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T police: If you must use your phone on the train, don't sit right next to a door

Transit Police report arresting a 14-year-old from Everett early this morning on charges he swiped a phone right out of the hands of a woman sitting on an inbound Orange Line train next to a door open after the train pulled into Stony Brook.

The kid, too young to have his name released, didn't get far, police say: Other passengers chased him and a T worker "was able to prevent the male from escaping."

T Police have started calling the seat next to a door that is going to open "the hot seat" and urge people not to use their phones while sitting in it.

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Comments

They had a report on channel 5 news about not sitting near the door with a cell phone. What I noticed, though, was the healthy looking guy sitting in the seat reserved for the elderly and infirm, though no one seems to pay attention to that sign.

Like the superfluous use of "right", that is a bugaboo of mine watching the local news.

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on MBTA buses and trains is NOT explicity reserved for the elderly or mobility impaired. The signs only request that passengers in those seats give them up to the eldery or mobility impaired.

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...given how crowded many of the trains are, if a healthy person sits in one of those seats, the odds of their noticing an elderly or mobility impaired person who needs the seat are slim to none (even if they don't have their face buried in their smartphone).

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I have seen and myself have given up plenty (or offered and got turned down) seats to the elderly or impaired. But I'm not going to start avoiding those seats and I think it's a waste of perfectly good seats as there been plenty of rides where all the other seats are taken and no one in need are there. Jezz, some people gets annoyed at everything.

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...although, for your own peace of mind, you might avoid assuming that everything said or written is directed at you personally.

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Doesn't matter if you didn't wrote that directly to me or not. This thread's initial argument applies to any abled-bodied person. I brought myself in as an example, but the point remains.

A healthy person should not have to avoid that seat. The person - for common courtesy and social etiquette should offer such seat if an elderly or mobility impaired, but let's not start avoiding the seat. It's a waste of capacity as plenty of trains can be full and all be pretty healthy.

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For the second time, no one told you to avoid the seat.

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Yes, there is nothing to prevent you from sitting in the designated seats. I don't sit in them for 3 reasons. First, I don't like the heat/humidity/cold/wind coming in when the doors open. Second, since I, like yourself, am a considerate person and a person who likes sitting (as I am doing now), I don't feel like either giving up my seat or being inconsiderate. Third, the topic of this post.

So, I think that were one to say that those who are in good health who refuse to give up the designated seat for people with crutches, the very elderly (fit elderly is another issue) or pregnant women are inconsiderate, as they are sitting in the seats that should be given up to the people referenced. Please keep on sitting there, since you are a good person who realizes the duties incumbent upon sitting there. I will stay in the middle.

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The signs do request that they be given up. It just irritates me for some reason when I see able-bodied people sitting in them...my own hang-up.

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Some physical "disabilities" are not as visible as seeing one of the many 30-something dope addicts who stumble with canes, or a pregnant woman. Years ago, we saw more able bodied people offer ANY seat to someone who was elderly or pregnant. Boy have times changed. Very few offer seats now to the elderly or the handicapped. It's difficult. Most appreciate the seat offer. However, one time I offered my "regular, in-the-middle-of-the-train" seat to someone with two cuffed walking canes (mind you, there were no other seats available and people pretended not to notice him and few people were standing!) and he yelled at me and became very defensive because I offered him a seat. I'M SO CONFUSED!

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I rarely sit on the T but offer my seat up quickly to anyone I think needs or could use it. In ambigous situations I try to make eye contact and gesture that I'll give up seat.

Haven't got slapped or had my lap sat on yet. :)

Keep up the good work

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...if you're on a train during the rush hour crush, please, I beg you, sit down if you are near an unoccupied seat.

Back when I had to commute Orange-to-Red line through DTX, I regularly found myself having to squeeze unsafely by the door or not even be able to do that, while empty seats were available. If the riders standing in front of them actually sat down when no one else wanted them, other commuters could actually fit on the train.

I counted 4 empty seats one day on a train otherwise too full to let anyone new on, and ended up in an argument with the two guys who claimed that they couldn't sit down because "they weren't going far" which was neither accurate or relevant. It was rude to the people we left on the platform.

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Same happens on buses -- you have all sorts of people who stand right where they impede entry/exit most (even when there are places to sit and/or less obstructive places to stand).

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I stop halfway down, right before the steps. And I refuse to go further back, despite the crowds in front of me and the fact that there are empty seats up the stairs.

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... so you're the guy who does this on almost every bus I ride?

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Except of the times I muscle my way to be the first person on the bus, then stop right after paying my fare.

