One of the advantages of actual rail transit over actual bus transit* (in this region) is that minor anti-social rider behaviors tend to be merely annoying, rather than actually impairing operations. So on the list of behaviors to fix, David Lawson’s opus on how to ride a bus remains the must-read, and some more emphasis on avoiding the front door at busy stops would help a lot.

On the other hand, I’m spending a lot more time on Link than on buses these days, so I’m all for this new ad campaign. The space under the seat is criminally underutilized on crowded Link trains.

* as opposed to theoretical bus transit, which is always awesome and never has to make compromises.

72 Replies to ““Seat Hog” Ad Campaign Coming”

    1. See if you can get TriMet to send you a few of their three foot long arrows they paste on the ceiling of the New Flyer buses, indicating the location of the rear door.

      1. Oh… My… God… that giant arrow is AWESOME!

        This is a problem that doesn’t benefit from subtle suggestions. Seattle bus riders are fighting decades of “pay as you exit” mentality… you need to make the suggestion to exit from the back door impossible to ignore.

        I’ve also suggested that Metro program their automated announcement system to play a message:

        Play it every single time the stop cord is pulled until the majority of passengers exit from the rear door and then use it more sparingly (like at major stops).

      2. How do San Diego’s bus sizes, doors, aisles, seating, and fare payment compare to Seattle’s? Does everybody actually do what the sign says? Has San Diego always been exit rear or did they introduce it at some point?

      3. That’s not a photo of a San Diego bus. Note part of the URL says “portland-or”. It’s from this web page, about 3/4 of the way down the page:

        TriMet’s New Flyer layout and that of KCM’s buses seems to be pretty close.

        Also, these are intended to go on the vast real estate that generally gets unused on the ceiling of the bus. It’s not some tiny advertisement on the heat duct sides over the seats.

        It would probably fit, depending on how many advertisements are already pasted to the ceiling.

        None of the Gillig buses have these signs yet, so TriMet will probably have to do a new press run of these signs at some point. If so, ordering several hundred additional copies shouldn’t run too much.

      4. There are similar signs on the ceilings of some Metro buses. Or at least there were — I specifically noticed it a few times but it would just blend in by now.

      5. Metro installed signs when the ride free area ended and they’re on all the buses as far as my passenger’s view can tell. But they’re not as big or swooshing as this.

        What may be most effective is a series of smaller arrows marching toward the door, with a repeated smaller message. That way people can see an arrow and message no matter where they’re sitting or looking up.

    2. Mike, would appreciate exactly how to do that when it’s needed most: in a crush load aboard buses in the DSTT at rush hour. When the aisle is often blocked solid.

      Conversion to two and one seating might help. Also replacement of Tunnel fleet with Rapid Ride buses, with “hush mode” added if they don’t have one- present fleet is at least one door short- about only advantage the Breda fleet had.

      Another easy move is to get rid of the idiotic requirement to board by the front door only during rush hour. And no, we don’t have loaders at every station last time I looked. At least then, anybody getting off soon will know to board and leave by the back door.

      In other words, at present, two coupled one-door buses are better for crush loads than one narrow-aisle, two-door “artics”. But for 40′ buses on surface- front door boarding and rear-door exit works fine.

      With one remedy for blocked aisle is short enough headway, kept spaced by control or supervision, that no load gets “impacted” like a wisdom tooth. Could even make the 40 rideable and reliable.

      Mark Dublin

      1. Mark-
        We get it, the DSTT is far from perfect. You’ve beat that dead horse enough on here.

        Yes, the DSTT would benefit from all door boarding.
        Yes, the DSTT would benefit from 3-door artics. (the next 60-foot trolley buses will have 3-doors and I’m willing to bet the next order of hybrids will have 3 doors too.)
        Yes, the DSTT would benefit from better, human dispatching of trains and buses.

        But in the absence of that, the DSTT (and all bus routes) would benefit if most riders would just exit from the rear door, if possible. You’re right, it won’t help during crush loads and some passengers (like those with disabilities) will always have to exit from the front door.

        Increasing public awareness is simple and extremely cheap fix to improve the speed of buses across King County (and that includes the DSTT).

