Your sacred subway prewalking rituals may be paying off: according to numbers crunched by the MTA on F and L trains, the most crowded subway car is the the one in the front. The smelliest? Whichever one holds that person who uses the only six square inches of free space on the train to bust open a bag of McDonald's.
In the numbers that were obtained by the Daily News, L trains that began in Canarsie had 191 riders in the first car of the train by the time it hit the Bedford stop, compared to 143 people in the last car. 191 is 46 more than the allowed maximum capacity, but dammit we were due at Rosemary's fifteen minutes ago.
"That's why I come to the end of the platform, because it's less crowded," a 54-year-old design consultant tells the paper. "I don't like being crushed like a sardine. It makes me angry." If the MTA could figure out how to power the trains on silent rage we'd all ride for free.
A particular train's car capacity also has to do with where stairs and station entrances are located. MTA spokesperson Kevin Ortiz points out that the 6 train generally has more riders in the center cars because that's where the stairwells are, but Straphangers Campaign spokesman Gene Russianoff knows better. "Either way, it's sardine city."
At the very least you can help cut down the amount of time that you're forced to trudge amongst the numb masses like so much cattle by engaging in the aforementioned "prewalking" (yes, there's an app for that). And this animated .gif that shows us the construction of the subway, line by line, helps us appreciate how expansive the system really is. It may be crowded in there—and yes you'll probably get sick from that woman's sneeze—but at least we're not paying for gas.