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The study's authors noted that female passengers were generally less likely to ride in unpopulated cars and often tried to position themselves relatively near to a conductor, presumably out of "personal security concerns." Because still, in the 21st century, that's part of the day-to-day routine for most women: in one way or another, being forced to work around the assumption that your personal safety is always at risk. Really, pretty fun. But also, avoiding empty trains cars is always kind of a best practice regardless of personal safety issues. Show me a mysteriously empty subway car, and I will show you a knee-bucklingly awful smell. Usually on the C train.