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standing room only

flip down seats that can't be used during rush hour
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the way people are spread in the tube carriage during very busy periods just looks ridiculous. a lucky few have managed to get seats. then there will be people standing in the ailse, who have room to move and breathe. and then there will be people standing around the door area who have managed to squeeze onto the train but find themselves wedged between three people and the door in some awkward position that they can't move out of until the doors open again at the next station.

there is a lot of space on trains not being used. football stadiums used to have much larger capacities when they were terraced rather than all-seater. the same will be true for trains.

the idea is to remove all the solid seating arrangements that exist now, and replace them with flip down seats like the ones at the cinema. but before a train embarks on it's rush hour journey, a locking device will be activated that prevents the seats from being flipped down. the driver can activate this like they activate the doors at a station. this way, instead of a lucky few having a seat and so much space, while most are cramped and squashed, everyone has equal standing room. a couple of seats could be left, for disabled/elderly/children. then once the rush hour is over, the seats can be activated again.

i'm not sure if this is feasable, the seats on the tube seem to have some radiator/heater underneath them, that might be impossible to do without. i don't know.

you could also say that this might lead to dangerous overcrowding... but the way i see it is that the state things are in now is just as dangerous.

karun, Nov 18 2002

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       I imagine you'd still have to keep a few regular seats for the elderly and such, but it seems like this would work.
krelnik, Nov 18 2002
  

       Baked on the NY subway, except they're intended for use by those in wheelchairs. (i.e., wheelchair person can use that space with the seat left up; in the absence of such a person, others can use the seat regularly. To make the point, the seat is heavily sprung so it pops back up when you stand again.)
Nick@Nite, Nov 18 2002
  

       nah, have trains that are twice as long...
po, Nov 18 2002
  

       Or you could have even more powerful springs on the seats so that all the sitters are scrunched up with their knees by their ears, taking up less space.
FarmerJohn, Nov 18 2002
  

       [FarmerJohn} Nice idea.   

       [po], The trains can't be any longer - they wouldn't fit the platforms.   

       Seems a reasonable idea. I wonder how many people would you get in if you stacked them horizontally, like sardines, on stretcher-like platforms ? <very bad taste> Then if they asphyxiated, or died of heatstroke, they could be slid out straight into body bags </very bad taste>
8th of 7, Nov 18 2002
  

       stop at the station, let the people on and off and then move further up the tunnel/line for the 2nd lot. hey, the railways are in my blood.
po, Nov 18 2002
  

       [po] - the trains would have to spend longer at each station and this would make journey times a lot longer.
karun, Nov 18 2002
  

       nit-picking now...
po, Nov 18 2002
  

       sorry... ;-)
karun, Nov 18 2002
  

       Can't you just move them through the tunnel hanging on their straps like dry-cleaning and switch off the correct ones at each station?
FarmerJohn, Nov 18 2002
  

       [FarmerJohn] If people wore special "subway coats" with rings on the back, a bit like a parachutist's harness, they could just hook themselves onto an overhead rail and be whisked away down the tunnels .....   

       NB: Keep tight hold of your shopping ....   

       // the railways are in my blood //   

       That's one mighty strange immune system you've got there, [po].
8th of 7, Nov 18 2002
  

       I hope you don't have tracks on your arms, [po].
FarmerJohn, Nov 18 2002
  

       [FarmerJohn] <SLAP>   

       Sorry, cruel to be kind and all that.
8th of 7, Nov 18 2002
  

       Sheepdogs. You need sheepdogs.
RayfordSteele, Nov 18 2002
  

       and I avoided saying trains to lead you away from those puns.   

       I would croissant this for being a good idea - but the truth of the matter is - more and more people would be crammed into the extra space. the very thought of it makes me nauseous.
po, Nov 18 2002
  
      
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