Wheels do not a shopping cart make
I saw the saddest thing on the train to Gresham this morning. I caught the MAX at the Hollywood Transit Center, as usual. It came at about 9:30. I forget which stop it was -- maybe as far up as 182nd or so -- when the loudspeaker comes on and the voice of the driver, a woman, booms out: "The lady trying to get on with the shopping cart? Shopping carts are NOT ALLOWED on the MAX. You may NOT come aboard with a shopping cart!"
I pictured one of those homeless people trying to bring their huge, overloaded, steel grocery-store cart onto the train, and I thought, wow, someone is actually trying to do that. I always wondered if they ever tried to get on, and what would happen, and now I know.
I looked down the platform till finally I saw a woman get off with..... a cart, yes. But hardly what you would call a shopping cart. She pulled behind her a nylon net pull cart, the kind you might take with you on a walking trip to the grocery store. She looked like she's been on the planet for about fifty five years, and not the easy kind of years.
Good Grief, Trimet!! Get your rules down! It reminded me of the bus drivers not letting me onto the buses with my "bike." For crying out loud, that is obviously NOT what is meant by "shopping cart." Clearly this was a new driver, who'd remembered reading "no shopping carts" somewhere in the rule book and didn't think it through. People get onto those trains every day with suitcases and strollers the size of her pull cart, and bigger.
I really felt for that woman. She was only trying to go to the store -- using the public transportation, like we're always trying to get people to do, right? Except that she probably wasn't using it to be noble, but because she didn't own a car. The cart was empty (you could see through the netting) and she could've collapsed it down flat, but she was too tired, and probably too embarrassed at having been made into a public spectacle, to do anything but trudge away, looking downcast. I hope she tried again and had better luck with the following driver. Anyway I'm going to give Trimet a call in her behalf, because she seemed much too trodden down to even think she had a right to complain.