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Thread: Crowded public transport - what do you do?

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    Default Crowded public transport - what do you do?

    This morning while on a very crowded train going to work, I noticed a lady that would I estimate being in her 60's standing beside me. I offered her my seat, but she declined saying that one of the guys gets off next stop (but that stop was 20 mins away)..

    I obviously couldn't force her to sit, and I couldn't get up and move as the only place comfortable to stand was where she was standing cause it was too crowded..

    I just felt so guilty as I am perfectly able bodied, and yet I was sitting while someone less able was standing..



    What do you do? If you are able bodied (and of course no kids with you), do you offer you seat to others that need it more?

    And there is no right or wrong, just curious..

  2. #2

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    I think that people in their 60's in good health are able to stand. You did the right thing by offering because at that age they may be fine or they may have a bum hip/knee/life and there is no way of being sure but once they say no then I think you can assume that they're good for it. Most people who need to sit won't refuse a seat.
    Like you said, you can't wrestle her into the seat...

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    Yep. Even being heavily pregnant, if a really elderly person (or disabled) gets on and nobody else can move (say, if all the other priority seats are taken with similar people) I'll offer. If people are sitting in the priority seating who don't have priority though, I'll say, "Excuse me, this lady (or whoever) needs to sit down." Similarly, if I get on and nobody offers me a seat, and those priority seats are not filled with elderly, disabled, pregnant or prams, I'll ask people to move of nobody offers. People are damn rude, and I've found rarely offer. I have no issue in asking people to move. Especially young people, or obese. Sorry, those seats are not for you.

    I have to say though, depending on the person (how they look etc) I wouldn't necessarily offer my seat to someone on their 60's, definitely not pregnant anyway. If they look an old and frail or weak 60, then yes I would, but I know a lot of people who are 50-60 who are good to stand. Obviously later 60's is different. I guess it comes down to a bit of respect, and a bit of circumstance too.

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    I must look pathetic, or maybe i scream 'country bumpkin', but every time i have been on public transport when pregnant i have been offered at seat...... feel free not to give me an answer to those musings........

    I always offer an elderly or disabled person my seat, anyone who looks like they might need it more than me really. Even when pregnant i still offer, I figure i'm not disabled! Just fat. If they say no, then that's ok, i offered.

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    She did seem to be shuffling a bit and looked like she was limping which is what caught my attention in the 1st place once the train took off. But she said no, so I shouldn't feel guilty

    PZ, I am always prepared to lose my seat if I sit in those seats..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doing my best View Post
    PZ, I am always prepared to lose my seat if I sit in those seats..
    Yeah, I think everyone should be! Unfortunately I see soooo many people with entitlement issues...the whole, 'I was here first!' kind of thing. I've actually had women in their 50's RUN and PUSH to get on the bus before me once they've spotted my bump...I literally laughed out loud, I thought it was hilarious! When I got on the bus, it was packed, and the priority seats were filled with the very old, and some prams. The lady in her 50's sat down in the last priority seat, and I aksed her straight away (but very nicely) if I could please sit down. She said, and I quote, "You chose to get pregnant, (or at your age maybe you didn't!) ), I'm older than you, show some respect, I have earned this seat!" I smiled and said, "You certainly have. I for one could only *wish* to be able to have run as fast as you did to get that seat, gee, you seem more physically capable than me!" She glared at me and a lovely old guy gave me his seat. The lady got off two stops later, and the old guy sat back down and we had a good laugh!

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    When not pregnant would always offer but if they say no I wouldn't feel guilty - some people have been sat all day and prefer to stand. Now am pregnant I always take a seat if offered, and if I saw an old person who thought needed a seat would be more likely to ask someone else to move than move myself (have never been in situation where everyone is more in need than me), is not that I can't stand but is more that trains and trams in particular often jolt and judder and don't break smoothly - other people fall over into you etc. so it is a stability thing and risk of a fall why I sit rather than an issue standing. I always ask if people don't offer and I think most of time people just haven't realized rather than are being rude - and have had opposite experience to PZ, in that often have many people trying to give me their seat, or old ladies instructing others to get up!

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    I offer to the elderly, disabled, pregnant etc unless I'm heavily pregnant during which I'm pretty unstable, so others have to stand for me. Saying that, I rarely use public transport, so it doesnt come up much.

    Poor Dh once offered a seat to a heavily pregnant woman. She kindly refused, saying if she sat down she wouldnt be able to get back up again. He felt so guilty, that people around him were judging him for not getting up for a pregnant woman. But it's not like he could push her into it

    PZ - good come backs. Do you get that kind of age discrimination much? What a tool of a woman!