Speaking of which, you must have noticed the person, not a particular person but for some reason usually a woman, who gets on at the muni building or Firth Road and does that, only to have someone get on at Whipple or Archdale who insists on standing between person one and the door. Now, the odd person of the same thought who gets on at Aldwin makes it even more interesting. And I will note that I am that guy who weaves through traffic once off the bus, so I usually get to snicker while scooting by them, along with the rear stairs blocker.

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The TV news report probably gave the kid the idea to do it. I wouldn't be a bit surprised.

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Meaning if someone else needs it, they get priority. But if no one is around, anyone can sit there. and of course "healthy looking" based on a few seconds TV spot doesn't mean much.

This "don't sit near the door" is not new. Saw this happen last year on the 66 bus.

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As word of the smartphone anti-theft kill switch feature makes its way around amongst these thieves and the fences they deal with, thefts like this should drop off.

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The statistics cited in your link are impressive. I'm inclined to think that the thieves can continue to sell stolen phones for the parts, even with a locking feature. I don't know much about this black market, though.

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just as I was crossing Amory Street.

Hopefully this kid learns his lesson: fat criminals shouldn't commit crimes that involve fleeing up a set of stairs.

Kudos to the passengers for not being bystanders. Much praise to the MBTA employee for performing her tough duty. But let's be real here folks, it appears the stairs did most of the work.

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"Police take steps to foil would-be robbers"

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1) that one apparently has to worry about sitting in certain seats on the train because they apparently make one more susceptible to crime; or
2) that the alleged perp is 14.

Can we get some Friday good news?

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Hey, we have it good in the US. Ever been to Europe? Petty crime like this is rampant over there. Here is a brief list of things we don't usually have to worry about:
- Carrying your anywhere in a pocket on your body, even if it's not bulging out
- Placing your phone on your table in a restaurant
- Hanging your purse on the back of a chair in a restaurant
- Carrying a purse or a messenger pack such that it's on your back and not on your side
- Having a too-easy-to open purse/pack (e.g. not fully zippered)
- Watching your back by the ATM
- Making sure there's no PIN skimmer at the ATM
- Leaving your laptop/phone/purse on your table/chair in a coffee shop while you go to the bathroom. Only in America does this fly.
- A bunch of young Gypsy kids swarming you and stealing your wallet while you are distracted

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How about not talking on the phone at all when on the subway? Its annoying. There was a girl near me this morning loudly on her phone. Who the hell calls people at 8:30 in the morning unless there is a death in the family?!?

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Ok, but that's not exactly relevant. It's possible to be distracted using your phone without making a call.

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Do you get upset if two people talk to each other on the train? What's the difference?

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For some reason people talking on the phone seem to talk a lot louder than 2 people having a conversation. A lot louder.

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It's actually pretty rare that you see people talking on the phone on the T anymore but EVERYONE is staring into their device--texting, Facebooking, etc.

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You can be on your phone anyepwhere on the train. You just need to be vigilant. People get so self absorbed. It's ridiculous how people have to walk with their phones in their faces.
Priority seating is designed so that anyone can sit but when someone requests/needs the seat you are expected to gone it up. Some people are just plain ignorant and pretend they don't see an elderly person with a cane. When I broke my foot it was very uncomfortable to stand. NO ONE offered a seat.

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for where they sit? How about keeping these punk turds off the system. And yeah, I don't care how much of a hardship they had growing up.

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Theft from the "hotseat" on a train is nothing new, really. When I was a kid, I remember both my mom and grandmother reminding me (and my brothers) to try to find a "middle" seat if possible, and if not, to be extra-vigilant about our personal effects if we sat near the door. I was constantly told not to open my purse when sitting there...to keep my fare or transfer ticket in my hand. That I should keep said purse in my lap tucked as close to my body as possible, folding my arms over it and hunch as much as possible to make the purse a more difficult target to the opportunistic would-be thief.

My brothers were given similar instructions about backpacks and/or shopping bags.

There were no such things as cell phones at the time, and credit cards were rarer...you couldn't use them at the grocery store for example, so *everyone* had some amount of cash on them.

Technology has changed so that now personal electronics are what the would-be thieves are after instead of wads of untraceable cash...but the basic safety practices still apply.

Too bad common sense seems to be an endangered species nowadays.

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A few years ago I was sitting in the hot seat going to Ashmont . Some cowardly a-hole decided to punch me in the face as he was leaving the train at Andrew, and before I could say WTF, the doors closed and the train was on its way. I didn't even see the person.

The hot seat is bad.

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Reminds me of this "fad" in the UK:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_slapping

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How about taking the well paid transit police out of their cruisers, bicycles, bag checks, dog cars, segways, manhole traffic duty and having them sit in the HOT SEAT

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I don't. Put the phone away for a while. Yes, I know that most Americans need to be glued to a screen at all times or else they'll get the shakes...

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