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By: Christopher Litfin

First, allow me to introduce myself. I am one of you. Virtually every weekday for the past eight years, I have commuted from my house to the Westdale area. There is a difference between you and me, though: I am That Guy. The one who asks you to “Move back, please!”, or to put your bag on your lap. Over 2,500 trips in the past eight years, I’ve come to know you, and your transit diseases, which few of you know you have. Friends, let me introduce you to yourselves.

One transit disease is by far most common: there seems to be a mass fear that standing beyond the back door will cause death or permanent disfigurement. Though the city’s decision to move the back door forward was not sensitive to your condition, but seriously: “The city has not installed, and has no plans to install, trolls, dragons or other monsters beyond the back door.” Myth busted.

Speaking of medical conditions, unless, like some, you have a legitimate one, such as a mobility issue, children, or multiple-butt-itis, you may take up a maximum of one seat per person. To be clear, bag ≠ person, EVER! While I’m at it, IF “man-spread” (Google it with caution) is a transit disease in Hamilton, the cure is simple: walk. If you’re “man” enough that you think you have the right to two seats, then surely you are “man” enough to walk when it’s 20 below?

There is also a disease that makes some people think they evolved from snails, and feel the need to carry their entire life’s possessions on their back. If your backpack exceeds half your body weight, you have a problem. But hey, as long as you can pay your chiropractor when you are 40, who am I to judge? One thing to consider: your shell – er, backpack – extends beyond your personal space when you have it on your back. Either put it on your front or on your feet. It’s a win-win: you have all your junk, and I don’t get it in the face when the driver takes the corner on two wheels.

Finally, the annoying-yet-mostly-harmless LRT advocate. Sufferers think that the answer to the bus passing you by is the LRT. Sure. Maybe. If it happens. In 2025, when you are long past caring about transit in Hamilton unless it cuts off your electric mom-mobile. Frankly, everyone else couldn’t care less about what mode of transit is provided – it could be a hovercraft full of eels, as long as it accepts the student card. They care about the quantity (more) and the timeline (yesterday). So shut up and send pointed emails to the government. They are (supposedly) paid to listen to you. Everyone else is not.

Remember, the first step to getting help is realizing you have a problem. I know you can beat your transit disease!

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