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Cue Sir Mix-a-Lot for the A Train

New York subways are getting more crowded, and we're not talking about the number of riders. Ditto Amtrak and most other public transport systems in the U.S. The reason, according to a January 15th report in the New York Times, is the broad American public seat, which is putting traditional rail car seats…er, behind the times…

As a result, transport agencies are taking a rear guard action when ordering up new trains. The New Jersey Transit Authority, for example, is adding trains with almost 20 inches of seating space per passenger, or 2.2 inches of extra room compared to before.

New York's famous subway cars currently have seats measuring an increasingly untenable 17 inches, the legacy of a booty call 28 years ago that recruited a couple dozen passengers to come in and get their lower diameters measured to confirm that that seat width addressed the mean average of the wide public's needs.

But that was then. Now, the ends just defy the means…

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