I haven’t take Shanghai Metro for a long, long time.
The other day, I took Metro home. Wow. I found some really good improvement in Metro. Let me share what I saw with you.
People Start to Line Up!
I would say people lining up to get onto to off Metro is very rare for me. Normally, taking Metro is a physically fighting game that you have to either join handful of people to rush into the door or you wait until the second train and get pushed by people behind you.
During my metro ride, I found more people line up on the left and right side of the gate to allow people to leave the train before they enter.
This is still not the common practice, but I am happy to see at least some people are starting to do so, which is very positive sign.
Empty Seats on Train
This also seems strange to me. On the train, at around 7:00 PM, there are empty seats while there are still many people standing!
I don’t think there is anything significant behind this, but this is a scene I rarely saw before. Typically, even if there is only one empty seat left, people will get across the train cart and take it.
This reminds me my first trip to Singapore about 5 years ago. I was so puzzled to see empty seats while there are many more people standing nearby. I even asked people around me why not take seats! (FYI, they didn’t have an answer). At that time, I thought I wrote something about it and claimed that this could never happen in Shanghai.
It happened after 5 years. I would guess that it is because of the higher quality people’s life and the more abundance of public facility that a seat is not that a big deal. The most likely answer to the question why people don’t take something is “abundance”. I would say if you take everything out of the garbage bin these days and show it to people of 10 years ago in China, I bet most of the items will be taken away, like all newspapers (they can sell it for 1 or 2 cents), bottles (they can also sell it), and boxes (they can bring home for daily use).
I guess the seat is the same thing for people. When I have a seat everywhere, why bother take the seat in a Metro? It seems the same in U.S. Subways, and especially the AirTrain in SFO (almost all people stand and keeps all the seats open).