I commute everyday. I take the train when I go to the office and when I go home. It is just so convenient for me since our place is just a 5-minute walk to the LRT station. Yes, it can get a little bumpy sometimes but the time spent is just worth the everyday wrestle I have to endure. Oh, and let us not forget that riding one can also be dirt cheap as compared to when I ride a taxi or when my mom offers to drive me to the office and brings the car (yes, my mom knows how happy I am every time she offers me a ride!). But anyway, this post is not about the train ride. This is about the transport system I use or patronize after the train ride: the FX.
The FX got its name from a particular brand of SUV: the Toyota Tamaraw FX. The FX is likened to a taxi but just bigger in size and can accommodate 10 people max. It follows a definite route and unlike the taxi, you will be sharing it with other people who will be getting off at different stops along that route.
I have been riding the FX for 3 months now. I just discovered that choosing it over walking from the train station, where I get off, to the office makes my everyday travel less of a hassle. Not only do I arrive now in the office looking fresher and less haggard but it also shortens my commute time in approximately 7 minutes which makes a lot of difference especially if I am already running late! Anyway, during those 3 months, I get to observe a lot of things that my co-passengers do. A lot of them irked me and some of them made me feel proud even more of our now-improving and more civilized race.
So what I did is outline those observations to serve as a nudge to each one of us in being more mindful on some of the bad behaviours that we do but fail to notice and a guide also on how we can be good citizens when we ride in an FX. Some are based on the assumption that the FX picks up passengers in one pick-up point only.
1. HAVE THE INITIATIVE TO SIT ON THE INNERMOST SEATS WHEN YOU KNOW/FEEL THAT YOUR STOP IS FARTHER THAN THE REST.
Most of the FXs lock their doors on the left-hand side, so if you know that your travel distance will be longer than everybody else be sure to sit in this four seats in the FX: in front beside the driver, most left hand side on the 2nd row and the two inner seats at the back. Not only will the other passengers not have a hard time alighting from the FX but it will also be beneficial for you since you do not have to go down anymore just to give way to alighting passengers.
2. FOR THOSE SITTING AT THE BACK, MAKE SURE TO COLLECT ALL YOUR FARES FIRST BEFORE PASSING IT ON TO THE PEOPLE IN FRONT OF YOU.
Yes, there may be a lot of people sitting in front of you for you to extend your payment to but do not expect them to reach their hands out 4 times to accommodate all of you on different times. Be considerate enough to collect first all your fares, people at the back, before passing it in front unless it is inevitable of course to not do so (example: if you all have paper bills that needs different change and you do not want to cause the driver any confusion), which leads me to...
3. EXTEND YOUR HAND WHEN SOMEONE ASKS YOU TO PASS THEIR PAYMENT TO THE DRIVER.
Please be an angel and do this please, especially those people who are sitting on the 2nd row. Do not dismiss the pleas of the people sitting at the back and do not act like you did not hear anything. If you are not in the mood to be cooperative and to pass on fares, then you might want to consider taking up seats in front or at the back. Do not make people feel that they are at your mercy.
I actually had an experience in relation to this yesterday. I can already sense that this girl on the 2nd row gets irritated everytime she was asked to pass on fares and changes to and from the driver. I saw how disgusted she was with the bills and coins that she was constantly pulling out her sanitizer to "clean" her hands (I quoted clean because how clean can you be, really, when you are commuting?). When she slammed the change to this boy's hand which clearly expressed her annoyance, I knew then that I had to speak up. With the deafening silence inside, I told her that she should not sit there if she does not want to be bothered.
4. MOVE OVER TO GIVE SPACE TO THE OTHER PASSENGERS. DO NOT SIT LIKE YOU OWN THE VEHICLE.
Remember that it can get crammed up inside and that is part of the adventure of riding in an FX, so sit upright to not take up too much space and move over if needed. Remember, the vehicle is not yours and the seats are meant to be shared. If you do not like being squashed by strangers left and right then I suggest that you just buy your own car instead or consider other options, simple as that.
5. DO NOT POINT THE AIRCON VENT TO YOU.
Yes, you may be sweating a lot during the ride but do not direct the aircon vent of the FX only to you. If you are feeling hot, there is a high likelihood that other people too inside the vehicle feels the same.
The commute itself is already a hassle here in Manila so instead of aggravating it, isn't it best if we just do our share in making the commute more bearable for everyone? It does not hurt to lessen that burden and be considerate enough of other people when we ride in any mode of public transportation. I had witnessed a handful of heated discussions and confrontations already in the MRT, LRT, FX or jeepney and more often than not it actually stemmed out from simple reasons and actions that anyone who does not think solely of themselves would never commit. Our civilization have already developed, people, and I think it is now time to step up too to the plate and prove to ourselves and to one another that we are now culturally refined more than ever and that being civilized is not just a term but our way of life.
How about you? Do you consider commuting or riding in an FX your pet peeve? What annoys you the most about it? Tell me your thoughts!
Photo above was gathered from the blog Lakbai | A Couple Travelling Through Southeast Asia