China: Around The Nation

Chinese subway passengers spark storm over ‘bring your own seat’ behaviour on rush-hour trains

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 November, 2016, 11:31am
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 November, 2016, 12:04pm

Photographs of subway passengers taking up space on morning peak-hour trains by sitting on their own stools have sparked criticism on Chinese social media.

Passengers pictured sitting on fold-up stools during rush hour on Shanghai’s Metro Line 9 showed no regard for other standing commuters who had to make room for them, the news website reported.

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Some passengers seated on stools were seen watching television dramas on their mobile devices.

Internet users hit out at the passengers’ “rude and selfish” behaviour after the photos were widely circulated on social media.

One user of the Weibo microblog website said such behaviour also occurred on other metro lines in Shanghai.

Some people posted comments arguing that the metro was to blame for the shortage of seats that forced passengers to bring their own stools to avoid having to stand throughout their train journey.

But others also pointed out the passengers’ selfishness in “thinking only about themselves” by taking up extra space in the already-cramped carriages.

The Shanghai metro operator said it “neither encourages nor supports such behaviour”, but that people were allowed to bring small stools on board its trains as luggage.

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The use of stools annoyed other commuters during the crowded peak hour and was also risky for the passengers because accidents could happen, the report quoted the operator as saying.

The metro operator posted photos of passengers seated on stools on its Weibo account, urging passengers not to copy such actions.

“Do behave yourselves – the metro is not your own home,” it said.