      2. I like the “if possible” addition to the Ricky suggestion above. With so many articulated buses having the rear door way way in the back, asking everyone to exit through the rear door would in most instances slow down the exiting process rather than speed it up. Besides, are we seniors sitting up front supposed to hobble all the way to back too? And regardless of the type of bus type, when there is standing room only, using whatever exit is the closest makes the most sense.

    3. Agreed. One option that’s occurred to me is for the driver to stop folks deboarding from the front (except for elderly/disabled folks) until everyone who wants to board is on (including wheelchairs, walkers, etc.), in the same way that everyone who wants to board now is delayed until folks shuffle out the front door.

      Once people realize they can get off immediately from the back, many of them will.

      1. As someone who often has my bike with me I need to exit by the front door to unload my bike. Both to alert the driver before I unload and to ensure the driver doesn’t leave the stop before I reach the front of the bus. It only takes that happening once to make you paranoid about having the bus leave before you’ve had a chance to unload your bike.

    4. On older articulated Metro buses, there’s a no-man’s land without any hand holds. I have to take 2 or 3 steps in the articulated part without anything to hold onto. I’m OK with that when the bus is stopped, but I’m chicken to do it when the bus is moving. That’s why I sometime exit the front door.

      In the newer buses, there’s something to hold onto all the way from front door to back door. Much better.

      1. Here in TriMet land, I frequently exit the front door (despite the huge arrow) because the timer for closing the rear door again once it has been opened is fairly long. If there is nobody getting on at the stop, it is much faster for everyone to go out the front door, as on TriMet’s buses the driver is able to open and close the front door faster.

        Busy stops are a different matter.

        I don’t think there is any reason to expect 100% rear door usage, but it could get a bit more use than it currently does.

  1. Love it.

    The next PSA should have a longer-legged critter that sits down with one leg intruding into the other seat’s space. It gives you about 50% of a seat to actually sit in. How hard is it to sit with your legs closer together? I am fairly tall and I manage just fine. People do it on an airplane for hours at a time, but somehow on the bus you need 24 inches between left leg and right leg?

    1. I also wish those who let a small child occupy a full seat when other passengers are standing would put the kid on their lap. I remember seeing this sign in a subway car somewhere: “Little enough to ride for free, little enough to ride on your knee.”
      Also, there is much more storage space under most seats than people realize.

  2. Another post to file under TPWBSWGDAB. “This Post Would Be Smarter Without Gratuitous Digs At Buses”.

    1. It’s not a gratuitous dig when the way buses run in our region do cause relatively more operational disruption given the rider behaviors in question. Not to mention front-door boarding, cash payment, excessive seating/overly narrow aisles, inconsistent door operation, and still widespread lack of level boarding… all of these are problems buses have that Link doesn’t. Link can clear a full Westlake platform in 15 seconds, but a single rush hour bus can take 2 minutes. The problems with bus operational compromises are not inherent to rubber-tired vehicles, but they almost always end up that way.

      1. Martin didn’t restrict his comments to buses, today in our region; he lead with a universal statement about how buses work versus how trains work in the real world, one that simply isn’t true.

        Phoenix’s buses have inward-facing wall-mounted seats in the low-floor section, just like London Underground trains, so they have tons of floor space. BART’s carriages are designed with two-person seating units the size of a dorm-room love seat, which provide comfort to long-haul exurban commuters at the expense of exacerbating crush loads within SF. Compromised rail car layout? You bet.

        Implying that bus systems will always be critically compromised while rail will not is wrongheaded, unhelpful, and tends to perpetuate the shitty quality of bus service which this blog is supposed to be fighting.

      2. I really wasn’t trying to win a Pulitzer with this post, but I added the words “in this region” to make it more accurate. In this context I’m not interested in a global survey of rail and bus implementations, but I’ll say that there’s more to life than just floor space.

      3. In fairness to the buses, I rarely see the rush-hour trains board and move in 15 seconds. Westlake is the best case. Further down takes longer, as some passengers need to deboard. But Westlake seems to have more “runners” (another anti-social behavior), and I’ve seen some trains take over a minute to load, even at Westlake.

