In this instalment of our occasional series about what Toronto can learn from other cities, we look to Tokyo and how its people manage to be civilized on overcrowded public transport
A stout middle-aged woman stared at me, stone-faced, as I pleaded with her to shift her legs enough for me to take the subway window seat. She was an aisle sitter. By blocking the path to the window, these creatures hope to get two seats for the price of one and ride in relative luxury.
“I am not putting up with this!” I shouted at the woman’s unmoving face. “Do you think you’re riding on a first-class Metropass?”
But what is the point of recounting such a mundane encounter? Everyone knows the North American transit rider is a boor — blocking, pushing, spitting, burping, farting, spilling, playing at being a DJ, using the outside voice inside. My friend who…
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