Last Friday, I asked if you had given up your seat in the past month — no judgment of course!
We had 87 people answer, and the majority (72% – 63 votes) said they had indeed given up their seat in the past month. The rest said they hadn’t (28% – 24 votes).
So that’s an interesting yardstick, although of course this might have been a bit skewed — no one really likes calling themselves out for not giving up a seat.
However, as usual, the comments delivered some very interesting perspectives on the whole issue of giving up your seat to others. Offering your seat up can be done — but it doesn’t mean someone wants to accept the seat! Scott Clayton describes it here:
I prefer giving up seats when there are no others available, and since I don’t sit up front, it is only in these instances. However, some people can take offense to being offered a seat, and I don’t want to offend anyone, so offering a seat can be tricky—I can’t count how many times people have said to me “I’m not that old yet.”
He also mentioned a situation that made me laugh out loud — and I have indeed seen it on many a bus before:
If there are no seats and someone has to stand, I’d prefer that person be me. I’m 23, fairly energetic, and can balance myself alright. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m alone on this standing-front. Often there might be >5 people standing and <5 available seats, so it can turn ridiculous. Like a reverse ‘tragedy of the commons’ or something.
LisaB points out that sometimes it can be hard to know when to give your seat up.
I virtually never sit in the courtesy seats up front ever since a friend pointed out that not all disabilities that would make one need a seat are visible/obvious. I prefer not to have to judge/guess who needs the seats, especially since I can certainly stand without hardship.
And Dion mentions that the seat-entitlement situation is totally different in Hong Kong:
On the bright side, as much as I love Hong Kongs transportation network, seats there are almost always first come first serve no exceptions. There are the rare times where a seat will be offered, but aside from that, usually everyone too busy to care who’s getting on and getting off. VERY sharp contrast to Vancouver.
Okay, new poll!
I’m curious to see what you think. Do you think one choice is more efficient than the other, too?