I, like countless other people living, working, and studying in the capital, use the Luas fairly regularly. Cheap, reliable, and convenient, the light rail service is invaluable for many commuters. However, use the Luas for any length of time and you can’t help but notice certain recurring stereotypes in your fellow passengers; some disruptive, most a mere nuisance, and a few that can even be entertaining.
Here are some of the culprits:
Invariably young and male, the Fare-dodger is usually a college fresher, (newly relocated from the country and released into the big smoke) attempting to travel to his destination without the advantage of a ticket. Instantly recognisable by his rucksack and head-on-a-swivel body language, the Fare-dodger’s natural enemy is the ticket-inspector. While definitely not the only passenger without a valid ticket, he will be by far the most obvious offender.
While there is nothing wrong with engaging other passengers in conversation, The Talker has no interest in conversing and only wishes to inflict their opinion on as many of their fellow travellers as humanly possible. Aggressively-mannered and seemingly oblivious to personal space, The Talker may pick one individual to educate, or (just as likely) decide to inflict their views on the whole tram.
Obviously in a great hurry to get somewhere very important, and do equally important things when he gets there, The Busy Man can be distinguished from other well-dressed commuters by how he enters and exits the Luas. Strategically positioning himself to be directly in front of the door when the tram stops, he clears disembarking passengers in the same manner as Paul O’Connell clearing rucks. Arriving at his destination bouncing on the balls of his feet, Usain Bolt would be jealous of this man’s take-offs as he slips through the smallest possible opening of the doors and disappears into the hustle and bustle of his busy life.
The whole mood on the Luas changes when these individuals enter. Always intoxicated and usually nursing a can of Druids, these pillars of their communities seem unaware that they are actually on public transport. Domestic disputes, personal histories, and *ahem* pharmaceutical discussions are all fair game, while the rest of the passengers are left awkwardly trying not to make eye contact. Universally clad in worn tracksuits (blood and/or vomit optional), if you don’t see them coming don’t worry, it won’t take too long for them to announce themselves (loudly).
We’ve all been there, rush-hour in the city centre, packed carriages becoming more and more claustrophobic with every stop, until eventually there is simply no room left. That’s when this particular pest will surface, just to make everyone’s journey even more enjoyable. While most people will see the lack of available space and decide to wait for another Luas, Room-for-a-Small-One has no time for that nonsense and is adamant on embarking, regardless of what passengers already on board think. If The Busy Man is reminiscent of Paul O’Connell, this commuter is more in the Cian Healy-mould, putting the head down and driving forward, scattering fellow travellers and making sardines of those ahead of them.