        On top of that, real trains become less awesome when there is no space to board. I barely fit on the back car boarding at Pioneer Square Station a little after 5 pm yesterday. Not everyone at ID Station was so lucky.

        But the more troubling thing I noticed was how few riders were getting off at Beacon Hill, Mt. Baker, Columbia City, and Othello Stations. The exodus at Rainier Beach Station beat all of these combined, but was still smaller than the TIBS mass exodus. I’m now worried that we are losing Link riders who can’t find space on the train (to their comfort standards) in the morning rush, and that ST needs to step up peak frequency, and advertise the fact to get these disenchanted north Rainier Valley riders back.

        At any rate, the trains in the Land of Make-Believe have ample space.

      4. I believe cars will be added to the trains when U-Link opens. While there is some room to decrease headways on the current line during peak (8 trains/hour to 10 trains/hour) I don’t see Sound Transit doing that prior to the U-Link opening.

      5. Kick the buses out of the tunnel add a few Orca readers and the runners go away with 6 min headways and 4 car trains. If you’re just trying to get from the ID to Westlake on whatever comes along you have to pick from several different platform areas at either station. And, if you didn’t hit your Orca on the way down because a bus might come along you have to run to the reader in the middle of the platform before you jump on the train.

        Anyway, +1 for the TPWBSWGDAB

      6. “I believe cars will be added to the trains when U-Link opens. While there is some room to decrease headways on the current line during peak (8 trains/hour to 10 trains/hour) I don’t see Sound Transit doing that prior to the U-Link opening.”

        Unless ST has changed its mind, the trains will remain two-car consists after U-Link opens. The main reason cited is unnecessarily running up miles on third cars that would have to run all day. I’m not saying I buy the logic. I’m just sayin’ that’s the decision.

      7. Runners run after sporting events, too, when headway is as low as 5 minutes. Alas, more frequency won’t stop riders from running or holding the door.

        One improvement I have noticed is that jamming the door no longer causes all doors on the platform side to re-open.

      8. What Brent said.

        If our 4 evenly spaced doors and our (frankly quite mediocre) internal layout are so good at “clearing the platform”, then why the fuck have we crafted our entire present and future operational procedures around dwell times twice as long as in cities with real passenger volumes?

    2. Theoretical rail transit also beats real rail transit. At-grade trains and streetcars don’t have to wait behind private automobiles or for traffic signals in the Land of Make-Believe.

      The dig shouldn’t have excluded trains.

      But really, the point isn’t to make fun of buses (or trains), but to point out the bad policies, like allowing cars to park in bus lanes, that make riding transit less desirable.

      “Bus lane hogs” are anti-social creatures, too.

    3. How about observation that a passenger in a standing load can be comfortable on a rail vehicle express or local. Think elevator. Express bus? Standing ride is bearable so long as it’s moving at speed and red-light exempt. Crush standing ride on a local bus is probably against Agriculture Department rules for livestock.

      Only reason this advice is gratuitous is that it’s free- even though any consultant would charge a lot more for it and also make it forty pages long with a hundred foot notes. You’re welcome, but apologies to the National Union of Consultants.


      1. I would stand on buses, and especially on full ones, about 100% of the time, if only Metro would grow up and order some buses with urban-appropriate designs.

        Consequences of incompetence ≠ inherent properties or truisms.

      2. But when Metro urbanizes their interior designs, they get called stupid by some of the riders not used to crowding and having to stand.

        If we really want to increase the interior urbanization, we have to submit at least one compliment for every ten complaints that get submitted about the design. Can we manage that?

      3. They sent out a single 2×1 test vehicle, kept it on the road for about 3 weeks, ran it seemingly only in the off-hours (when the benefits of more standing/maneuvering room are less palpable), and then unceremoniously deleted it.

        When the hell were we supposed to positively reinforce the move?

        That’s what an agency does when it’s not actually serious about following best practices, but just wants to be able to say it “tried” something for the record.

      4. “That’s what an agency does when it’s not actually serious about following best practices, but just wants to be able to say it “tried” something for the record.”

