“Dude, Close your legs!” (Public Transport New York)

ManspreadingI read an interesting article in the New York Times earlier this morning about ‘man spreading’. This activity involves men getting on board public transport, sit down with their legs spread, taking up more than one seat. The article raves about this problem in New York. I always thought Americans would be somewhat courteous and disciplined or at least… social.

We have a similar problem in The Netherlands, though. people taking up more than one seat. Not just with their legs, but also with coats, backpacks and other items. However, the problem does correct itself in The Netherlands as the trains get busier in rush hour. Dutch people are commonly very straightforward: “don’t piss me off, and I won’t piss you off, either”. If seating is limited, Dutch people start to ‘demand’ (in a polite, yet firm way) to free up the seats. I wonder what will happen if I’d bring this attitude to New York, though… for example to the Bronx.

I believe that the problem with public transport in New York has a whole different origin, though. Sure, people could be more social, but in the article I read that the number of passengers seem to go up steeply (moving up from just under 5.1 million passengers per day on the busiest day last year to more than 6 million this year). Obviously New York City is growing rapidly, but MTA is staying behind in that growth. Wouldn’t it be about time that public transport authorities start to address this? Those solutions can result into major projects, taking several years. In the meantime:

“Bro, there is a lady standing up right there. Cross your legs” … and …
“Dude It’s Rude… Two Seats — Really?” are my favorite quotes from the article.

Source: The New York Times