This has been cooking in the back of my mind for so long, I could already smell it burning. I am sure everyday commuters may have noticed this as well. Public utility drivers have this warped sense of logic when it comes to the subject concerning space. Not outer space mind you, but the seating capacity sort of space in passenger vans and jeeps.
These driver/conductor Einsteins, to the dismay of many, always insist that if their vehicle seats eight people on each side, then it doesn’t matter what sizes the passengers are, all should squeeze and fit till eight!
The worst thing, whenever riding passengers point this out to them, there would always be that look of what-do-you-know on their faces, which smacks of irritation, and accompanied by a sneer or worst, a snarl. I have talked to a few drivers I know regarding this and their impression is the same, passengers are an entitled lot, while they, on the other hand, have to bear the brunt of oil price hikes, and strict traffic penalties among others. With this kind of weird reasoning, their victim card might as well be attached to their ID tags.
Not to get me wrong, I empathize with all drivers and I understand their plight. The thing lost in all these however is this, every rider is a paying passenger (and taxpayer), while theirs is supposed to be a duty, and a form of public service. As paying citizens, everyone deserves their money’s worth when it comes to seating comfort, right? It is not that they are doing us a favor when we ride them vehicles. We pay. Still, they persist, and it is always a repeated scene everytime one rides a public vehicle to go somewhere. In all fairness, the riding public should not be prey to their whims.
In this case, Doctor Albert’s theory of relativity has come down simply as this: everything is relative to the driver’s perspective. No matter what.
The case of tricycles is likewise a relativity theory of anarchic proportions. Here, it is often the drivers themselves who peg how much you should be paying, even though a regular fee, mandated by law, already exists. I have noticed that in other cities, it is much worse. As example, one fare rate of ten pesos in Davao City for a certain distance, would amount to three times over in places like General Santos. Aside from their logic, their math totally escapes me.
As a final point, the case of senior’s special rate or discount is another matter. I do not avail of these though, as I believe all hardworking drivers deserve all that are due them by law. However, the ‘entitled’ tag I earlier mentioned uttered by drivers also qualify that they too question and do not respect the discounted fare afforded senior citizens. I have even heard one say that old people are just too spoiled, and could afford the two or three peso discount given to them anyway. What’s two pesos nowadays, they quip.
When you are riding a jeep or van, and the driver casually talks about all these, it is best to never argue and be mum instead. Being no Einstein, there seems to be no point in arguing with their science and math. For one, I barely passed these subjects myself.
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