        You mean like the day pass that you had to spend $5 to get the card to put it on, the ticket machine downtown with no incentive to use it, the ORCA that are given away with no incentive to keep using them, and the rear-facing wheelchair slots that were not deployed widely enough for affected riders to realize it was there and offer positive feedback?

        I’d like to hear more about this “test”, and what happened with the vehicle.

        I hate to say it, but d.p. nailed it on Metro’s weak grasp of the scientific process.

      5. Re the 1+2 seating trolley:

        There was a notable flaw in that Metro kept the same overhead handrail above the 1-seat side. With only 1 seat on that side, the rail was 6′ off the floor of the new wider aisle. At that height, the rail prevented any 6′ or taller people from standing under the rail. The effective aisle space was limited and it was easy to hit your head.

        Doesn’t mean 2+1 is a bad idea, but if it is tested again, Metro needs to change the handrail too.

      6. How do you propose the handrail be changed? I’d think to move the overhead handrail closer to the center line of the bus so that two columns of people could use the same rail, one column next to the seats, one column close to the center line of the bus.

        Making overhead handrails higher and adding straps would be terrible: straps are close to useless.

      7. If even transit fans didn’t know about the test to run over and ride it, and and few other people encountered it because of its low-demand route and time, then it’s hard to see its testing much more than how many passengers said “What the fuck?” and complained. And the kind of people who ride mostly low-volume routes and off-peak have a different mindset than those who usually ride full buses, a more seats-for-everyone mindset. But on the other hand I can’t imagine Metro mistook this for a high-volume test and dismissed 2+1 categorically because of it. What we need to see is a pilot with the 73X when UW is in session.

      8. Handrail solution: move the offending handrail closer to the windows by ~18 inches where it would be above the aisle-side edge of the single seat. The height can stay the same. That allows people of any height to stand side-by-side in the aisle because nobody will be standing under the rail (they will be sitting).

        You can’t have a 6′ high rail in the middle of the bus aisle. It would compound the problem I described and cause a lot of head-hitting. If you have “columns” of people with a center-line rail, the tall people can’t switch “columns” without ducking. Moving to allow seated passengers to get out require standees to freely move about the aisle space. There’s no reason to have the rail in the middle when it can fit closer to the side.

  3. That is unbelievably cute! The impossibility of it all really makes it — how the hedgehog schlepped all that into the tunnel, how it hopped up on the seat, etc.

    Next up — stand on the right, walk on the left?

      1. Sorry I didn’t notice the little creature in the add. If this cute of a passenger ever needed my seat, I’d be glad to give it to him for his luggage. Also so nobody sat on him.

        But please join me in pleading with people to cut Koala bears some slack. They’re known to be grumpy and bad tempered- something to do with trouble digesting the leaves they feed on. So don’t be mean to them for being grouchy.

        And also, don’t yell at them. They just don’t move very fast. And as Crocodile Dundee and his mates would put it:

        “Take me koala back, Mack, take me koala back
        He lives somewhere out on the track, Mack, take me koala back”

        So it’s likely he’ll get off at Tukwila International and head down the hill into those trees . And if you’re nice to him, they’ll leave you out of the last verse:

        “Tan me hide when I’m dead, Fred, tan me hide when I’m dead.
        So we tanned his hide when he died, Clyde,
        And that’s it hangin’ on the shed!”

        “Tie Me Kangaroo Down” by Rolf Harris

        Close second for Australian National Anthem?
        And if not: Could we have it for our school kids
        to sing after Pledge of Allegiance?


  4. Exit the back door of the bus? I wish. When I crowd onto an already-full bus, I’m standing closer to the front door than the back. And at my stop, the crowd to the rear doesn’t magically disappear. As a practical matter, I have to exit the front door.

    Wish harder for the bus fairies to come along and make those back doors really usable.

    1. At a minimum, can Metro make not opening the rear door immediately upon stopping in the tunnel during the peak an on-the-spot-firing offence [okay, I’d settle for letting the driver finish his shift]. The number of times I’ve had to yell back door in a crush loaded bus in the tunnel makes me reluctant to come down too hard on passengers for not using it.

