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Friday fun poll: do you try to stand up before you get to your stop?

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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.

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Okay, new poll!

I’m curious to see what you think. Do you think one choice is more efficient than the other, too?