Here’s a news flash: fat people ride buses. Along with skinny people, slightly overweight people, right handed folks, lefties, communists, and members of the Clergy. But fat people, they ride the buses too, but in increasing numbers, according to the Federal government, but we’re not sure how many exactly, but it’s got to be like mass droves of the overweight stuffing themselves into the public transit system, jamming the seats, squashing children, hoovering down all the good available oxygen. Cue the outrage.
Or at least that’s the suggestion of this 19ActionNews story on how an uptick in belt-busters might force the RTA to limit the number of riders per trip.
According to the clip, which is heavy on the below-the-neck footage of the shirt-stretching bellies milling about Public Square, the amount of weight currently on the buses is creating a problem for safety regulations. We’re never told exactly what the increase is, but apparently it’s problematic enough to merit the conversation.
"Just like they have designed safety features on a car, same thing with the bus. If the bus has to be redesigned to carry a heavily loads that's going to have some difference features," Mary McCahon, the RTA’s spokesperson tells the station.
Instead of draining dollars on new buses, the RTA is thinking about limiting the number of passengers per bus. It could mean 5 to 10 less riders a vehicle.
Now, let’s marinate on this a little bit. The buses are crammed with riders, not just fat riders, and those riders are riding because they need the ride. Realistically speaking, as someone who’s ridden a rush hour bus line or two knows, the only thing that halts the flow of oncoming passengers at a stop is when they see that that shit is so sardined full there’s no use trying to annex another free inch for yourself. It’s a naturally policed product.
But if they start cutting down on the number of riders, and demand doesn’t likely drop off, and we’re talking about the same buses, who’s the poor smuck tasked with informing impatient, work-weary passengers that, yes, there is enough room for another rider but, no I’m sorry, the new RTA regulations say you can’t come on board. Can you image the amount of rush-hour travel time that would be wasted in the group effort to pry the inflamed rider off said smuck mid-beating? Hours.