A subway etiquette breach is no casual crime here, whether manspreading, brie-eating, or life-scarring brain-hanging. And one particularly frustrating no-no that clocked in at number 10 on our ranking of unacceptable subway behavior is boarding a train before others have a chance to exit—not only is this annoying as hell, it contributes significantly to platform crowding and slows trains down. AND THE MTA IS GOING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT (maybe).
The MTA has been mulling over ways to alleviate dangerous crowding on subway platforms—and subsequent train delays—over the past few years, particularly with more and more lines clocking in at or above capacity during peak hours. The agency's considered shutting down overcrowded stations and installing sliding doors on platforms, though none of these have come to pass.
Now, officials are considering putting more platform conductors on duty in hopes of policing cruel commuters who can't figure out how to properly board a train. "[W]e already have platform conductors assigned to some of our busiest stations during rush hours to help speed the process of loading and unloading trains," spokesperson Adam Lisberg told us. "You may have seen them at 42 St-Grand Central on the 4-5-6 line, shining lights at the train conductors to indicate when they can safely close the doors. We're considering whether more personnel on station platforms could help alleviate crowding and delays."
MTA chief Tom Prendergast noted at a board meeting this week that the packed platforms are seriously slowing down train traffic, which, naturally, makes everything worse. Commuters who don't let people off trains, try to smush into too-crowded cars or block doors just add to the problem. But platform conductors can help control crowds and let train conductors know when it's time to move.
"They say 'hey listen, you can't get any more people in this door,'" Prendergast said. "Because you know as that door tries to close, until it closes, and the circuit closes, and establishes that all door panels are closed and locked, that train will not move." And of course, some of these platform jams come courtesy of crappy commuters who are "afflicted with the disease of not waiting until people leave before they enter . . . It’s just the nature of New Yorkers," Prendergast said.
The again, though crowd-control might mitigate some of the troubles that plague subway riders, there's still that whole at-and-over-capacity issue, which will probably continue to make commuters miserable at least until the Second Ave Subway debuts in a few years. Until then, stand your ground, don't push, and remember that things could always be worse: