The Solution to the Pole Hogs

While in Barcelona recently, I had the opportunity to experience their metro system.  They have a simple solution to one of the problems often experienced by Metro riders in DC: pole hogs.  Some riders of the DC Metro will lean against the stanchions or otherwise make it difficult for several people to hold onto a single stanchion.  In Barcelona, many of the trains have these (see photo).  I wish I had taken a photo from farther away, because the top and the bottom of the stanchion are a single pole just like in DC, but the center section splits into three--allowing more people to comfortably hold on in the same amount of space.  This appears to be a solution that could be retrofit in existing cars by cutting out the center of an existing stanchion and welding on these midsection portions.

Photo by Jaume Meneses on Flickr
You can see another view of them in this photo to the right:

The Barcelona Metro also uses waiting time countdown clocks like the DC Metro. . .except theirs counts down to the second.  And they're pretty accurate, too.  This one shows the next train is expected in 1 minute and 41 seconds, which is pretty much exactly when it arrived:

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