The Vermont Santa Monica stop is no stranger to episodes of violence. In January, a man was killed after being stabbed, and just three weeks later; a man was treated for injuries after allegedly leaping in front of an incoming train on the Red Line.
Public transportation can be the site of both sketchy situations and sketchy people. Buses and trains usually make for interesting rides – after all, public transportation has been known to attract vibrant characters for a long time.
Angel Chavarin, media studies, who describes himself as one of the interesting characters on the bus with his gothic flare, said he often has strange experiences on the bus.
“I experience crazy people three out of five times I take public transportation,” Chavarin said, opting to just “mind his own business.”
“I saw a guy on the bus just screaming (for no reason) one time,” said Chavarin.
And while just giving the cold shoulder to the suspicious and the mysterious is just one remedy to make the train ride tolerable, for others, action needs to be taken.
Such is the case for Cassidy Barka, undecided, who takes the bus to and from school. She says she has concerns about her safety. “There are passengers who threaten everyone,” Barka said. “I think the bus drivers should observe how passengers interact.”
“If it gets to a point of a safety issue, like this guy who was on the bus yelling for 30 minutes, they should be removed,” she added.
Mackenzie Delgado, broadcasting, carries mace with her and refuses to take the Red Line or Gold Line trains to Los Angeles because she says the riders are “sketchy.” Her alternative route to Los Angeles involves taking the bus instead.
“I was harassed by a man,” Delgado said of her experience on the train. “He was singing a Drake song and touching women. Finally an older woman told him to leave [the women] alone.”
Yet despite traumatic experiences, some students are simply bound to public transportation. Whether it is because high gas prices or the lack of a car, sometimes overlooking the potential dangers of riding the bus is what needs to be done. Matt Lopez, psychology, owns his own car but doesn’t like taking it to school because of the cost of gas. Yet despite his weird encounter on the train at the age of 15, he still rides.
According to Lopez, a man was sleeping in the corner of two seats with his backpack wide open. Another man, with t-shirts wrapped around the top and bottom of his face, paced back and forth before sitting next to the sleeping man and snatching his wallet out of his open backpack. Lopez witnessed the whole thing but wasn’t quite sure of what to do.
“I didn’t want to go against him, I was just a kid,” said Lopez. “He stood up with the wallet and got off at the next stop.”
Despite their scary experiences, some students are simply bound to public transportation. Sometimes overlooking the potential dangers of riding the bus is what needs to be done to get from point A to point B.