MBTA Hopes to Kick ‘Manspreading' To The Curb

For commuters who ride the MBTA, the T says their biggest complaints beyond service issues are frustrations with other riders’ so-called “T etiquette.”

Concerns like big backpacks blocking your exit, people talking loudly on cell phones, and riders taking up more than one seat.

“I mean a lot of it’s probably ‘manspreading’ so I think it’s nice sometimes that women could have more space,” commuter Alessandra Early said.

In an effort to do away with the “manspreading” phenomenon - where someone spreads their legs so widely they’re encroaching on people next to them - and other annoyances for T riders, the MBTA’s new GM Steve Poftak says they’ve created this new digital campaign.

“We’ve tried to sort of take a gentle touch here, they’re sort of amusing, we’ve got animals involved, just kind of gently remind people and we’re hopeful that it sticks, and hope that people A) enjoy it and B) listen and learn from it,” Poftak said.

So far commuters seem to like the ads that get their messages across with the help of adorable puppies and kittens.

“I think it’s a good idea, like make people more friendly and I think you need more of that these days,” commuter Josh Weinstein said.

Commuter Cayman Bearly-Malinowski added, “I think etiquette is always important, you have it at work, you have it in the classroom, why not bring it to the T?”

Poftak hopes this will help improve the overall customer experience on the T.

“We’re hopeful just to remind people just to make room for everyone on the T and make sure that everyone has a comfortable ride,” Poftak said.

The T plans to roll out several more ads at several other stations soon.

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