What the Beggar on Link Light Rail Means


Our train to the airport has no place to put luggage.
He's heading for a cruise and is basically clueless - just point out the baggage storage area.

Christ, this passive aggressive city. The beggar lady is just plain aggressive, so I guess that's progress.
I'm wondering when the begging in this city will reach such a critical mass that only people actually doing something will receive handouts, not just standing there looking somewhat forlorn, like in larger cities, or third-world countries: Simply asking is not enough, if you aren't doing something or actually injured, you get ignored.
Yeah, the problem really isn't the bald passenger with the luggage (he is probably not a regular user of public trans and doesn't know the rules). The problem is that Seattleites are so passive aggressive and would rather seethe in silence than just politely ask the guy to move his luggage so they could sit down.
Grow a pair Charles, be a man and....SAY SOEMTHING!!! Seriously, I'm glad this upsets you. You know why? This is YOUR fault for not saying anything.

Even in Seattle one never knows whether Mr Suitcase Owner is a paranoid psychotic adherent to the Second Amendment (chorus of angels sings). He might feel threatened when addressed in public. Bang!
What is wrong with you?

I can see at least three seats that are open in the picture. That is a perfectly reasonable place to leave his suitcase and if anyone wants to use the seats all they have to do is ask (or just move it slightly without asking.) Where exactly do you think he should leave his suitcase?

HE is not the one refusing to be social, YOU are. If you need to ask someone to do something you engage them in polite conversation, that's how adults do things. Snapping a pic and fuming silently is the most anti-social response. Why does he deserve punishment but not the beggar? (Answer: trick question, neither deserve punishment.)
I don't get the impression that Charles himself was in need of a seat, and therefore it wouldn't be his onus to make the request to Mr. suitcase-owner. However, previous commenter's points about others not making the effort is valid, despite @9's somewhat unlikely (albeit, unfortunately, not completely outside the realm of possibility) observation.

And yeah, for a transport service designed to take people to the airport, LINK is woefully short of stowage space for luggage...
What is it with you always taking pictures of complete strangers to post on the web? It's fucking creepy, considering that your posts are generally about them yet refuse to EVEN SAY HELLO.

Why is that so difficult for you?
"I need the government to tell people to move their bags because I am too afraid to do so myself"
@4, what "baggage storage area"? There isn't any on Link, and people going to/from the airport either put their bag on the empty seat next to them or clutter the aisle with it. They don't really fit under the seats, either.
#14, all Link rail cars have a luggage section, in the same spot bicycles go.
Sadly, the existence and location of such a section is besides the point. On Link, just as on all ST and Metro transit options, you are permitted to bring aboard only as much baggage as you can fit under your seat or in your lap. The luggage laden on Link are breaking the Sound Transit Code of Conduct, need to get off the light rail for the community's sake, and take the cab they are supposed to be taking with that much to carry.
If you can't follow the rules, then stop taking transit for the sake of the people who are. To do otherwise is to be a jackass.

The baggage areas are on either side of the middle area of the car with the sideways seats. But they're not available if bikes are hanging there, and either way they're inadequate.
I noticed in the picture that there is a seat behind the suitcase that has something on it that appears to be a blue duffle bag or knapsack. When this balding man got on maybe there was plenty of room, the seats in that area are folded up and were maybe unnoticed. Also there are many people who will ride standing, especially if they are only going a short distance; I do this myself sometimes.

Getting back to the blue bag on the seat; it would be nice to know just who was sitting there.
I think that Mr. Mudede chose to focus on the balding man because he was white and made the perfect target for his chagrin.
"Excuse me, sir - is this your bag? Yes? Great, I'm just going to move it for a second so I can sit down. Thanks!"

Yes, that is much more difficult than having someone from the government on the train to demand politeness at the end of a bayonet. Not to mention that I am sure such an "edict of politeness" would definitely be enforced even-handedly, and would not be used as an excuse to harass black and latino passengers disproportionately.
@15 Nope. There is no such regulation.


There is no prohibition stated in the CoC guidelines at all. And. What is says under civil penalties #6 is this:

"6. Bringing onto a transit passenger vehicle any package or other object which blocks an aisle or stairway or occupies a seat if to do so would, in the operator's sole discretion, cause a danger to, or displace, passengers or expected passengers."

As long as you're not blocking the aisle, or stairs or taking up another seat - your good. AND it id totally up to the driver.

Anyway. Besides just making shit up constantly you should at least realize not everybody can afford a cab.
Thanks Chuck. I'll let fare enforcement know that they have a beggar problem.

@20's response aside, your statement defies plain common-sense. Why would Sound Transit build a light-rail line connecting to the freaking AIRPORT, and THEN establish policies that limit the amount of baggage passengers can carry-on? Just to keep the taxi lobby happy?

Seriously, even someone with an IQ in the low double-digits could see the stupidity in that line of reasoning.
You guys understand that Charles' post wasn't really about a seat hog, right?

Read closer: He longs for mature beggar links. (Duh)
What no one has pointed out yet is that there's a sign directly above the three transverse seats (partially visible in the photo) that says something along the lines of "Please do not store luggage here". What there needs to be is a pictogram of a suitcase with a fat red X through it, right on the seats themselves.

When I ride LINK with a suitcase, I put it under my seat or in the designated luggage area. If I'm going to sit in the fold-down seats and there's a suitcase in the way, I don't stand there asking the whole train whose suitcase it is - I put it on its side and fold the seat down over it. The luggage owner often retrieves it immediately and will probably not leave their bag unattended next time.
Sad to see our new transportation infrastructure already has beggers invading it. It's a short jump from beggars to the kinds of thugs that Bernard Geotz heroically dealt with. Get ready.
@15: It would be helpful if you posted ALL of your made-up bullshit rules on all the Link trains. Because we certainly want to discourage people from using public transportation. Thank you.
I'm amazed those beggars would pay the link fare like good public transit users and then leave so quickly. That doesn't seem like a very efficient use of public transit at all.
Another Mudede piece I didn't bother finishing. If a suitcase is in my way, I just move it. It's not a topic for 900 words of blather.
#22, clever shot aside, it would only take someone with a double digit IQ to realize the law predates the light rail line. It is a generic ST Code of Conduct regulation. There are few policies unique to the light rail system.

Th operator's discretion is a catch-all category, designed to expressly permit the driver to demand passengers move their baggage. It is not designed as an example of the limitation itself. It is essentially the exact same regulation that Metro transit has. This is nothing new, exciting, or revelatory.

Try research instead of invective. It might get one farther in life.
Public transportation exists to move large groups of people efficiently. For the system to work properly, everyone needs to behave efficiently. It is not a system that is comfortable. Taking up a seat or two with your own baggage prevents the system from working properly. Treating the bus or train like your living room, as Charles said, is selfish and a civic nuisance akin to littering or using the sidewalk as your toilet. The burden of preventing nuisances like littering and seat-hogging is on the individual; but, a law against such nuisances helps the individual remember that their behavior is socially unacceptable.

Whenever I see someone take up a seat with their bag - or block the rear exit door, or manspread, or cut in line while boarding - I wonder what's wrong with them. Why do they think their comfort on the bus comes before everyone else's?