In a New York Times Magazine letter to The Ethicist columnist, a white reader frets that he may be guilty of "racial profiling" because he sits next to a black passenger on the Long Island Rail Road, figuring the guy will exit at Jamaica Station - thus allowing him to slide into a preferred window seat. The population of Jamaica, Queens, is 60 percent black.
As the columnist points out, that's not racial profiling. Instead, the rider is "gambling on established demographics."
And I think that's something regular CTA commuters do every day. Well, that, and capitalizing on established rider behavior.
Here's how I do it:
- At rush hour, I wait at the far south end of the Grand platform for the northbound Red Line. Why? Because I know that at the stops in the Loop, that last car gets fewer riders because you would have to board on a narrow walkway adjacent to the mezzanine stairway.
- Also, when I board, I move to the center of the car to stand. Why? Well, for sure to get away from the crush of riders entering exiting by the doors. But also because there are more seats in the center that might open up and allow me to sit.
How do you gamble or capitalize on the riding behavior of other passengers to make your own commute a little bit easier?