Thursday, April 03, 2008

Copenhagen Metro

Here it is - finally - my Copenhagen Metro semi-rant. I've down-graded it from full rant to semi, because well, its more the human behavior that bugs me rather than the actual metro system (which is quite efficient and easy to use). The above picture is the entrance hall of my neighborhood Metro station (and yes in Copenhagen they call it the metro).

Copenhagen's metro system is relatively new, with just two lines. Prior to the metro, the best way to get around were the S-trains. The S-trains are still heavily used, just not as much for inner-city travel.

This is the name of my metro station stop. Its pronounced (Kon * gaens New *tor), which means "Kings Square." Because this stop is in the really posh part of town, the station is quite nice. They have an entrance to the big department store right from this stop. Also this stop is where we get a lot of advertisers and attention, for example a few weeks ago this coffee company came in and papered the place with ads and than they build this mini-lounge (complete with carpet and leather chairs) on the platform and gave away free coffee. This week Coke has come in and also papered the place, but instead of free Coke, they've put up this big film screen on one of the walls and are running a cute Coke mini-movie ad.

This picture shows you what the actual metro cars look like. See those posts with yellow tops, those are where you would click or date stamp your card if you don't have a monthly pass (I invested in a monthly pass, made more sense and cheaper). Its very easy to cheat on the metro, since there are no gates barring you from getting on, the whole thing works on honesty. But woe to the person who gets caught by the metro police (who come in from time to time to check everyone has a ticket), NOTHING - no excuse in the book will work, you WILL get a 600 kroner fine (which is roughly $120).

This metro runs electronically, no driver, which is great and I'm totally spoiled because if you miss a train, the next one comes within 3 to 4 minutes (unlike DC where you could wait up to 15 minutes!). The reason I say there is a bit of a rant here is that people riding the metro can be so rude! For example:
  1. When the train comes you have like a minute to get in the car, and people will crowd the door and than take forever to get in, like strolling. Jeez, dude move!
  2. Ladies with their baby prams can be massively annoying, they will take up like half of a car and just could car less about you trying to get on or off.
  3. On the escalators, people will stand on both sides and rarely move, so you can't run to catch a train.
  4. The other big thing that bugs the hell out of me, people do not yield seats, they can see you're laden down with a ton of stuff but they could care less.
  5. My favorite incident - some family had two suitcases that they placed in front of two chairs and than sat in four more chairs, thereby taking up six chairs, rather than sitting with their suitcases.

Overall I like the Copenhagen Metro system, it makes my life easy but it seems no matter where you go in the world, the behavior of the riders is universal in the bad habits. If only I could ride the Metro alone, it would be much better : )


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I"ve seen that kind of failure to yield behavior all over. I think people just get lost in their own little worlds.

5:53 AM  
Blogger my mind wanders said...

Yeah, it's good to know it isn't just in the US. :-)

10:13 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Was there a soldier sleeping next to you?

Do you remember every single word I said?


7:38 PM  
Blogger Virginia Gal said...

Citizen - yes I agree on the metro people are seemingly lost in their own worlds.

My Mind Wonders - it is a universal behavior for sure!

Tony - Love ya babe, but I'm confused, a solider sleeping next to this some movie quote and I don't get it??

5:42 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

It was a lame reference to that song. The Metro, by Berlin.


Never mind.

8:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much is a monthly metro pass anyway?

3:18 AM  

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