New York transit officials aim to curb 'manspreading' on subways

A poster reminds 'dudes' to stop manspreading on the subway. (Metropolitan Transportation Authority)

A poster reminds 'dudes' to stop manspreading on the subway. (Metropolitan Transportation Authority)


, Last Updated: 3:34 PM ET

A major offensive against 'manspreading' is set to launch on subways across New York City next month in a bid to put a stop to the distinctly male habit of sitting with legs spread wide apart and unnecessarily taking up a free seat next to them.

What started as a major pet peeve and shaming campaign on blogs and social media sites has officially been taken up by the city's Metropolitan Transportation Authority as a public service campaign that will roll out across subway cars and stations beginning in January.

Posters like "Dude...Stop the Spread, Please," will remind offenders -- mostly men -- to mind their manners, sit with their legs closed, and free up valuable seats on the subway cars at a time when ridership on the New York subway is at an all-time high.

The average ridership on the New York subway for the work week of Monday-Friday was 5.5 million per day in 2013.

The transit system also broke ridership records this past fall, when it logged 6.1 million commuters on Tuesday, September 23 -- the highest number recorded since daily figures were first recorded in 1985.

The public service campaign will also remind riders to take off their backpacks when boarding the train, a common courtesy to fellow passengers.

It could be said that New York is following in the heels of Paris, which likewise launched a set of metro-riding etiquette guidelines or 12 commandments last winter. The handbook includes tips that range from offering to carry heavy bags for elderly female riders; waving hello to the train conductors; and being mindful of the volume of their music and their phone conversations.

And though they don't call it 'manspreading,' a poster on the Paris metro likewise reminds riders to rise from fold-out seats when the trains are crammed with riders.