Pregnant Lady Finds Commuting New Yorkers Less Rude Than Expected


Elizabeth Carey Smith undertook a four-month study of the New York subway system (and New Yorkers) while she was pregnant to see how rude, or kind, we really are when it comes to letting pregnant ladies sit down on their commutes. As a graphic designer, she then created a detailed, rather impressive chart of her findings (click to enlarge). The upshot, which the Wall Street Journal reports on today: New Yorkers are actually pretty decent to pregnant women!

“New Yorkers aren’t as rude as we like to think that we are, or as other people think that we are,” she said in a phone interview, with her daughter Francesca cooing in the background. “I was sure that I was going to find out that people were terrible.”

Some of the things she found:

• Men and women gave seats to Smith in almost equal proportions (men were actually better!).
• “Women on the 6 and men on the L were most forthcoming.”
• One very well-behaved child offered a seat.
• Morning commutes were better for seat-giving than evenings.
• The G was the absolute worst.
• The E was not much better.
• “In 108 rides on crowded cars, a passenger offered to give up a seat 88 times.”

Those who didn’t are probably pretty miserable to start with. If not, there’s always karma. As Smith says, “Remember: your mother was pregnant once too!” (What you do with that depends on your mother.)

A Pregnant Commuter Tracks Subway Chivalry [WSJ]