BART Personas

I’m new to the bay area and new to using BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) as my primary means of transportation. I mostly get on the BART around 1000am. This spares me from having to cram into trains packed to their absolute max at 830am.

BART riding is great people watching. I’ve noticed that there’s a number of people prototypes that I see time and time again.

The regular dude who’s had between 2 and 4 beers.

He’s trying to hide it. You might catch him staring at the body parts of passengers, or wobbling just a little too much when the train starts moving. You’re most often to see them if you leave work a bit late on a Friday. I think a lot of folks cut out early for happy hour.

The family going to see a Giants game

They’ve lived in The Bay Area for a long time, but they rarely ride BART. You can tell that they’re sort of excited by the whole thing, but trying to play it cool because they don’t want to come off like tourists in their own city. The dad is trying to act like he knows the trains like the back of his hand, even though he hasn’t used BART consistently in 11 years.

The person in business casual clothing sitting at the BART stop waiting for a train that’s not too full.

These are people who hate their jobs and are bitter about their commute. They’ll sit and wait until a train comes that’s more comfortable. I think mostly so they can shorten their day by a half an hour and have an excuse. You’ll be able to separate them from the people who just aren’t in a rush by the hatred of life in their eyes and constaint angry muttering while they wait.

The person with a book that’s way too difficult to read on a fucking train.

I’m not sure if it’s about trying to look smart, or if they sincerely think they are going to successfully understand Atlas Shrugged or Ulysses while standing up with the book in one hand and using the other to try and not fall down every time the car accelerates.

The Alpha dog

This is a person who yells something like, “Hey Green Shirt, scooch in more. We've got a lot more people to get onboard”. I think these people often have just left a business meeting where they wished they’d have been more assertive.

The guy who’s had between 4 and 7 beers

You’ll most often be able to identify him when he whispers into your ear, “I’m just gonna piss right here, man"