"Cheers" on a train: What's the deal with Maryland Commuter Rail?
July 19, 2016 4:27 PM Subscribe
I recently began taking Maryland's MARC commuter rail to and from work (Rockville-DC), and I'm noticing something I've never observed before in my years as a commuter. It seems that a lot (really, a very high percentage) of these passengers have come to know one another, and have formed little communities throughout the rail cars. From what I can gather, these people don't work together, and few if any of them socialize outside of their daily commute, but they are simply thrilled to see one another every day, and they swap stories, jokes, and affectionate barbs with one another in a way that reminds me of nothing so much as a cadre of barflies who've been regulars at the same watering hole for years (today, actually, several passengers passed around a bottle of wine). I hadn't taken regional commuter rail until recently; my commuting experiences have been limited to bus and city subway systems. At any rate, I HAVE SOME QUESTIONS!
- Regional commuter rail riders: Is this a thing on other commuter rail systems? Have you seen it? Are you part of a cohort like this? How did it start? Do you ever hang out outside of your commute?
- MARC riders specifically: I'm not wrong, am I? This is a thing? Is it a thing on other MARC lines other than the Brunswick line?
- Everyone else: I am generally fascinated by this dynamic, and would love to read/watch anything I can get my hands on about "communities of commuters": books, articles, essays, local TV segments, podcasts, you name it. I don't know if this is a "thing" that has been written about all that much, but I'd love to know more about it.