Train “Seat Hoggers” Are On Increase


Seat hoggers seem to be on increase.

Twice on Friday, I had to ask people if they would move their handbag or gear from an empty seat, as it was the one seat left.

One woman refused and I had to say “hang on, be fair!”

What is with these selfish people?

The empty seat used as a bookcase!

I have never seen any train manager/guard ask anyone to not hog a seat - but in New York, they’re stepping up surveillance and you can be fined US$50 on the spot.

Putting your feet up on a seat also constitutes seat-hogging.

The New York train rules forbid anyone to  “occupy more than one seat on a station, platform or conveyance when to do so would interfere or tend to interfere with the operation of the Authority’s transit system or the comfort of other passengers.”

In the last year, the number of tickets issued  for taking up more than one seat on a New York train leaped by 16%.

A total of 9,490 fines.

That’s a nice easy nestegg for the transit authority at $US50 a pop.

I wish they would try it here.

But let’s not get too draconian please and there are a few rather severe train guards who are a bit over-zealous in checking your ticket especially monthly passess.

I did spot a guard chucking a teen off the train last night for over-riding his stop.

How about the bizarre tale here of how in the UK of a musician who was writing out a song list for what his band was playing and wrote the word The Killers on it (as per the group of that name).

Security staff on board spotted it, thought him suspicious, and threw him off the train for police questioning.

BTW, here are the New York train rules:

No person on or in any facility or conveyance shall:

  • litter, dump garbage, liquids or other matter, create a nuisance, hazard or unsanitary condition (including, but not limited to, spitting, or urinating, except in facilities provided). Trash and other waste materials contained in waste receptacles shall not be removed, except by persons duly authorized by the Authority;
  • smoke or carry an open flame or lighted match, cigar, cigarette, pipe or torch;
  • sleep or doze where such activity may be hazardous to such person or to others or may interfere with the operation of the Authority�s transit system or the comfort of its passengers;
  • engage in any form of gambling, except as specifically authorized as, for example, at OTB parlors;
  • create any sound through the use of any sound production device, except as specifically authorized by 1050.6(c) of these rules. Use of radios and other devices listened to solely by headphones or earphones and inaudible to others is permitted;
  • throw, drop or cause to be propelled any stone, projectile or other article at, from, upon, in or on a facility or conveyance;
  • drink any alcoholic beverage or possess any opened or unsealed container of alcoholic beverage, except on premises duly licensed for the sale of alcoholic beverages, such as bars and restaurants;
  • enter or remain in any facility or conveyance while his or her ability to function safely in the environment of an Authority transit system is impaired by the consumption of alcohol or by the taking of any drugs;
  • conduct himself or herself in any manner which may cause or tend to cause annoyance, alarm or inconvenience to a reasonable person or create a breach of the peace;
  • (1) occupy more than one seat on a station, platform or conveyance when to do so would interfere or tend to interfere with the operation of the Authority�s transit system or the comfort of other passengers; (2) place his or her foot on a seat on a station, platform or conveyance; (3) lie on the floor, platform, stairway, landing or conveyance; or (4) block free movement on a station, stairway, platform or conveyance; or
  • commit any act which causes or may tend to cause harm to oneself or to any other person including, but not limited to:

1. riding a bicycle or straddling a bicycle while it is in motion, or riding a scooter, or any other self-propelled vehicle or any motor-propelled vehicle;
2. wearing roller skates or in-line skates; or
3. riding or otherwise standing on a skateboard.
4. Paragraph one of this subdivision does not apply to the proper use of self-propelled or motor propelled wheelchairs or similar devices by a nonambulatory individual.




  1. Matt L says:

    I normally never have a problem getting a seat due to my stop being further out but it does annoy me to see people trying to hog them. One I saw the other day had a window seat and deliberately moved to the isle seat as the train started filling up to block people sitting next to her. A colleague who catches the bus will actually target the seat being taken by a hogger even if there are other seats available. This is just because he doesn’t like people doing it.

    I have noticed that seat hoggers tend to be girls in their late teens/early 20s so the numbers have probably gone up now that Uni is back.

    Of the New York rules the other one I see a lot that annoys me is people getting on and blasting music through their phone or something similar which can disturb the entire carriage. The Veolia staff never seem to do anything about that either.

  2. Richard says:

    If they dont move their gear I would move it for them, to the floor or their lap and if they take the isle seat and wont move clamber over them to the window seat. The latter action would be difficult for a lady in a tight skirt though!

  3. Olivia says:

    I have to know, did the woman eventually move her stuff? I’d be tempted to sit on it, although maybe the ensuing anger might not be worth it.

  4. Jon C says:

    @Olivia Only when I went to sit on it! I cant believe how rude she was.

  5. Olivia says:

    @Jon. Heh, that must’ve been a comfortable trip.

    But yeah, it makes my blood boil when the carriage is filling up and people just sit there taking up more than one seat. What makes them so much better than the rest of us?

    @Matt L
    Your colleague targeting seat hoggers sounds awesome. Tell him to keep up the good work. ;)

  6. Nick M says:

    It is a sad indictment on society when there has to be specific rule prohibiting urinating in the train carriage. All the more sad because I have once walked into a freshly shoshed-on train carriage. At least Auckland’s trains in my experience are generally clean and tidy - Sydney’s resemble a dump site too frequently…

  7. Jon C says:

    On the other hand, I’m always curious about people who get on and there’s heaps of seats, but they choose to stand near the door.

  8. Simon says:

    @Jon Yeah that`s a laugh!

  9. joust says:

    In places where the carriages get full quickly and someone is only travelling a couple of stops it makes sense to board and stay near a door. So to not have a fight through crowds to get off before the doors close. Though in Auckland with long stops and trains rarely so busy thats ever much of an issue.

  10. Jimmy says:

    I stay standing sometimes if I’m only going 1 or 2 stops.

    Also on some trains you can see more through the windows on the doors then from the seats.

  11. Jon C says:

    @Jimmy that attachment you tried to send me didnt come through. Could you try again by sending directly to aucklandtrains at gmail Ta

  12. Jon C says:

    @james thanks!

  13. Jimmy says:

    @Jon No problem at all.

  14. sj says:

    To be honest, those rules seem to be enforced rarely, if ever, on the subway in NYC.

  15. Nick R says:

    I often prefer to stand for my twenty minute trip home in the evenings, usually because I have just spent the previous eight hours sitting on my ass!

    Also when I’m making the two-stop trip into the CBD I don’t bother sitting down, it takes to long to get through the crowd down the isle to find a seat to bother.

  16. Wonderful article. If anyone in New Zealand is able to photograph a Seat Hog in action, please submit it to the internet’s number one website for outing, busting, and shaming Seat Hogs - Email - [email protected] - keep up the good work!!!


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