What's The Best Seat On The Tube?

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 32 months ago
What's The Best Seat On The Tube?
Photo by Ged Dackys from the Londonist Flickr pool.

Most of the time we’re packed into an Underground carriage and will take any seat we can get. But what about those halcyon moments when we’re greeted by an empty carriage and a plethora of locations to posit our derrieres? Maybe you’re travelling off-peak; maybe you live at the end of a line and this is an everyday occurrence? Whatever the case, there are seats aplenty.

But which seat is the best to pick? There are so many factors to take into consideration. Let us take you through them and explore the many facets of this conundrum.

The priority seat

It’s the obvious choice. Nearest the exit, only have to sit next to one person and a nice glass panel to lean against. But it’s rightly there for those less able to stand. So we run the risk of being required to give it up once the train is heaving and there are no other seats available. Now we stand when once we lorded over all our seating possibilities.

The second one in

The next best option. Sure we've now got a person either side, but at least we're still near the exit. This means we don't have to push past lots of others to get out. The drawback: those who love the priority seat will sit next to us even when there are plenty of other seats available. To these people we say "No! Always respect the one seat gap where possible!". Of course we're far too polite/pathetic to ever say this to their faces. And we have a special look of hatred for those in the priority seat who don't give it up when they should, thus requiring us to be the ones who make way.

We have a special look of hatred for those in the priority seat who don't give it up when they should.

In the middle

This may seem like a duff choice as we're stuck in the commuter crush. But we're getting off at London Bridge where half the train empties anyway. Plus we're unlikely to have to give up our seat and as carriages tend to fill up from the outside in, we're most likely to have empty seats either side of us. Could this be the one?

The others

For reasons of simplicity we've only covered the standard bank of seats that exist on all tube trains. We're well aware that on the Overground the choice is obvious — the brilliant middle seat with a glass panel next to it. And we all hate sitting down on those hard and uncomfortable fold down seats.

So which seat is your favourite? Or is it all too much, and do you just end up standing to avoid the hassle?

Last Updated 21 January 2016

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