A letter from Sari
Hi Kasper Stromman!
Here’s a solution to Bryan’s metro problem:
This is what they use in the Montreal metro; the big arrow shows where people exit the train, and the small arrows indicate where new passengers should stand. I’ve used the Montreal metro before and after this arrow make-over, and while it did not get rid of the problem completely it definitely helped. I don’t know how to get the City of Helsinki to take on this arrow scheme, but I hope this will get you and your staff at the Kasper Stromman Design Blog their week’s worth of free beer.
With kind regards,
This is brilliant! Arrows – why didn’t anybody think of this before?
And Bryan – looks like it’s beer o’ clock here at the Kasper Stromman Design Blog Worldwide Headquarters.
A letter from Adam
Having also experienced the torment of the metro doors I sympathise with Bryan’s plight. Might I suggest the following:
Firstly, the metro driver pulls up to a stop as per normal, allowing a crowd of aggressive Ins to gather. They then toss a coin (preferably a 50 cent piece because it’s a big coin and it’s dark down there) and if it lands heads, quickly shunt forwards five metres and open the door. If tails, reverse backwards five metres. This will allow the Outs to get out while the Ins scramble towards the new position of the metro doors.
Because this will become the norm, crowds will start to gather near the first door closing position only to then rush five metres either left or right to pre-empt the decision of the coin toss. Basic game theory will allow for a safe dispersal of a crowd so that the Outs will outnumber the Ins.
The driver has an optional non-toss position of pretending to move backwards or forwards but actually staying in the same place. This should be utilised only as sporadically as a the likelihood of a 0 and 00 in a US style roulette wheel.
I can see absolutely nothing wrong with this system. Can you get Bryan to post me a beer?
Your system seems absloutely spot-on and well thought through to me, and I too can not see any fault in it for the life of me.
I will absolutely get Bryan to post you a beer.
A letter from Kimmo
Dear Mr Kasper Stromman,
I read Bryan’s offer to sponsor your beer for a week, provided that you come up with a solution for his problem with getting off the train in an orderly manner. Only minutes thereafter, I had forgotten all about it.
It wasn’t until yesterday, while I was watching my favorite Tom & Jerry cartoons, that I realized that what might work for mice, might work for men as well. You see, in one episode Tom paints a hole in the wall. And wouldn’t you guess that Jerry bumps his head into it over and over again, until he realizes that his hiding place is actually somewhere else.
Inspired by this very funny episode, I went out and did a field experiment in the metro, where I spray-painted fake doors next to the real ones. As I was running head over heels to escape the security guards, I was able to observe at least seven people stopping outside the fake door and waiting for them to open. They did not, however, bump into the doors, which I attribute to the higher intelligence of humans compared to mice. Instead, when the real doors opened and weary commuters poured out without resistance, these seven persons realized their mistake and entered through the real doors a few seconds later. Needless to say, without bumping into anyone.
With best regards,
Why of course! Often it’s the most obvious solution that works the best.
So Bryan, where’s the brewski?
A letter from Bryan
Dear Kasper Stromman Design Blog,
I read that you are looking for a beer sponsor. I myself have a different problem. I am troubled by the behavior of people who travel on the Helsinki metro system. It’s as if going underground encourages everyone to forget their common sense. Example: in anticipation of the train arriving, people line up next to where the train doors will be. However, this makes for a bit of a standoff when the train does arrive and—guess what!—it’s full of people who—guess what again!—want to get off. I don’t like body checking grannies, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do if no one is going to let you off the train.
Are there to the best of your knowledge any public service announcements or other media campaigns that educate people in the ways of sensible subway travel? If not, this sounds like a job for the KSDB. Here’s my offer: I’ll sponsor your beer for a week if you find some creative response to this issue.
We here at the Kasper Stromman recognize this problem, but have no instant solution to the problem. However, I hope you don’t mind if we put this out to our design savvy readers? Who knows – there might be a ready solution to this right under our eyes which we just couldn’t think of.
So, readers – if you have any suggestions, please mail them to email@example.com.
Remember, there’s a week’s beer in this. For me.