Oct 12, 2011

Pressed Necessity - Invasion of natural desire for a respectable “Social Space”

Urban public transport provides a faster way to commute, but it comes at a cost of something which cannot be compensated with saved time or money i.e. “Social Space”, but most people often seem to ignore the fact or somehow they have accepted to pay this cost. Every human being either individual or collective, have a natural desire to create and maintain their sphere of private space in a social setting which is like a virtual bubble around them, primarily for their inherent security instinct, let’s call this bubble “Social Space”. Social space tends to grow in size as the size of group increases, from individual to crowd.

Social Space Bubble

While in public places an individual subconsciously try to defend their social space trying to maintain a respectable distance from people surrounding them. But in crowded public places mostly in intra-city commuting through overcrowded MRTS, BRTS, Buses, Local Trains etc. people invade into each other’s social space bubble due to increasingly limited space that different modes of transport offers due to ever growing population, irrespective of their like or dislike. 

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Bigger the city more acute is this phenomenon. More the people are packed closely more uneasiness they feel. There seem to be no other choice for the common citizens.

Pressed Necessity of Public Transport

Social Space : Desired Vs Available

It appears that most of the public transport in any city caters to the population much higher than their design capacity, at least higher than the footfall or ridership taken into consideration while designing the system, because if we assume the ridership figure of any functional public transport vehicle at present as a designed capacity of that vehicle and divide it with the usable space available inside the vehicle, the figure of Area available for an individual inside a public vehicle (Metro coach / bus)”  hence achieved  would be far less than what it has been designed or planned for, or what we call “standard area requirement per person per vehicle / coach. It’s a pressed Necessity of the time, but there is an urgent need to find a better solution to respect the personal space of people in an urban setting.

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