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    what a classic PZ, good on you for being so assertive. I would never have had the courage to do that.

    i am going to teach bilby to offer her seat to people who need it more, the way i was taught to do it (in Girl Guides as a young kid).

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    Tash, not at all! That happened a few weeks ago and it's the first time I'd gotten so much as a foul look. Mainly people ask if it's my first, do I have any more etc lol.

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    i got death stares from some people too, about how old i was, to be having my first. As if i had a choice!

    so many assumptions. (that i was selfish, must have been a career woman for last 20 years).

    and old ladies in op shops, saying i didn't need 2nd hand baby stuff because women these days get teh baby bonus.

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    I would always offer my seat to someone in more need than myself when I used public transport. Even when I was in high school and we would be the first on the bus, half way through the trip it would get full and we would offer our seats up

    Last year though when I went to Melbourne, I noticed there was a big difference in the etiquette some people had towards a pregnant woman. I was obviously pregnant - 7months - and whilst catching the trams I found that I was more often than not offered a seat. A few guys even got up and insisted I sit because of how crowded it was. BUT, I found that when there was a lot of international tourists on the trams, I was not offered a seat, even when it was obvious I was struggling to stay upright. **DISCLAIMER - I'm not saying all international tourists are like this, but it was my experience**

  13. #13

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    This could be going off on a tangent, but what about those with invisible illnesses?

    Someone can be young, look fit and healthy, but still have conditions which make it difficult for them to get around, it seems that in some cases these people would be asked to give up their priority seating, or at the very least would certainly not be offered a seat if there were no room.

    I avoid public transport because of that very issue. I look young, fit... you'd only see that I was in pain if you paid careful attention to the way I move.

    Perhaps I should get myself a walking stick or something, just so there's something to see to indicate that I am actually disabled.

    BW

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    BW - If anyone asked for a seat I would give it up, if someone asks I believe would really need it, people are also free to say no if they are asked. As you say not everything is visible, but people who need a seat should not feel they can't ask just in case someone has an invisible condition, just like someone who has a condition should not feel have to give up when asked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PumpkinZulu View Post
    I have no issue in asking people to move. Especially young people, or obese. Sorry, those seats are not for you.
    Quote Originally Posted by butterfly_warrior View Post
    This could be going off on a tangent, but what about those with invisible illnesses?
    I was going to say the same as BW. You never know what may be going on by looking at someone. I am also young and look healthy, and yet i need a seat on public transport. When travelling to the city every day for work i often sat on the floor for half the journey because there wasn't a free seat and i didn't feel the need to explain my story or face others disbelief or criticism.

    There are many invisible illnesses, and people may also be ok in the moment, but after travelling on PT without a seat may not be able to complete their full work day, or may not have the energy to play with their kids cos they have used it up on the journey.

    Obesity can also be symptom of disease, it is not always the cause.

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    There was a gentleman who got on the train the other day in Melbourne (it was fairly full) and went to the priority seat & asked if he could sit down. He LOOKED physically fine/fit. He asked the gentleman & lady if they had a medical need to sit down b/c he did (it was something where he couldn't stand for long periods of time) and went to present them with a medical certificate or letter. I thought to myself, 'how terrible that he has to provide proof just b/c you can't tell he needs to sit there' but then again after what PZ said about that bargy woman, it's no wonder. (BTW the gentleman told him he didn't need to see the certificate and gave him his seat)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doing my best View Post

    I just felt so guilty as I am perfectly able bodied, and yet I was sitting while someone less able was standing..
    ..
    What makes you think she was less able, age does not mean you loose capability, my nan is in her 70s and would out last plenty of ppl standing on pt.

    Personally I offer my seat, if they say no it's their loss, I don't believe in pushing the point as you might offend someone
    When I was pg etc I preferred to stand, I'm quiet tall and limited leg room annoyed me, but should I not feel well I never hesitated to ask

    Well done for offering but don't worry that she said no!


    Sent from my iPhone, more than likely while I should be doing something else!

  18. #18

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    BW do you ask for a seat. I'll give my seat to anyone who asks It can be confrontational to ask someone if you can sit down, so I figure anyone asking must have a need. I don't think of ever questioning someone, that would be pretty rude. Invisible illnesses must be hard (obviously for more reasons than seats on PT!). So yeah, if anyone who looked fine asked me for a seat I'd give them one, but I wouldn't offer (because they look fine iykwim?)

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