10 Fascinating Types of People You Encounter on the Subway

Published on May 8, 2014 by

The New York City subway isn’t just your everyday transportation system; it’s a way of life.

We depend on it constantly, and most people can pretty much agree that they have a love-hate relationship with it. For $2.50, you can pass your way through all five boroughs and witness some of the craziest moments and interesting characters imaginable.  Even television couldn’t make this stuff up.

Undoubtedly however, it’s all the people of New york that make NYC subways fascinating. Whether you’re a native or a transplant, the subway riders of New York offer a glimpse into a seemingly new world. However, they will also leave you shaking your head at the same time.

Here’s a list of the ten types of people who you may encounter on the subway. These people will bring joy, frustration, excitement, or just flat-out confusion during your commute.

1. The Performers

Once you hear, “EXCUSE ME LADIES AND GENTLEMEN…” you know what’s about to go down.

If you’re standing by a handle bar or a pole, you’re initial reaction should be to get hell out of the way, as these Cirque Du Soleil performers will quickly use them to propel themselves over your morning coffee.

No, really. These kids take subway performance to a whole other level; going from car to car and doing flips on a moving train where tourists can barely stand straight. Whether you’re visibly annoyed, laughing, or amused by all the commotion going on, you have to admit: some of these kids are insanely talented.  Impressing passengers with their crazy acrobatic tricks and funky style dance moves; it takes a lot of skill, speed, and agility to performer stunts such as “The Flagpole” on a train traveling at 30 mph.

2. The Crazies

crazy-homeless-manvia holytaco

Surprisingly, the least interesting people on the train. They’re loud, smell, and even though their initial purpose is to get a reaction out of the riders, they actually end up doing the complete opposite.

Whether it’s yelling at the ceiling, preaching Bible verses, or straight up staring you down as a form of intimidation; the best thing to do is to ignore them.

Investing in a good set of headphones is usually the way to go.

3. The Squeezer


There’s nothing worse than riding in a sweaty, packed, train car during the summer rush hours.

With over 4.6 million riders a day, we understand that the subway is bound to get crowded, but this particular rider is trying to redefine the laws of physics.  As you hear the words “stand clear of the closing doors please,” the squeezer will attempt to inch his way his way in, when there’s clearly no more room and only results to the train being held longer.

4. The Sleeper


There is nothing more entertaining than watching some guy fighting his own sleep to stay awake on the train. You pray that he misses his stop just to see him freak out when he realizes how far he has gone.

5. The Group of Tourists


This particular group you’ll be sure to encounter on the A, C, N, R, and Q: basically all trains running exclusively around Times Square and 42nd street. They come from all parts of the world and you can typically spot them leaning over your seat trying to catch of glimpse of the MTA map with their oversized Canon products and countless Century 21 shopping bags.

Although they tend to be overwhelming at times, it’s easy to play the good guy for a moment and let them know how many stops until Central Park.

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