Skip to content
CityLab
Transportation

How to Find the Least Crowded Subway Car

A British blogger conceives an answer: digital platforms that indicate the passenger volumes of various cars.
relates to How to Find the Least Crowded Subway Car
Dan Taylor

Earlier this month the Daily News reported the results of a Metropolitan Transportation Authority study to determine which areas of New York City subway cars get the most crowded. The MTA looked at two lines — the L and F trains — and found that, generally speaking, the front cars carried more passengers than those in the middle (and, in fact, more than the maximum capacity). The most spacious car, relatively speaking, was the caboose.

Of course the crowdedness of any given train depends in large part on the location of its platform entrances and exits. No veteran rider would expect the first car of the uptown 1 train to be anything but jammed after the Times Square station, since the main part of the station funnels people onto the front of the platform. But others lines, particularly the 6 train, funnel in from the center, as an MTA spokesperson explained to the News. System-wide, there are no hard and fast rules.