New York Gets to Know its Subway Riders...Intimately

Anyone who's ridden the New York City subway will inevitably pick up on the odd social patterns that develop in the slim tube hurtling beneath the city. A new study identifies and quantifies those unique behaviors.

Matt Flegenheimer discusses the findings of a new study conducted by researchers of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. "A draft of their report [PDF], published on the Web site of the Transportation Research Board, drew on data collected over three weeks in late winter 2012."

The report includes a plethora of comical, yet fascinating, findings about seat selection, pole position, and gaze aversion. "The snapshots combine to sketch a transit landscape of convenience, game theory and occasional altruism, where often every movement is executed with purpose."

One interesting finding that "seemed to contradict much anecdotal evidence: in crowded trains, the data show, men were more likely to be standing than women, 'probably because New York’s gentlemen do live up to cultural expectations regarding giving up seats to ladies and children.'”

Full Story: Collecting Data on the Habits of Passengers Underground


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