We moved apartments last month, away from one that was great apart from its location on the very eastern edge of town to one more in the middle of things. Our new apartment is close enough to a train station for me to take the train to work now, which I've appreciated. Since I work part-time, I leave at 2 PM and can usually get a seat on the train with no problem for the ride home. Going to work, though, is another story.
The trains are packed full at peak times. Packed. As in, some days I can't even get close enough to a bar to hang onto because of all the people in the way. The evenings are worse than the mornings, I discovered last week, but the mornings are pretty bad (and look to get worse now that schools and universities are back in session).
|This was a little field trip we took with our interns from|
work last summer. Middle of the day, many seats filled,
bike racks occupied even before we got on
(at the second stop on the line!).
But it took a while to build up to this. When I first moved to Austin in 2010, the train had been operational for about four months and the great joke going around was that the train cost millions of dollars and three people were riding it.
Apparently, that notion took hold and refuses to die, despite standing-room-only trains for most of the day. Just this week, a visitor to the office told me, "You know, I've never seen anybody on that train." He said this minutes after I had pried myself out of the crowd to get off the train and head to the office.
I told him, "You must not be looking at it right." He was kind enough to believe, after I described my daily ride, that the train is indeed full for most routes of the day.
It's funny to me how long people can hang on to something that we heard once. It seems obvious enough to me that train ridership would increase gradually over time, and I'm not surprised to hear that there weren't thousands of people crowding all the platforms the day the train began service. But that's changed now (okay, we're still not up to thousands-- the train doesn't have that much capacity), so maybe after a couple more years I'll stop hearing about how there's "nobody" riding the trains.
Or maybe not. Texans do love their traditions, after all.
Are there any pithy but untrue statements that you hear a lot? Or is there an idea you're hanging on to that you may need to let go of?