Fainting from low blood sugar has caused too many delays
EC: A Portuguese Train Company Wants Passengers to Eat Breakfast So They Don't Faint
Credit: Photo by Paul Bradbury via Getty Images

Track fires, signal failures, and weather may be the most common reasons for train delays, but a Portuguese train company is blaming breakfast—rather, a lack of breakfast—for its failure to keep trains on schedule. Fertagus, which runs trains between Lisbon and Setúbal, reports that 46 fainting passengers have caused a combined 209 minutes of delays on 51 different trains. They’re blaming many of the fainting episodes on low blood sugar in people who skipped breakfast before their morning commutes. And because admonishments from their nutritionists, their moms, and Extra Crispy haven’t done enough to convince these passengers of the importance of breakfast, Fertagus is taking matters into its own hands with a campaign urging commuters to eat breakfast before they board the train.

The train company has posted signs in its 14 stations that read “Traveling without eating breakfast can affect everyone’s trip!” Discussing the fainting delays, Fertagus’s marking manager Raquel Santos told a Portuguese radio station, “Many times it is not possible to immediately remove the passenger from the train and this causes delays. Often the alarm is pulled and this causes circulation on the whole network to be delayed.”

To further drive the point home, train company employees will hand out apples and yogurt to customers next week. It doesn’t even have to be a good breakfast, you see. They just want the passengers to eat something. Fertagus’s final recommendation is that passengers should at least carry a bottle of water, if eating breakfast is out of the question, and remove themselves from the train if they start to feel a bit peaky.

Thanks to breakfast, Fertagus's 70,000 daily passengers will not only get to work on time, but will have more pleasant commutes overall. There's no way those passengers who skipped breakfast before weren't cranky. Remember, eat breakfast, people—for all our sakes.