Imagine Rush Hour Trains With No Seats

Sounds far fetched & fantasy like right? If you answered yes, you answered incorrectly. The big news over the weekend in the world of local transportation was the MTA’s plan to eliminate seats in 4 out of 10 cars on a train as part of a pilot program. Pete Donohue of the New York Daily News has the story:

It will be standing room only – literally – when NYC Transit runs some subway cars without any seats, hoping to squeeze more riders inside.

The agency is planning a pilot program featuring a train with flipup seats in four of 10 cars.

The flipup seats will be locked in the up position during rush hours, meaning everyone inside the car will have to stand, the Daily News has learned.

“Each car will be able to carry more people,” NYC Transit President Howard Roberts said of the no-sitting strategy. “It means more capacity. It gives the ability to pick up more people, and have fewer people left on the platform waiting for the next train.”

After rush hours, workers will unlock the flipup seats for riders to use, Roberts said.

Click here to read the full story.

This is a ridiculous idea which causes more harm than good. On paper it sounds nice to approximately squeeze in up to 18% more riders on a single train. However realistically do you think this number will even be reached. We already know how protective straphangers are with any little space they have. Do you really think they will welcome even more people into an already packed subway car? I don’t think so. A plan like this will only lead to more delays as people try desperately to squeeze into the train.

Just think for a moment how most straphangers already sit on top of one another when seats are available. Take this away & all they will do is stand on top of each other. How is this supposed to be a good idea again? We can also factor in people wanting to bring in more packages or strollers fully open as they think extra space is there for the taking. Once again this does not improve our riding experience, it makes it even worse.

What is comical is how you know there will be riders defending this idea as being great. I ask them what about the elderly or disable who ride. How is this not a safety hazard for them? What about the people who get on at or around the beginning of the line? I guess for those who don’t have that luxury, they could care less as they usually have to stand. I’m sure we’ll have your typical selfish riders who are thrilled at others being inconvenienced. I am not surprised at this as for too long people who are fortunate to board at prime stops for seating are looked down as if they are wrong for having seats. I’m sure somewhere I’ll hear or read how this should benefit more riders & is more important the so called “need for seats” for others. Save it….

The real issue here is once again our transit infrastructure is to blame for such ridiculous ideas as this being implemented. If we did not have to deal with an aging signal system, more trains could be run to help deal with the already crowded subway. Instead of putting all their attention on what they should, we as riders have to put up with idiotic stop-gap measures. Plugging a hole in a pipe with a piece of gum is never a good idea as eventually you will have to do what you needed to do all along, change the pipe.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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