After a fare hike earlier this year, isn't it time we started asking Caltrain for a few perks in exchange for the privilege of commuting from San Francisco down the peninsula? A list of demands:
• Fire the frustrated drivetime-FM DJ-turned-conductor who insists on shouting out the stops in what he no doubt considers a hilariously wacky manner: "Burrrrrlingaaame!" Save your genius for open-mike night.
• Ban the energetic talkers who board at Palo Alto. Yes, we know that getting a Ph.D. at Stanford is fascinating and your life knows no bounds. Now shut the fuck up.
• Remove the strategically placed overhead luggage racks in the bombardier cars so commuters don't get a complimentary grade III concussion with every trip.
• Install a special car with extra exhaust for huffers, stoners, and Phish fans.
• Figure out a way to remove the graffiti scratched into the windows. Staring at "DJ POOP TRAP" all the way home is losing its appeal.
• While you're at it, clean the seats once in a while. The Rorschach-like stains are starting to reveal too much about my inner demons. I'll pay for my therapy, thank you.
• Punish commuters who run toward the station when a train won't arrive for 10 minutes, causing you to panic and needlessly sprint to the platform right behind them.
• Provide a hazmat suit for anyone desperate enough to actually use the bathrooms. Or at least pass out little plastic baggies to put over your shoes.
• Is it really necessary to let teenagers ride Caltrain? The sight of weary, middle-aged commuters doped up on exhaust and desperately trying to avoid using the bathroom has to be soul-crushing for them.