      1. Skylar, might be best to post some signs on the bus, as they do in Vancouver, BC, asking passengers to leave by the rear door. I doubt there’s a criminal code warning beside the message- as if King County police would spend any time enforcing it.

        Remember that before you suggest that a driver “make” anybody do anything. Advertising and suggestions starting with the word “please”, and explaining the reason, will very likely gain a lot of cooperation.

        I personally always do my best to leave by the rear door whenever it’s physically possible- precisely because I’m trying to set an example. Very often carrying the 25-pound computer pack I need for my work- something I’m grateful to be in condition to do. But wheeled luggage…try it sometime.

        One or two walks up the aisle of a moving 60′ bus carrying anything will show you what’s easier said, or ordered, than done. You’ll discover how few hand-holds there are, the whole length of a narrow aisle. On the first-model hybrids, there’s about five feet through the hinge where there’s not even a strap.

        My suggestion to add such hand-holds- a much smaller cost item than settling a lawsuit- was met by my King County Council man that Metro was aware of the situation. And that the problem was being corrected on newer models. Very small item on a list of efforts thirty years long, Ricky, that indicates an expensive horse not dead but starved, and drugged, and with a rider whom any race horse owner would put to sleep.

        Doubt that door-count will rise by a third. But taking fare-collection off the Tunnel buses needs less equipment than the signs and ads we both support. And also glad you agree about the need for capable people at the controls of the dispatch system designed into the Tunnel.

        E-mail your County Council member. Especially if they’re also on the Sound Transit Board. Alongside the County Executive and the Mayor of Seattle.


      2. Understand the sentiment. Have personally more than once used my loudest, sharpest, and angriest voice to get that back door open.

        But in at least one case, the driver had a full seated and standing load. Though it didn’t help that she had gotten into an argument with a mental patient over a fare northbound at Westlake at pm rush.

        Decided just not to make the trip. A new passenger would have decided to make all the rest of their trips by car or cab. But it could be that the internal rear-view mirror setup makes it hard for drivers to see the rear door.

        Giving a back door bell a different tone from the front might help. Also, under crush conditions, best policy is to leave the rear door open until it’s time to leave. Especially Westlake at rush hours, where there’s generally a loader.

        San Francisco MUNI seems to have rear doors that open automatically from the inside only, usually from pressure on step. As well as every vehicle in the fleet having a card reader at every door. Wonder what’s involved in our following suit, starting with the door mechanism.


    2. We’ve talked about this before. Exit rear is a good principle but it’s practical only in some situations. Other cities generally have wider aisles (2+1 seating) or non-articulated buses so it’s easier to get to the back door. In practice it’s a tradeoff between how many people are exiting and entering (a few or many? both ways even or mostly one way?), whether the aisle is packed full behind you, whether you’re sitting near the front or the rear, whether your seatmate stands in front ot the seat or behind it to let you out, whether you’re carrying heavy bags, whether there’s a handhold at the articulation joint so you don’t fall into seated passengers (especially if you’re carrying bags), and whether you think ahead enough to get to the rear door before the bus stops.

      1. I’ve had to wait while a passenger at the rear of the bus moves all the way to the front to exit by the front doors, in the rain, with the driver holding his hand out to facilitate the passenger doing this instead of suggesting to the passenger to leave by the rear door he’s passed on the way to the front door. Exactly none of this makes sense. It’s a matter of training drivers and passengers both.

      2. Another seemingly minor issue with the rear door: the bus can’t move until the rear door is completely closed and the rear door can’t open until the bus is completely stopped. I’ve inadvertantly caused buses to miss green lights because, while sitting in the back, I deboarded from the rear door even though I could have walked to the front because nobody was in the aisle. The extra 2-3 seconds to wait for the rear door to close can be the difference between making and missing the light.

        No such problem with the front doors.

      3. Elbar above points out something I forgot to mention: the 2-door artics have the door way in the back while our peer cities have them more in the middle. This forces people sitting in front to walk all the way to the back. These are the same buses that don’t have handholds in the pivoting section, and it’s almost impossible not to fall into people or push their knees while walking across that section when the bus is moving and you have a backpack or grocery bag. That’s partly why people exit front.

