Amor e felicidade nos ônibus de Copenhagen

A empresa de ônibus dinamarquesa Arriva instalou em mais de 100 de seus veículos os love seats, assentos que incentivam as pessoas a flertarem, trocarem sorrisos, amor e felicidade. Isto para que as pessoas utilizem mais os ônibus e deixem mais seus carros em casa para aproveitar os momentos que gastam sentados andando pela cidade.
A mensagem é que nunca se sabe o que vai acontecer, e que é possível tirar algo legal e positivo das viagens de ônibus que pegamos todos os dias.

Entrevista com Marianne Faerch, da empresa responsável pelos love seats.

Trecho da matéria que comenta de estudos sobre comportamento:

“Freaks and Weirdos

There are scores of studies that show the extent of anti-social behavior on public buses. A Scotland studyfound the main types of behavior to include “rudeness/verbal abuse, drunken behaviour, the dumping of litter/rubbish and smoking cigarettes.” To reduce these nuisances, the study says, solutions may include installing closed-circuit television cameras and “safety screens,” or hiring undercover police and police escorts on important routes. But wouldn’t that just add to a heightened level of insecurity, paranoia and sterility?

And let’s not forget that poorly designed inconvenient transportation — whether it’s overcrowded, delayed or noisy — can also contribute to stress and tension.

With such a strong stigma already attached to riding mass transit, especially in the United States, it’s important that transit designers and operators figure out how to make the experience more enjoyable, even if it’s on a superficial basis. (Otherwise, car companies might have more ammunition to produce ads like this “freaks and weirdos ride the bus” from General Motors.)

Getting Social

Earlier this year, a study was released that showed the social needs and behaviors of more than 1,700 train and bus riders in New Zealand. The researcher, Jared Thomas, found that 50 percent of respondents said they intentionally engage in isolating activities, such as listening to music or reading, to discourage conversation. The conclusion? “Side-by-side seating arrangements and standoffish behaviors create a socially uncomfortable environment akin to a crowded elevator.” It appears that in an effort to maximize capacity, buses have ignored interpersonal comfort.

Some suggestions for making transit more socially accommodating, according to Thomas and other experts:

  • Alter seats to face each other
  • Provide L-shaped seating, arm rests and small tables
  • Replace awkward three-person benches with two-person or single seating
  • Designate quiet train cars
  • Install televisions in buses and trains
  • Encourage drivers and passengers to make eye contact and smile”
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