does technically have a Subway system, but since it runs where I never go (downtown), and I could walk the entire length of it in about an hour (this isn't hyperbole), they might as well just acknowledge that its less a subway system than it is a series of hobo bathroom-tunnels.

I wish those were the only issues, but there's also the fact that the application form for the Pittsburgh Port Authority apparently consists of one question: "Are you a gigantic douchenozzle who murders kittens for sport?" If you answer "yes," CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR NEW CAREER! This would seem to include asking whether or not they have a driver's license, considering the number of times my buses have almost hit people. Or other cars. Or major landmarks. The dickishness is especially bizarre to me, though, because I've ridden a lot of public transportation in my time, and in most places, it's like any other profession; some great people, some dickheads, most folks somewhere in the middle. But the best you can hope for with the Pittsburgh buses is someone who's sullen but quiet enough that they won't directly attempt to pick a fight with you. It's amazing. It's like a bus passenger once killed a family member of each Pittsburgh bus driver, and they all took the job as a means of exacting revenge. The Pittsburgh Port Authority is an equal-opportunity employer — they'll hire anyone of any race, ethnicity, gender, or religious background, as long as you're a giant inflamed rectum of a human being. The picture that accompanies this article should be captioned "So they can say 'fuck you' to the world in person."

I love this city. I would live here for the rest of my life if I could. I mean that. But it would probably be a pretty short life considering that the bus system would give me an aneurism within a decade.


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