        Alex touches on another point: the driver has to open the rear door, and it always takes longer than opening the front door. In our peer cities the rear door automatically unlocks when the bus stops, and a light comes on to tell passengers to push the rod or step on the stair to open the door. This means rear passengers can exit as quickly as front passengers. Here, the fact that people have to wait an extra few seconds and shout “Back door!” to get the door to open discourages them from doing so. Sometimes the driver doesn’t even hear the person shouting “Back door!’ and other passengers have to repeat it.

  5. I get on Link at Rainier, seems a lot of people that board at the Airport and Tukwila are under the false impression that they will be the only ones on the train at 7.30am into Seattle by taking up two seats with their stuff. Othello soon sorts them out as people get on and take the last of the empty seats.

    I’ll echo the same observations as others here, peak times need bigger trains or more trains more often. I dont buy this junk about one train every 7 minutes because of MLK way, its not uncommon where I get off at Rainier Beach to have the train behind us catch up and be 2 or 3 minutes behind, sometimes it gets to the platform before the pedestrian crossing has activated!

    Also the pedestrian crossings seems to have the lowest priority, at times I have to wait 2 complete phases of the traffic lights before the pedestrian crossing will be allowed.

    1. Link *will* go to 6-minute peak headway in the fall of 2015, and deadhead to UW Station for non-revenue testing.

      If everyone north of Othello expects a seat, I can’t help them there.

      1. Good to know,

        I’ve often been amused at the dismayed looks from people at Beacon Hill upon seeing the train is looking full =D

      1. The theoretical service plan will save money. The real service plan involves ST doing what it is going to do without regard for Metro’s operating costs, and Metro returning the favor. The real service outcome might not actually save that money…. and passengers on real trains and real buses alike will suffer.

  6. Taking two seats should be ticket-able as a fare violation, you are using two seats but paying for just one.

    1. I agree that this is antisocial behavior, and wouldn’t mind criminalizing it if people think that doing so is really needed — in most of the world, people generally make space for others, usually without being asked, and others don’t hesitate to ask if needed. But no one pays for a seat, they pay for transportation.

      1. Sorry, I thought it was obvious that was a joke, I guess reading it now it sounds serious. I don’t actually think it’s a fare violation.

  7. I used to always sit next to a tiny Asian woman (easy to do in Seattle), but the injustice of it all got to me (why should tiny Asian women have to suffer disproportionately?), so now I aim for the biggest seat hog I can find. I used to say, “Can I sit there?” but now I just say, “I’m sitting there.” It’s not a rhetorical question. Nobody grumbles. They must know they’ve been getting away with something.

    1. As a medium-sized Asian woman, I also look for seat hogs. I won’t take up more than my seat, but _I’m_ going to take the seat, not your bag, opened leg, or (by extension) sense of entitlement.

      Seat hogs operate on the timidity of others; once I’m in a seat, I’m able to offer it to someone who might need it but not have the energies to ask. This sort of addresses Sam’s question below — the sign shows concretely that taking up more than your share of space is out of norm and enables more people to make the request.

    2. That’s an idea, targeting seat hogs.

      But I do think there’s a difference between people gratuitously spread out and people with two or three full bags or tired that day. Because I often have two or three bags, and I try to keep them as compact as possible but some days I’m too tired to stack them all on my lap, or they contain things that can’t be stacked. Transit has to be available for people carrying luggage or shopping bags or lamps from Value Village, otherwise it’s not really a complete alternative to cars or taxis.

  8. Luggage-under-seat only works where such space exists. On raised sections of Kinki-Sharyo cars, two rows of seats have space under them, and only one has leg-room in front of it.

    Side-facing seats work for luggage if passenger sits on bench seat- where there’s room for small luggage under the seat, but large suitcases will clear the aisle if held in front of the side-facing passenger.

    These seats are also mandated for passengers physically disabled and using wheelchairs. Also for senior citizens, though I’m lucky to be in physical condition that would make me morally disabled if I took advantage.

    One way or another, airport trains need to be able to handle this. Maybe when we go to three or four car trains, luggage space could be arranged on at least one car.


