All subway activity seems to be operating with the same goal: Reduce any opportunity for eye contact or any type of interaction with another rider.
Surrender a seat to a shuffling elder, or pretend not to notice his buckling knees? Remain in the same seat throughout the ride, or contend for a more desired seat near a door?
Now, the daily seating calculations of subway riders have been recorded for academic use, as part of an observational study conducted by researchers of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. A draft of their report, published on the Web site of the Transportation Research Board, drew on data collected over three weeks in late winter 2012. Some of the findings might seem intuitive to the veteran subway rider, even if the rationale is not.
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Photo Credit: Scene inside a New York City subway car. David Thompson / Flickr