John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.
Think your commute stinks? At least there's not a freezing microclimate happening inside your public-transit system.
Sure, your commute may be a drag. Throngs of people who to seem to be built only out of sharp elbows, endless rush-hour delays, weird smells in the tunnels – dozens of things wrong with mass transit can add up to a seriously unpleasant day.
But you know what? At least it's not snowing inside the damn subway car, as is apparently the case in Ukraine's capital.
This wintery video, purportedly shot aboard the Kiev Metro, shows a unique weather phenomenon happening aboard one train carriage. Drifts of snowflakes (technically snow flurries) gently fall from the ceiling, coating the seats with a pretty dusting of powder. One kid embraces the snowfall with glee, playfully wiping away the traces with his mittens. But most of the car's occupants sit in stony silence inside their rocking snow globe. As one 'net commenter put it: "The guys across from the cameraman are like 'I can't wait to get home so I can commit suicide.'"
What on earth is causing this public-transit microenvironment? The uploader of the footage asserts that it's probably snow being sucked in through the ventilation system. If that's true, the metro's maintenance workers really should install better air filters.
This isn't the first instance of winter weather invading a passenger train this year, interestingly enough. Perhaps you've seen the "Throne of the Snow Queen" that is this incredible rime-encrusted railway toilet in Poland?