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Even in cars that aren't totally full, the MTA found, about 10 percent of seats were left empty, and there were a few staunch passengers who seemed to prefer standing no matter what. Still, you can't stand or sit just anywhere. Passengers who stood liked to position themselves near doors for optimal leaning and exit opportunities (and failing that, the vertical poles rather than the overhead ones), and almost everyone showed "disdain for bench spots between two other seats.”
Now personally, if I see someone really not trying to make the seat next to them sit-able on a crowded train, I'll pretend to be tired and cram myself into it, just to make their day a little bit worse, and more importantly, prove a point. Do these people think about what they've done after spending 5-20 minutes with me sausaged in next to them? I don't know, but I'd like to think that they do. If more people did this, the subway would be a better place for everyone.