Sao Paulo Tries New Station Seats… for the Obese

The chairs are twice as wide as normal and are designed to encourage the less-than-fit to ride the subway.

The London Telegraph reports that Sao Paulo has begun installing special seats in subway stations designed to encourage the city’s most overweight to use the transit system. Brazil’s largest city has a 40-mile subway system that carries more than 3 million people daily.

Brazil, like most advanced countries, is suffering from an obesity epidemic, and the new seats are part of a government initiative to improve the lives of those who can’t fit comfortably in typical chairs. The seats’ very different shape and identifiable color, however, has been a turn-off for overweight riders, who, according to the Telegraph story, don’t feel comfortable using them.

As far as I know, there is no similar initiative in United States subway or light rail systems. Too bad, though, since our obesity rate — at

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by Yonah Freemark

yfreemark (at) thetransportpolitic (dot) com

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