Amongst all the things that could go wrong in the public transport because of the shameful managing they do, who would think about temperature?
If we thought about weak points of the public transport, we would think about: frequency, punctuality, price, vehicle’s condition, customer service, information… Who would think that the air conditioning would sometimes be the worst issue?
Nice weather is back in southern Europe — or northern Africa as northern Europeans would say —, people wear T-shirts and some of them are still hot or even sweaty. Hot as it is, you get on the train or the bus and the air conditioning make it ten degrees lower than outside. You’ve obviously left your fur coat and you freeze. And if you were sweaty, you freeze square. Everyone gets a cold there.
In the underground it’s even worse. They throw all the heat from the trains into the tunnels and the platform and it goes up the corridors. So, it’s hot outside and when you go down the stairs it gets ten degrees hotter — the degrees they extracted from the train. You feel close to death. But when you get on the train, temperature falls by twenty degrees — the extra ten on the platform and the missing ten in the train. You actually die.
And this doesn’t only happen when the weather is nice; there’s the inverted version in winter. We go into the streets with our long-sleeves T-shirt, shirt, jumper, fur coat, scarf and wool hat and get on the Icelandic volcano. We start sweating — everyone — and it’s no use taking some clothes off because we also feel hot with them on our laps.
I know they won’t ever realise that a temperature difference greater than five degrees is bad for our health. Two degrees are enough to feel relieved. They could think about the environment, about the energy they use and the heat they sent to the streets. Or even simpler; they could notice that the bill rises exponentially with every degree. Whatever happened to common sense?