On my last day, I went even further north of New Rochelle, where I was staying, and was somewhat surprised to see some wooden household chairs on the platform at Pleasantville. I thought it was a bit strange, but then in Pleasantville, they looked at me as though I had just landed from Mars when I asked if I could get a taxi from anywhere, so it was power for the course.
However, thanks to Jon Justice, I learnt about the Take a Seat initiative. "Take a Seat is an ongoing series of public furniture installations aimed at increasing the availability of seating options in New York City subway stations. Perfectly functional chairs are rescued from trash piles and reassigned to stations where limited seating options leave subway patrons no choice but to stand for extended periods of time."
"More than 5 million riders pass through the New York City Subway system every day, sometimes waiting as long as an hour or more for their trains. Unfortunately, benches intended for waiting passengers are sparse and inadequate, leaving many riders standing. According to NYC MTA's founders, "the subway should be an inviting and pleasant environment, geared to the user, with the highest levels of design and materials." I agree! What is more pleasant than sitting while waiting for your train?"
This is a genius idea by Jason Pink and results in random seats being placed on New York's subway:
You can see more pictures on the Take a Seat Flickr set, including where the seats were originally found and their new home on the subway.
If anyone wants to have a go at doing this for the Tube in London, I'm sure it would be most welcome by weary commuters, although I bet Transport for London would say it contravened public health and safety or something equally jobsworthy.
While I'm here, I must thank Stuart for taking my posts about New York Subway and putting them onto Metafilter. It led to some interesting & funny comments about the Subway fashion victims and what a touristy dork I was! My favourite is the following: "That made me a little crazy: She called everything the wrong name and just seemed clueless for someone who likes subways. On the other hand, she was really excited and cute. So I am just so torn."