NYPD cracking down on subway seat hogs

January 26, 2010 2:41:07 PM PST
If you ride the subways, you've seen them. You might even be one of them. Seat hogs, or people who take up more than one seat. Cops have been cracking down on these territorial intruders, and it turns out, it's a money maker for New York City. It's $50 a ticket. And there are thousands of them.

Apparently, taking up more than one seat on the subway is a problem. Statistics show for the first 11 months of 2009, cops issued 8,700 tickets for the offense. That's a 17 percent spike over the previous year.

"When I get on the trains, I make sure there are no cops around if I put my bag down on the chair," subway rider Brett Salup said. "Because if someone ever gave me a ticket, I'd fight like hell for it, because it's ridiculous

"Sometimes the trains are empty. There's no one on the train," rider Roberto Smith said. "So, you know, you can take another seat if you want to."

But not everyone is unhappy with the increased enforcement, with some subway riders saying they are glad police are doing what they are sometimes afraid to do.

"The young people, the teenagers, mostly the teenagers," straphanger Rosette Chetrit said. "They put their feet and they put their bag and they don't want to move, but still they are teenagers and we are afraid to talk to them."

Authorities offered no explanation for the sudden ticket increase. It is a Transit Authority regulation that prohibits riders from taking up more than one seat. But it's city police officers who enforce the rule on the subways, where, according to more statistics, crime is down by 15 percent.