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January 16, 2014

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Metro bosses can’t stop stool-takers on train

METRO authorities admit they can’t stop commuters who insist on sitting on small stools they bring onto crowded trains.

Passengers perched on stools were spotted along Metro Line 11 during morning rush hour recently, with some even taking a seat in front of doors, creating an obstruction for fellow passengers.

However, Metro operator Shanghai Shentong Metro Group said it currently has no powers to ban passengers from taking stools on Metro trains, though it discourages the practice for public order and safety reasons.

Netizen “Yiyuchengchen” posted a photograph of a passenger sitting on a small stool in a train of Line 11 earlier this week on Weibo microblog.

The man was photographed playing with his cellphone while perched on a stool placed right in front of a train door.

While some web users branded this selfish behavior, particularly during rush hour when carriages are most crowded, other comments were more sympathetic.

“It’s understandable that people seek a seat during a long ride, as a ride on Line 11 can sometimes take more than an hour,” said netizen “lanfeng007.”

“However, they should not cause inconvenience to other people by sitting close to the doors or taking up too much space when the trains are crowded,” added lanfeng007.

The Metro operator said that while legally it could not stop passengers from bringing stools on board, it appealed to commuters not to do so, saying the practice caused annoyance among other passengers and could be dangerous.

Stools placed at train doors inconvenience other passengers, said officials. And unlike fixed seats, the stools are a danger if a train has to suddenly brake.

People sitting on the stools are also more likely to be involved in trampling accidents when carriages are crowded, they added.



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