New poll: Do dudes take up too much space on the train?

We just became aware of this interesting slice of the Internet: The “Men taking up too much space on the train” blog on Tumblr.

It’s a very simple blog: it’s a series of photos of men consuming one or more seats on trains. A few of the photos manage to be quite hilarious (if you’re into that sort of thing).

I couldn’t find any photos that were taken on Metro’s system — but wouldn’t be surprised if there are some on the blog roll. Is this a problem here? Take our poll!

Of course, the blog raises a whole other issue: when is it, if ever, okay to take photos that focus on individuals on trains and buses and post them on the Internet without their permission? I say this: Be polite and be artful. It’s probably best not to focus on any one person without their permission and instead take group shouts. Here are Metro’s photo guidelines.

One more PSA: Just a reminder that on the Metro system, it’s one seat per person. Kindly keep your feet (and other body parts) off other seats. If you have a lot of bags, please store them under your seat or use the open space reserved for strollers, luggage and bicycles (priority seating does not count). As more and more people hop on Metro trains and buses, we all have to do our part so everyone has room to ride.

17 replies

  1. I am catching men being subtle about their defensiveness here when they reply with the ‘regardless of gender’ deflect. This is not an issue of just bad manners, this is a gendered issue. We see men take up space particularly on bench style seating (so enough with the ‘im too tall’ excuse) while women make room for them. The men sit comfortably with their legs spaced apart while the women next to them fold their arms and cross their legs. This is NOT a ‘naturally’ occurring physiology here. This is learned/socialized behavior. Men take up space (not just physical but also verbal) in all kinds of places because they expect women to accommodate them.

    Ever since I’ve seen blogs like the one Steve linked a above, I now make room for anyone who needs to sit next to me. And I find that I’ve hardly sacrificed any physical comfort as a result.

  2. I agree with ericbrightwell I have long legs and the little seats on the blue line do not take that under consideration like the Red Line does.

  3. There are two issues. The one issue – big and tall people – is understandable. I can forgive someone for taking a bit more space because they need it. As a tall person, I have frequently had the issue of cramping my legs together, due to the small scale of the seats.

    But the second (and bigger) issue is the lack of courtesy and decency among so many riders. Feet on seats, spreading stuff out across seats, playing music that nobody else wants to hear, not moving to let people pass by, blocking up entrances, not yielding to the elderly/disabled, etc. Most of the time (in my experience), hogging space on a train is just one example for a general lack of concern for fellow human beings.

  4. Without fail, there is always someone on the train taking up a second seat with their belongings during rush hour. It’s not just “dudes,” though, I see women do this as well.

    A bigger problem is young, healthy people taking up the priority seating while elderly men and women are forced to stand. I see this happening way too often.

  5. On most buses I have to turn my legs sideways to fit into the seat. If someone needs to take the aisle seat, I have to lift them so that my knees are digging into the seat in front of me. If I sit in the aisle-facing seats, people trip over my shoes. It’s not really a “dude” thing but a tall people issue.

  6. When I see seats starting to become less-than-abundant on the Blue Line, my stack of disposable reading material (assuming it had even made it to the adjacent seat) moves either to my lap, or to under my butt.

  7. You should be doing an article instead on obese women. They should have to pay for the price of 2 seats.

  8. What bothers me the most is people who get on public transit, buses and trains and sit in the aisle seat while people are standing. And they will not move and let anyone sit next to them. Listen Transit Rider, there are not enough seats as it is. I am disabled and many times I have had to stand from Hollywood to Downtown on the red line with no seat available. Since Metro has done away with seats for seniors and disabled, we have no where to sit.

  9. Agree with Transit Rider. When Metro eventually purchases new subways they should have less seating and more standing room. I’d also add more signage to encourage riders to fill up the entire train and not crowd into the middle two cars.

  10. It’s only an issue if there are more riders than seats. In those cases, if someone is taking two seats and I want one of them (including @robertissimus someone sitting on an aisle next to an empty window seat) I’ll just say, “Excuse me” and move toward the seat. Never had pushback.

  11. There is too many places to sit on Metro anyway. Subways should have more standing room. 100% of everyone riding should be on for no longer than 30-40 minutes; so why all the seats? Also, could we designate a train for bikes please. I’m tired of being tired. Wheel tread looks bad on slacks.

  12. Or Metro can do their part by make some changes to seating patterns to make more space available on the trains and preventing behavioral patterns where people are easily able to put their feet or items onto another seat.

    Have they looked into realigning all of their seats to aisle facing? Have they looked into putting overhead baggage space? Have they looked in ordering their new trains from Kinkisharyo with such in mind?

  13. People’s feet on the seat drive me crazy! Especially when it’s a full train..where are the manners?

  14. Not so much a question of gender, but of how large a person is, don’t you think? Expo Line seats are pretty small. What’s most annoying to me is when someone takes the aisle seat even when people are standing.

  15. I have seen my share of women spreading out across two or more seats, with their giant bags or what-have-you.

    I think anybody who takes up more than one space should be forced to stand, regardless of sex or gender.

  16. HAHA. Hilarious post Steve. But on a serious note, as someone that’s 6’4″, I am forced to having to spread my legs out on our bus seats because the back of the seats in front of me are just too close for comfort.