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Sleeping on the train
Photograph: Shuterstock

People really need to stop hogging so much space on the subway

This is what’s driving us bonkers in NYC right now and making us (almost) want to move

Written by
Jillian Anthony

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend on my daily commute over the past few months:

I board a full train and take hold of the bar above my head, facing a seated passenger. How nice for them that they snagged a seat! And yet it seems the area they’ve claimed still isn’t enough. Instead of respecting my personal space, they lean forward, head lurching toward my body. But they’re not done yet! Now they’ve got their phone out, and it’s inches away from my crotch. I’m extremely uncomfortable, but I would rather avoid a confrontation, so I suffer silently through the half-hour ride, completely on edge and wishing they’d just sit the hell back instead of continually forcing me to scoot away, hanging on by my fingertips. Now I’m contorting again—I mean, how much room does a person need to self-actualize on public transit?

This is unacceptable.

I understand that shoulder space can be hard to come by on those shared subway seats. But if that’s not an issue, riders should be sitting up straight, period. Even if it is an issue, take a second to stop your endless scrolling (or sexting, as one leaner was recently doing), consider your surroundings and get your fingers the hell away from me.

Not all of NYC is annoying

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