A few weeks ago, I was traveling from Midtown to West 4th St. on a B train shortly after 1:30 in the afternoon when I happened upon this scene. By all appearances, the man who made the B his own personal sleeper car didn’t seem to be homeless; he was just tired. So he fell asleep.
Now, because of the seating configuration of the R68s, an industrious sleeper can stretch out and form a human barrier. As this photo that I snapped surreptitiously shows, this sleeper is effectively taking up five seats for the price of one just so he can grab a little shut-eye on the subway. It’s a good thing this was a mid-day ride down the relatively uncrowded 6th Ave. corridor and not a trip with a few more passengers at an hour approaching peak travel times.
So riddle me this, loyal readers: Is this behavior acceptable? According to the New York Transit Rules of Conduct, it is not. This snoozer is violating at least one provision in Rule 1050.7 and could be accused of breaking a few more. He is, contra to Rule 1050.7(10)(2), placing his feet on a seat and is also occupying more than one seat. When I boarded the B, it wasn’t crowded enough to claim this guy was “interfering with the comfort of other passengers.”
Our time aboard a subway car is always a fleeting one, and yet people treat the seats as their own personal foot rest all the time. I’ve seen passengers scramble to remove their shoes from a seat that I’m about to use, and I always wonder how they would feel if I stomped all over their living room couch or dining room chairs. One person, one seat, and keep your feet on the floor, I say.