Why can’t anyone make room on the train?

“Why Do Passengers Insist on Crowding Around Subway Doors?”

Wener believes that some transit systems condition riders to be territorial about their spots. When the doors close too quickly, passengers “feel defensive, [thinking] ‘Am I going to get out in time?’” he says. Rider anxiety—and huddling around the doors—could be alleviated through something as simple as clearer countdowns to doors closing. Other researchers have suggested asymmetric doors, to stagger crowding, or open gangway cars, which are popular outside the United States. Any of these solutions, Wener says, reduce stress by removing ambiguity in favor of reliability.

CityLab, Feb. 17, 2016

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