Crowded Trains Require Courtesy
From VARPs On Track newsletter, summer 2008
By VARP board member and executive vice president Jim Churchill
On a recent trip down the Hudson, the Amtrak train was packed, as many them are even when gas isnt $4. The crowding can only get worse.
Not just on this train, but others, buses, and subways, I see an increasing number of people who seem to think they have the right to occupy up to as many as five seats to accommodate themselves.
On this trip, there were several people in the cafe car who apparently saw no problem with placing their luggage in a seat beside or across from them and spreading a laptop, handbag, and feet on the seats or holding an aisle seat next to a vacant window seat. Meanwhile, the revenue seat they bought remained unoccupied.
I see it on buses and the subway as well.
An understanding of conduct should become a way of life, I hope more successful than the no-drinking, no-eating, no-loud-radio taboos so often flouted on American transportation.
Here are some reminders:
As more Americans take to our already inadequate rail and other public transportation systems, such courtesy, generosity, and common sense will make life a bit more pleasant and mobility a joy for all.