Public transportation in Tijuana is humiliating. Apart from horrible, damaged, incomplete, dangerous, and dirty, they fit everyone in a little car. When they have capacity for ten people, the drivers go up to seventeen people. Honestly, I’ve seen zombie apocalypse movies that have better transportation than the city has to offer.
I know, many of you are going to tell that it is worse where you live, but I live here and it is where I have to see the problems directly. And the problem is not a route, it is all. I could make complete lists of the problems and dangers I run into on a daily basis trying to get to work alive. Whenever I see the pope kiss the earth when he gets off a bus, I think he arrived in Tijuana and just got out of the cab.
Like today. At five in the morning I am walking through the dark streets of my neighborhood (because apparently people are allergic to light and the government does not want to invest in things that are harmful to people), my transport arrived and when I was opening the door, I noticed that each window was adorned with someone’s butt. When I looked inside I saw that, apart from being at the top of its seating capacity, it also had a lot of unseated people. The chauffeur told me very openly, «You can stand there if you want», Really? Do I have to stand? There was no way to hold on, so at the first stop I was going to fall with all my weight on people because they are not the best drivers in the world. I did not get on, but the funny thing is that I saw that the taxi boarded several people later.
There is plenty of room in the «calafias» that go to my mom’s house, but when you are lucky there are seats. Sometimes they just have a flipped plastic bucket for you to sit on, but yes, they fill the unit until people almost go out the windows, and the drivers usually bring an idiot friend that sits on the aisle so that they can chit chat with them.
Not to mention busses. I have struggled to get out of them because people are just squeezed together. And to top it all off, the driver goes around screaming for people to move back. And of course, there is always the lady who does not want to move, but most of the time there is no where to go. And they keep loading passengers even if they can’t even close the door.
It is beyond rudeness to be working all day long and that when you already grab the few energies you have left to go home and that you have to be standing on the hour-long journey, holding on to a pipe if you are lucky and shaking because the driver maneuvers as if he has to go to the bathroom. It even seems like a form of torture. The inquisition would be proud, is it perhaps the way the powerful reminds the people who is in charge?
And to top it off, it is very expensive! More than once the drivers want you to get off before your stop because they decide they do not want to go to your destination and they kick you off the transport, but they certainly reach out for you to pay them, a friend was charged after the driver crashed and she had to get out and walked while injured! The shamelessness is impressive.
I know that in Mexico we have a culture of «since there is no competition, you can deal with it,» but that is beyond abhorrent. It is inconceivable that such an important public service is so poor and shameless. It goes beyond the Mexican values that I know we have. They cannot have unions so blatant that they defend people who clearly shouldn’t be working with customers. Because when it is not convenient for them, unions do intervene and carry out transport strikes, and for as long as they are active, it is the average worked that is screwed.
And even if I don’t use public transport, when using my car they throw theirs at me like they are enraged. Apparently it is their world, we only live in it. Because calling State Transit and making a complaint is cause for ridicule from those who answer the phones. More than once I have called to report a dangerous subject driving in the streets only to receive an indifferent «oh yes» in response. Sometimes it makes me want to put my hand through the phone and give them a good shaking.
And who am I? The «important» people will ask. I am an annoyed user at the lack of professionalism of drivers. I am a customer fed up with the grime and brashness of using a unit with no seats or with broken ones that let the springs tear my clothes. I am a human being who deserves to be treated with dignity and with the respect I give because they are not doing me any favors, they are offering me a service, a bad one! I am a man who just wants to go to work and return home without fear of being killed with their little driving precaution. I am one of many who are tired of seeing how they make fun of us when we express our disagreements, I am everyone!
Perhaps so few people will join my dissatisfied voice and my complaints because it doesn’t affect them or they just don’t care, but I refuse to remain silent in the face of this injustice.
And you brothers, sisters, what do you think? Share… if you dare…
An angry Mostro.