Prior to the pandemic, an estimated 34 million times each weekday, people boarded public transportation. In 2019 alone, Americans took 9.9 billion trips on public transportation, according to the APTA. The numbers speak for themselves, making commuting a quintessential part of our pre-Covid lives.

But what makes being crammed into a tiny space with more strangers that you could count a one-of-a-kind experience is the sense of the unexpected. The colors, smells, glances, murmurs, the sounds of clearing one’s throat, it has it all. The good, the bad, and the weird.

So, when James Felton, a comedy writer with 278.5K followers on Twitter, asked people “What’s the weirdest thing you saw on your commute?” it just seemed natural that everyone would have a lot to share in that department.

Let’s see what happens behind the sweaty doors of our urban rapid systems where the things you see stay with you for all time.

Image credits: JimMFelton

Bored Panda reached out to James Felton, the man behind this Twitter thread, comedy writer, and the author of the book “52 Times Britain was a Bellend.” James’s question “What’s the weirdest thing you saw on your commute?” got 9k likes, but with James’s 278.5K-strong Twitter audience, this is not something out of the ordinary.

When asked how James got the idea to ask his followers about the weirdest things that happened to them while commuting, he recounted an incident which got him thinking if it was only him feeling weirded out on the train. 

“I was just thinking about how weird it was that I used to commute every day, happily sat in the luggage rack like a bag, when I remembered that a guy brought out a potato from his briefcase (no foil, just loose) and began crunching away like it was a fine pear, and wondered if anybody had similar tales.”

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FishBigThe Report

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SirMustard Report

The comedy writer believes that many people found the question so relatable since “I’m pretty sure everyone who commutes has a story like this (or far weirder), it’s just what happens when you cram half of humanity into a tin two times a day, five days a week.”

Public transport being a perfect place for the weird and the weirder things of the world to occur is no secret to anyone. The question “Why are there always weird people on the bus?” was recently posed on Quora, where people shared their insights on the matter.

According to Rob Davis, retired bus supervisor, it may come down to the fact that public transport bears a “concentration of those whose situation keeps them from owning a car,” which suggests that people from all walks of life come together under this one big moving roof.

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Mogsy67 Report

TheGirlWithTheZen
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I can just visualize the entire compartment listening with horrified fascination - Don't really want to know, but cant bear to stop listening & get off at their stops. XD

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AlexTheGeordie Report

On the other hand, there’s a lot of stigma on people who travel in the US by public transport. It’s not a secret that some commuters are labeled “weirdos” because of their distinctive looks, odd behaviors etc. However, as long as nobody does any harm and abides by the public rules, no one, especially those who’re most vulnerable, deserves to be looked down upon.

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pearson_cathy Report

N G
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

LVL 999 - spot who's missing their leg

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CapelYGraig Report

Ani Archeron
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Confused vampire makes first attempt at modern transportation

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HPSaucey44 Report

Tracy Costa
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

No matter how hard I try, I will never achieve that level of eccentricity.

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But commuting as we knew it before is likely to change after the pandemic is over. Many people are now opting for healthier and safer alternatives like bikes. In fact, the decrease in public transport has made the air quality around the world way better, and with bikes staying as a popular commute alternative, the chances are, the cleaner air will partly remain this way.

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Ellie_Outside_ Report

Phendrena
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Dog farts are bad enough, but with added Egg niff. Nasty nasty whiff.

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TheAntiMidas_ Report

TheGirlFromTheNorth
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This kind of reminds me when me and a friend visited London, took the train on sunday night to go for dinner, around 6.30pm. The guy next to us, full suit and briefcase, pulled out a tiny notebook, draw an airplane and then put the notebook back in the briefcase. Thought that was a little odd but didn't think about it more until the next evening. We were going back to Sweden and was in the check-in at the airport, when the lady behind the desk said we weren't booked on that flight (the flight was leaving 6.30pm). Couldn't understand why, so frantically browsing our ticket just to find out WE BOOKED OURSELVES ON THE EXACT same time but the DAY BEFORE!!! THE TIME THE GUY ON THE METRO DRAW AN AIRPLANE OUT OF NOWHERE!!!! For some reason we'd booked our hotel for the correct amount of days, but messed up the flightbooking. Still gives me the shivers...

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TomWaite99 Report

Commuting has also been affected by the newly established work from home model. As the previous stigma against it has disappeared during the pandemic, it’s now expected that many remote workers will intend to work from home even after the pandemic is over.

This will immensely impact public transportation, and according to Moshe Lander, an economist at Concordia University, we are going to see major shifts. “It’s going to have broader implications for urban planning and for residential and commercial design as well,” she commented.

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oliviaRowley17 Report

James016
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Someone I know brought his house phone to the pub once. He was rightly mocked mercilessly for it.

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dtmooreeditor Report

Teucer T
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

How can you get mad at Terry Pratchett? Oh, wait... He wasn't an MP, was he?

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linzjk Report

Hugh Cookson
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Been there done that - once, working as a hotel manager in a v posh hotel that was hosting a society wedding this particular day - lived 30 minutes away and was late, rushed out of the door in my morning suit and Sandals ...... thankfully, someone found a pair of shoes that fitted.

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PaulLomax Report

Lauren Caswell
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I wanted to wedge a cheesy pun in here, I couldn't let it brie

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#26

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Jay8ee Report

ADHORTATOR
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

an apple a day keeps the doctor away...for the rest, she got the knife

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#27

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N4CeeJayUU Report

Lily Mae Kitty
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm confused b/c it's Energizer that has the bunny not duracell.

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#28

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speyquine Report

ADHORTATOR
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Don' t mess with the Polish, especially polish women

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boyleastlikely Report

Jayne Kyra
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Seaside rock - type of hardy candy, usually minty.

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The_Shiznit Report

CrEaTiVe_duck
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

this is a type of convesation i would have with my friend

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SimonBruni Report

Wistre Vist
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

for those of you too lazy to google, gilipollas basically means douchebag/idiot/asshole in Spanish! :)

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mazRg Report

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#44

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judith_potts Report

Julia Atkinson
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I was on a bus when the driver got out, picked up a bagful of fallen apples in a field, got back on and said "Sorry about that, my friend has a horse"

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Bill
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Can I get an English to English translation on that last part?

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Note: this post originally had 85 images. It’s been shortened to the top 45 images based on user votes.