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People who wear backpacks on the subway are the worst New Yorkers

People who wear backpacks on the subway are the worst New Yorkers
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/TheeErin

Generally speaking, I think I’m pretty patient. Most asshole-ish habits common to New Yorkers don’t faze me. (Loud talkers, line cutters and subway-pole leaners, I’m looking at you.) There’s one group, however, that makes even me—a relatively calm citizen who usually tries to avoid conflict—want to let out a primal scream on a daily basis: people who wear backpacks on the subway.

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You know who you are. And even though we haven’t met yet, I sure as hell don’t like you. As I write this, I’m being sandwiched between multiple backpacks whose owners seem oblivious to just how intimate I’ve become with their swinging canvas accessories.

First of all, it’s common sense that you need to take that thing off. Aside from the fact that the MTA does a solid job of broadcasting that message loud and clear, just take a moment to think about it: New York City trains get crowded. Bags take up additional room. You and your backpack, filled with everything you need for the day, are preventing people from getting on. Those riders get angry. Congratulations! You’re responsible for other straphangers’ awful subway commute. Thanks a lot, man.

Not only do you take up valuable real estate, but you have no idea that while you’re doing it, you are giving the poor people behind you a thorough frisking with your Herschel. How about the next time you’re on the subway, try holding the bag in front of you so you’re aware of what it’s doing? You’ll also have less of a chance of being robbed! Or better yet, put it on the floor beneath your feet so it’s out of everyone’s way. You’ll help make the ride a little less crappy for all, especially the folks standing behind you.



Dave S

The people in the photo are fine, of course.  It is OK to wear a backpack on the platform.  Also, if the train car isn't crowded (= only a few people standing) and you aren't going far keeping you pack on is again fine.  Honestly, it's pretty rare that this seems like a problem.

Jesse S T

Really? Guessing you don't leave the upper east side much if you think people wearing backpacks on the train are "the worst". I frequently see people eating wings on the train and throwing the bones under their seat. There are people who randomly slash strangers with blades, pull the emergency brake for no reason, etc...

Also some people just shoot and/or rob people in the streets.

Even if you say you're only talking about every-day subway occurrences, how about all the people who play music/videos/games with no headphones with their phones speakers at full volume the entire ride? Or can we talk about strollers? I'd rather be in a car where every person is wearing a backpack than a car with 3 strollers in it.

If backpacks get you triggered, you may not be properly equipped to handle the city.

Sean C

Entirely agree, but no one should put anything they value on the floor. Hold it between your legs while holding the straps. Also, purses can be a close second if held at the side or back....