John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
"TransportBuzz" channels collective anger over train delays, backward-facing seats, and really sneezy passengers.
How are people feeling around London's Euston station? Not great: "Some bint walks into me in Oxford Street then comes back and stops me saying I pushed into her!?" says one of the aggrieved. "Shoulda flung her in front a bus."
Complains another: "Dirty Middle Aged Train Perv Alert at 12 o'clock! Arghh he keep touching my knees with his knees - vom...."
"So the tube isn't running to Brixton because someone jumped on the track so we have to get a bus," says a third. "I officially hate London so much."
Similar expressions of rage, disgust, and frustration are all on exhibit at TransportBuzz, a demo mapping service that channels the collective emotions of British and Irish commuters. (Hat tip to Google Maps Mania for finding it.) The code cobblers behind the project, who work at Transport API, are sourcing peevish outpourings from Twitter and plotting them geographically in five different neighborhoods in London, Dublin, Glasgow, and elsewhere. Refresh the page to get a different 'hood and a different flavor of commuter bile.
To access other places, you have to pay a fee to Transport API. And why do that? The originators of the service believe it will be "useful for anyone wanting to understand public opinion of different modes of transport, including local councils, bus and rail operating companies, and user groups."
But there's plenty of schadenfreude to be mined from the demo versions. Here are a few of the more scintillating spasms of grief that I found (warning: profanity ahead):
Images from TransportBuzz