I take one of two buses to get home. When given a choice, I will wait for the double decker, but more often than not there is a 10 – 15 minute wait from one bus to the next. So I have to either wait in the cold, rain, sunshine and/or sleet or get on the first bus that will take me home.
When on the bus, if it is ideally the double decker then I will head upstairs or stay on the seats near the doors. If it is the singe decker bus then I will head towards the back of the bus. If I am lucky I will be able to fit my feet into the space allocated. If I am not, then I will either have to stick my knees out into the aisle, cringe and apologise as people have to do matrix like manoeuvres to get past my lower leg obstacles. Or if it is empty, I will be able to sit diagonally facing towards the window.
There is of course the third alternative which I have to employ when someone walks past, or simply when there is no other choice: that is to squash my poor knees into the space and have an uncomfortable journey and injured shin pads as a result.
Why? Because unlike other specially protected characteristics which have spaces on the bus just for them, height is not one of them.
You could argue that the bus companies cannot please everyone. Likewise you could suggest that people who are taller should pay more for better leg room?
To the second, nope, nada, never, be quiet. It is a bad idea. If they made tall people pay extra for boarding the bus, even though I am not a massive fan of protesting, I would lead the revolt.
To the first, they should consider that 95% of women are between 5’ and 5’11 and 94% of men are between 5’4 and 6’3, but the bus only caters for those 5’9 and below.
Now I am not suggesting that we have a badge and the rights that pregnant women should and sometimes do get. But what they should do is consider that there are people who are taller than majority of seat-leg space available. So on those buses that do have space enough for them they should be granted the right to ask someone who is clearly shorter to move to another seat.
I mean how often do you see fellow passengers grumble about getting up from the older people seats? I avoid them completely just because I don’t like being asked to move. But even on the odd times when I have sat down on them, I have jumped up when I have seen an older person getting on the bus. It is that simple.
At the end of the day.
There is never going to be a law which campaigns for the rights of tall people. And to be frank, though it would be interesting to see policies on clothes, shoes and to see people argue against the presumption of school teachers that tall means good at sports, I don’t think it is necessary.
So it means that without the support of the law it would take an act of kindness or a realisation that tall people use buses too. I really cannot see that it will cause any moral outrage on behalf of others and it would please those who need it.
Otherwise maybe all the tall people will start to take action and car pool into work. Strike with their feet. Have non tall people join them in sympathy to their cause. Let the action spread like fire to all other cities in the world. Watch as the protests rise. And see people from all sides of the world join in a collective chant saying: GIVE TALL PEOPLE PRIORITY SEATS ON SINGLE DECKER BUSES.
….And maybe it’s just a first world problem and I’m entirely exaggerating. But I do have a valid point.
And honestly, would it really be so hard to acquiesce to the idea?