If you live in a big city, you may have a public transit system at your disposal. It can be convenient, but can also be time-consuming, hectic and just downright awful. However you start to see the same types of people every day on your commute.

1. Bag Betty. This can be a woman (or man) of any walk of life, who just has TOO MANY BAGS. A large purse, a backpack, a duffel bag, maybe a plastic bag with a second pair of shoes. Taking public transportation means you don’t have the convenience of leaving your gym bag in your car for later. BETTY MUST CARRY ALL OF HER ITEMS. This can be especially annoying if it is a crowded train or bus and you are smushed against Betty’s large backpack with a briefcase swinging at your leg.

2. PDA Peter and Polly. This is the couple who thinks PDA is appropriate on the subway. Hint: it’s not. Wait the three or four stops and the few blocks you have to walk home to start kissing.


3. Pay-with-cash Priscilla. Priscilla may be a tourist or left her ticket/card at home. She holds up the line by having to put her cash in the machine. Everyone groans; the train is now a few minutes behind schedule.

4. The Giggle Group. This is the group of girls, usually around 16 or 17, that saves their gossip for the bus. Everything is hysterically funny, and you now know who called the teacher “Mom” and who came back from the bathroom with toilet paper hanging on the back of their pants, because the giggle girls do not know indoor and outdoor voices.


5. Smelly Scott. You might not be able to identify who Smelly Scott is by looks, but you can identify him by smell. Sometimes Smelly Scott looks like he will be a Smelly Scott. Sometimes he will not. Sometimes it’s so bad you need to move your seat or get off the train ASAP.


6. Drunk Danielle. The Drunk Danielle will be in a Forever 21 dress or similar outfit, with a Coke bottle that’s clearly not just Coke in her hand, acting as her name states, drunk. Drunk Danielles start appearing around 9 p.m. on Thursdays.

7. Tourist Terry and Tommy (and children.) This is the family, all dressed in Red Sox/Yankees/etc gear, on non-game day. Terry and Tommy will do frequent headcounts to make sure their kids are all still there, and will remind the kiddies at each stop how many stops are left. They exit the train in a single-file-hand-holding fashion.


8. I Need My Coffee Irene. This is the woman (or man) with a sourpuss face, grumbling to herself on the morning commute. IRENE NEEDS HER COFFEE STEP OUT OF THE WAY.

9. Crazy and/or Creepy Charlie. Charlie will sit in the seat next to you even if the entire train is empty. He may have a strange item or items. In my own experience, a Crazy Charlie I came across once was wearing a Viking hat and carrying a Chihuahua in a Christmas gift bag. WHAT.


10. Melanie the Mom or Becky the Babysitter. This poor woman has a child or children in tow, sometimes in a stroller, sometimes not. Hopefully Melanie and Becky only have to go a few stops. Kids either love or hate public transit.

11. Headphones Hannah. Hannah is jammin’ to her iPhone without a care in the world.


12. “Have My Seat” Harold. The true hero on the bus. You are standing, worried you will never sit down, and Harold offers you his seat. Thank you, Harold.

13. Contagious Cathy. Cathy is sick. She is sneezing. She is coughing. She is turning the train car into a germ capsule. Take a bath in hand sanitizer when you get to your stop after being within 100 feet of Cathy.

14. Selfie Sarah. Sarah abuses her front-facing camera and snapchats her way through her commute. There’s no stopping this duck face. The only viable option is to photobomb.



Liz Witter is a 2011 graduate of St. Bonaventure University where she majored in broadcast journalism with a (useless) minor in French. She is originally from Rochester, NY but moved to Boston for a job...then another job. She spends her free time sleeping, going to Sephora or doing crafts. She plays volleyball recreationally and refuses to believe she peaked in high school. She’ll take Tim Hortons over Dunkin, and Wegmans over basically anything. You can follow her on Twitter at @lwitta6.

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