    Bike areas will work, so long as there’s no bike. But wheeled luggage- and there’s a lot of it, has to be constantly held by the owner.

    1. Often there is nowhere on buses to put large luggage except for the seat next to you. Are we willing to go so far as to say that people with luggage should drive or take cabs, for the sake of their fellow bus passengers?

    2. Yeah the luggage storage space on Link cars is pretty abysmal – let alone the fight for a few luggage items or the bikes, first come first serve.

      There isn’t space to even put a carry-on, international size (tiny) under the raised seats, nor the narrow aisleways.

      But if you ride modern transit elsewhere, like the L in Chicago (Blue line from O’Hare), you see the same thing: turns out airport rail and seat hogging sometimes are *necessary*.

      All for the campaign – but let’s be realistic.

      1. The luggage areas on Link trains would be more efficient if they were like the luggage areas on airport terminal shuttle buses (I’m picturing SJC’s terminal shuttles, or the buses that drive you from gate to plane in some European airports… around here I’ve seen similar layouts in vans used for remote parking lot shuttles). They have two shelves for luggage; also fewer seats. This would preclude hanging a bike from the wall, but as someone that’s actually done that… when you do your handlebars stick out and take up half the aisle, right at upper-body level. So we probably need to go back to the drawing board on in-vehicle bike storage…

        On that point I seem to recall Swift’s in-vehicle bike storage working OK (never used it myself, but have seen others do so)… there it’s in a less constrained part of the vehicle, and takes up space down by the ground instead up high. But Swift is also just less crowded than Link. I don’t really think on-vehicle bike storage should be a priority for crowded transit systems. Some reverse-peak stuff might be exceptions (where people that don’t work right by fast transit use it to get within a quick bike ride), but with the number of trains we’re going to have to run to handle all the forward-peak P&R and transfer users planned, the reverse-peak trains shouldn’t be all that crowded. Also a lot of bike-on-vehicle use today could be eliminated with better bike parking near transit stops that tend to serve reverse-commuting cyclists, like 45th/I-5 and 520/Montlake, where bike-rack pass-ups are actually a thing (there’s actually pretty good commuter bike parking near DSTT stations in many downtown parking garages).

  9. If asking, “Can I sit here?” usually works, then presumably sometimes asking that doesn’t work, and the person won’t remove their items from the empty seat when asked. So then what good would a sign do? Does ST think that the same person who refuses to move their things when asked, will do so when they see that sign?

    1. The sign is more subliminal and insidious than that. There is a flashing message that most don’t see, unless they are really paying attention: “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.”

  10. Sometimes when you’re carrying shopping bags, you need more than one seat. You try holding two or three bags on your lap on a moving bus! It’s not easy. You might accidentally drop a bag, spilling its contents onto a filthy bus floor. Heaven help you if you had a jar of pasta sauce or some eggs. Now the floors… My, my, my. I *NEVER* put anything on the floor of a bus or train, especially in winter. They’re often wet and muddy, and only the Gods truly know what’s on the ground and what’s tracked in by people’s shoes! Just think of all the dirt, dog excrement, urine, vomit, spit, oil, and other nasty things on the ground that are now mixed with winter rain. I’m not putting my bags on the ground, especially if they’re paper!

    The problem, I think, is not so much a problem of hogging seats but not enough capacity. When I lived in Minneapolis, I rarely rode a bus that was absolutely packed to the gills. It was rare on buses there (though common on trains) because they actually ran enough of them. It’s amazing how much easier it is to keep buses around 1/2 – 3/4 full when you run them every few minutes on your busiest routes. That way, shoppers usually will have two seats to themselves for themselves and their groceries and not inconvenience other people. If a few young people have to stand, let them. They’re young, have healthy legs (unless they’re broken, of course), so they can stand for the sake of people who have a heavy burden to carry. Johnny T was right about taking a cab in New York, but that only works in New York. Nowhere else is it so cheap to take a cab or so easy to find one.

    That’s my, I hope, reasonably defense of some seat hogs. As for the douche with a light backpack and wide-open legs like a $2 tramp… Smack that person in the head. They can carry the pack in their lap and air out their groin at home.

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