GUELPH POLITICAST #86 – C.J. Smith, This Crazy Train

Surely, you’ve gotten on a train or a bus and been aghast at the bad behaviour of some of the people you were riding with: muddy feet on the seats, somebody crowding the entrance or exit, using empty seats as bag racks… People can be rude, but that doesn’t mean you have to put up with it, right? That’s what C.J. Smith thought in 2010 when she started “This Crazy Train”. 

Now Guelphites know that if they want somewhere to learn more about public transit, the changes and the critiques, then this is the place you want to be. Admittedly, it’s hard in Guelph at times to find people who are passionate about transit, and do little more than grin and bear the problems and the issues as we struggle to get where we’re going on a daily basis. But there are a few, a happy few, that see public transit as a preferred method of transportation, and want to do their part to make it better.

And that’s C.J. Smith. She started “This Crazy Train” as a way of highlighting the rudeness and the indignity she saw on her daily commute on the GO Train to Toronto. In the era right before social media, and with really no where else to vent, “This Crazy Train” is an oasis of sanity in a world of bad manners. At least that’s how I’ve found “This Crazy Train” over the years. It’s hard to confront people in real life, but on “This Crazy Train”, you can give the gift of shame. It only occasionally works, but that’s not the point.

Smith has long been on my guest list for the podcast, and she was eager to appear when I finally extended the invitation. So this week on the show we talk about the origins of “This Crazy Train”, the ways she defined some of the usual suspects she still encounters on her commute, and whether or not those people do more harm than good by dissuading others to get on public transit too. We may not solve the mysteries of transit life, but I think we had an excellent conversation, and it’s always talk to someone and nerd out over public transit use.

So whether or not you are on some crazy train or bus right now, sit back, relax, and listen all about it on this week’s Guelph Politicast.

If you want to check out the latest of what’s going on with “This Crazy Train”, you can do so by visiting the blog here, and you can point out the bad behaviour of GO Train users by trading tweets with “This Crazy Train” here.

The theme music for the Guelph Politicast is from the KPM Klassics collection by Syd Dale.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here.

Remember that the Politicast Podbean channel is also the host for podcast versions of Open Sources Guelph. The previous Thursday’s episode of Open Sources will be posted on Mondays.

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