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Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:55 PM

At 65, Do You Have the Right to a Subway (or bus) Seat?

I ride the bus in LA periodically. It's interesting to watch the allocation of seats. One super polite young man, does not sit down until every single woman is seated. if he's seated and the bus rolls up to a stop where many people will board, he gets up before they board and wait until all are seated. Some folks, won't give up their seats for anybody. They'll also keep two seats (with bags on them) while others stand.

At 65, Do You Have the Right to a Subway Seat?

A month or so ago, I was on the No. 1 train heading south. I was reading my Kindle book using the iPhone app, and feeling fairly contemporary and wired in.

I was standing in front of two 20-somethings. One offered me his seat. I thanked him, but refused the offer, my self-concept somewhat bruised and, frankly, just a bit annoyed by his gracious offer.

Last weekend, I was on the No. 1 train again, this time heading north with my wife and several friends. I was seated next to a friend, engaged in a conversation. A young man exiting the train said to me, “By your age, you should have learned some manners.”

I asked my friend whether he heard this comment, and he had, but neither of us had any idea what he was talking about. When we got off the train and reunited with our group, I told them what had happened. One of them related that an older woman had been standing in front of me trying to make eye contact and coveting my seat. Neither my friend nor I had noticed her.

I guess, as I turn 65 this month, that when it comes to the right to a seat on a New York City subway I am just at an awkward stage!

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/31/at-65-do-you-have-the-right-to-a-subway-seat/

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Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply At 65, Do You Have the Right to a Subway (or bus) Seat? (Original post)
Liberal_in_LA Dec 2012 OP
Blue_In_AK Dec 2012 #1
1StrongBlackMan Dec 2012 #2
lalalu Dec 2012 #3
atreides1 Dec 2012 #4
southernyankeebelle Dec 2012 #5
sharp_stick Dec 2012 #6
Enrique Dec 2012 #7
ThisThreadIsSatire Dec 2012 #8
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #11
displacedtexan Dec 2012 #9
Libertas1776 Dec 2012 #10
one_voice Dec 2012 #12
AlexSatan Dec 2012 #18
Arkansas Granny Dec 2012 #13
democrattotheend Dec 2012 #14
RKP5637 Dec 2012 #15
HockeyMom Dec 2012 #16
geek tragedy Dec 2012 #17
CreekDog Dec 2012 #19

Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:59 PM

1. Maybe, but at 66, I still don't consider myself an "elder" or a "senior,"

so I prefer to stand if the seats are full. If someone were disabled or obviously in distress, if I were seated, I would give up my seat, but probably not to another able-bodied 65-year-old.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:59 PM

2. A right ...

No; but it would be a far better world if those of youth and ability, would consider others of less youth or ability.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:01 PM

3. It's NYC just do what feels right for you as long as

 

you don't inflict harm on someone else. If you give up a seat then you are weak and if you keep your seat you are a selfish pig. You can't win.

Also, 65 is no longer considered elderly especially if you look decent for your age. I have lived half a century and allowed a few grey strands and still get called "honey" , "sweetie",and "sweetheart". What do i have to do to get some respect!

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:02 PM

4. It's a courtesy not a right.

I often place my backpack on the seat next to me, and all it takes for me to move it is for someone to ask!

Since my back surgery last year I can't stand for long periods of time...not without some discomfort.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:03 PM

5. Well we all should have enough manners to give up a seat for an elderly person. But I have

 

given up a seat for a woman with a child standing there. I have seen many people not have the manners to offer a seat to someone in need. Sometimes a young person might not be in the right shape and may need a seat. You can tell when someone needs help. Other times I had no one offer me a seat. People look around like am not even there. I wasn't Ms America but I am older and do have health issues even though you can't see them. I never said anything. You'll find good and bad everywhere.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:04 PM

6. Generally you do if it's my seat

unless my Rheumatoid Arthritis is acting up I'll always offer my seat to someone who looks like they need it more than I do.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:06 PM

7. i like that he got scolded

that's the risk you take when you ride the NYC subway, your manners might be evaluated harshly.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:08 PM

8. While I would never be upset when someone offers...

... a seat, I would point to the fact that the signs say 'priority' for elderly and disabled -- not 'reserved'.

Personally, I tend to offer a seat only to pregnant women and those for whom standing appears to be a struggle -- regardless of age...

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Response to ThisThreadIsSatire (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:13 PM

11. priority means the older person gets it first; the younger person gets it only if there's a free

 

seat that no older person wants.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:10 PM

9. Here in SF

Young people are extremely alert as to whether or not new people boarding the bus or the F might need a seat. They almost always either ask or just get up and move out of the way. There are also multiple signs regarding front seats for seniors and others who might need them.

Maybe it's more common here (with the hills!) because when the voiceover lady says, "Please hold on," SHE REALLY MEANS IT.

I have to add how refreshing it is that even senior citizens give up seats to others who might need them more.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:12 PM

10. as a "right"

as far as the city goes, and at least on buses, i believe it is a right. I don't think so specifically on subways, but on public buses i am pretty certain there are signs in the front most seats that indicate that these seats must be given up to the elderly or the handicapped if requested. I think as far as the subway goes its a matter of courtesy.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:16 PM

12. There should be a certain amount of seats...

designated for older people, pregnant women, and those with physical/health problems. imo.

Once those seats are filled, then I think good manners would dictate a young whipper snapper give up their seat if you need it. You can always refuse and give them a what for 'do I look old or something'

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Response to one_voice (Reply #12)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:44 PM

18. I disagree

 

Then people who are young and able-bodied will not be able to sit while the seat goes empty. That is just dumb.

Simply having signs informing (reminding) people what common courtesy is should work just fine.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:18 PM

13. I'm 66, but since I don't have any health problems, I don't expect anyone

to give up their seat for me. I'm sure I would feel differently if I had trouble standing or walking, but I don't think age alone should determine who sits and who stands.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:25 PM

14. I never know what to do with people around that age

Before I developed a disability where I need a seat myself, I always debated what to do in that situation. It's sort of a borderline age where I am not sure if an offer of a seat will be appreciated or will offend them.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:28 PM

15. As I approach 70, I've convinced I'm in better shape and more youthful than

many decades younger I see.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:40 PM

16. No, not on age alone

I rode the NYC subways to and from work when I was 8 months pg 30 years ago. I NEVER looked for a seat because of that. Only ONE time when the heat was blasting away and I was getting dizzy, which can happen to anyone, did I really need to sit down, and it BTW, was a SENIOR WOMAN who gave me her seat.

I am now 64. I figure if I can push around other people's wheelchairs and lift them to change their diapers, I most certainly don't need a seat. If somebody is disabled or looks sick, sure let them have a seat however old they are.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:44 PM

17. the term 'right' is unhelpful.

There certainly is an ethical obligation for those seated to give up their seat for those who need it--the frail, the injured, pregnant, and quite often the elderly will fall into the first two categories.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:47 PM

19. well, i know that the disabled do

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