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Friday fun poll: more questions for the window seat

So last Friday, I ran a poll about how to properly move so that others could vacate the window seat.

After 181 votes, the vast majority voted for “As much as possible, you should get up and out of your seat to let the passenger pass by” (77%). Only six per cent said it was best to turn your legs into the aisle without getting up. Another 22 per cent thought it was fine to use either method.

A comment from Eugene Wong probably sums the results up best:

“I think that just rotating legs is okay when the person doesn’t need much space. In general, though, the correct thing to do is to stand up, and give the person more space.”

But while the results were pretty strong, I should probably point out diversity of opinion still exists on this issue. So next time you find somebody just turning to let you by, hey — they just might be part of the six per cent above, or those 22 percent who were okay with both.

I don’t think we heard much from the six-per-centers in that earlier post, by the way. As reader Rob pointed out in a comment:

“I wonder about the people who vote for the second option… it suggests that standing up is not ok (if it was, they’d pick the third option). Who are these anti-standers? Do they walk (sit?) among us?”

Are you out there? Would you like to speak up regarding your position? I think we’d love to hear from you!


New poll time! As suggested by Holly in the comments from the last poll, it’s going to be about the window seat again.

Again, here’s the situation:

You’re on a bus that is full. You’re in the aisle seat of a two-seater bench (There’s another two-seater bench immediately in front of this one.)

Suddenly, the passenger beside you gets up and gets off the bus. (You of course get up out of your seat to let them by!)

Get your votes in before next Friday!


  • By Stephan Alexander Scharnberg, February 6, 2009 @ 7:48 pm

    I voted for the third choice, “Both of the above are perfectly fine” (because of the limited scenarios), but only specifically for the following reasons: If I am relatively close to my stop, I say that I’m getting off soon and offer the window seat (they might be riding further than myself). If they decline, then I take it. If the bus is coming to a terminus (such as Metrotown) and we both are travelling the same distance, I still offer the window seat. If they decline, then I take the window seat. In fact, if I am nearing my stop, once I get up to let the previous window sitter by, I often remain standing, offering both seats to others.

  • By Holly, February 6, 2009 @ 11:21 pm

    Jennifer, thanks for taking my comment and turning it into a poll! I think my opinion is obvious from last week, you should move over to the window seat. However, as Stephan said, if you’re near your stop, you may want to just remain standing. What you should be avoiding is sitting in the aisle seat, forcing anyone who wants to sit down to squish past you!

  • By Steve, February 7, 2009 @ 9:45 am

    I will always go to the window seat. My journey is usually long and don’t get off until the majority of other customers have alighted anyhow. Probably isn’t a right or wrong answer here anyway, as long as people are considerate of others. Too often I have seen youngsters sit on the aisle seat with senior citizens struggling to get past them to sit by the window. This past week I have seen people insist on taking up two seats despite a crowded bus, push past people to get their favorite seat and so on. Vancouver people are so much more considerate than Londoner’s on their bus and tube system.

  • By Mark, February 9, 2009 @ 11:39 am

    Someone who is over 6 feet tall like myself, the window seat is not an option. There is no “correct” answer to this question. It’s called common sense.

  • By Eugene Wong, February 9, 2009 @ 3:35 pm

    I chose “always move over”, with the idea that all situations are equal. That being said, each situation is unique, and talking about it with other passengers is always the best way to go. Talking with others with a genuine concern for them will help us to be as polite as possible.

    On a slighlty off-topic note, public courtesies can be 1 way that Canadians can distinguish ourselves from other societies. Instead of just saying, “That’s the way that we have always done it.”, we can actively interact with others to find ways of doing what is best.

    I was in China during the fall semester, teaching English as a second language. 1 of the college’s staff members took me on an intercity bus to go to fill in some forms. During the ride, I noticed an older woman get on. So, I offered up my seat. All of a sudden this college staff member was so happy and surprised. She even wrote an article about me and what I did, and then submitted it to the school newspaper. I don’t quite understand why she did that, though, because the article wasn’t only about that incident.

    Being thoughtful of others may seem like common sense to some of us, but it is completely new to some people. It just blows me away, but it is true.

  • By Eugene Wong, February 9, 2009 @ 3:40 pm

    By the way, I think that your polls are great, because we can discuss the topic, and see how people vote. This reminds me of the game, A Question of Scrupples, or something like that, where we ask ethical questions.

    This is helpful, also because it helps us to put pressure on each other to be more considerate on the bus.

    Maybe a poll about putting our feet up on furniture?

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