Attention Straphangers: Don't Be a Seat Hog

Cops ticketing riders who take up more than one seat

By Jennifer Millman
|  Saturday, Dec 26, 2009  |  Updated 1:59 PM EDT
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Don't Be a Subway Seat Hog

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Is that a subway seat hog?

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Think you can hog two seats on the subway at 3 a.m. when it's just you and some drunkard in the car? Think again.

The NYPD is cracking down on subway seat hogs. That's right. Keep your legs off the seat next to you, don't rest your bags and watch those hands or you'll get a ticket.

Just ask Josh Stevens. The Harlem resident got two tickets in two days last month for being a seat hog, according to The New York Post.

"After the second time, I asked the officer, 'Really, what's going on? Why is this happening?' " Stevens told the Post. "And he told me, 'Recently we've been told to write tickets instead of give warnings for this type of thing.' He said they need to hit quotas."

A spokesman for the NYPD told the paper that cops aren't on any particular mission to nab subway seat hogs. The Post reports that 784 summonses for seat hogging were issued as of early December, compared with 760 last year.

MTA rules prevent passengers from taking up multiple seats, whether it's with a bag, a foot or some other body part. But straphangers who find themselves alone in subway cars late at night don't understand why they can't stretch out.

"The officer said it was a danger because people can get robbed on the subway if they fall asleep, which I didn't. Give me a break," Stevens, who's fighting the tickets, told the Post.

Maybe it's not such a bad idea, though, to keep lounging straphangers in check.

Last month, a subway passenger was stabbed to death in front of horrified riders in a dispute with another man over a seat in midtown Manhattan, police said.
 

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