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Commuter Graphic: Get a Grip!

This week's Commuter Graphic looks at the overhead handles that Metro is testing to help riders keep their balance. The agency has been operating eight cars with handles made of nylon or vinyl for several weeks. The straps are black, yellow or gray. The black straps are made of nylon mesh; the others, in yellow and two shades of gray, are vinyl. The agency expects to have its newest rail cars outfitted with the stainless steel handles by December.

Pick your favorite design below.



By Mike McPhate  |  September 10, 2008; 3:12 PM ET
Categories:  Commuting  
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This is a waste of money and effort. I've been on several full trains with these and only seen one being used - by a person who could just as easily have held onto the vertical bar six inches away.

Posted by: wastro | September 10, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

I voted for the yellow vinyl straps: (1)Straps are more forgiving than stainless steel for those of us who are tall and may bump our heads against the handles. (2)The vinyl strap appears to be longer than the nylon strap, thus more of a help to shorter riders. And, finally, yellow is more visible than grey.

Posted by: M Street | September 10, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

The straps should be able to twist. I can reach the top bar, but the other day I had to let go to let a seated passenger get out while the train was still moving. On a crowded train, passengers need to get a head start to get to the door. With nothing to hold on to, I lost my balance, and would have fallen except the train was too crowded for me to fall. I can't tell from the pictures whether the vinyl ones will twist or not; the steel one probably can't. I'd go for vinyl over nylon for holding less dirt, while not hurting people's heads like the steel ones might.

Posted by: Joe | September 11, 2008 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Hate the metal grips - they're too small for my manly hands to get and maintain a firm grip during the lame sudden stops and lurches that we've all grown accustomed to

Posted by: Pete | September 11, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I prefer the stainless still ones because of the stability they provide. I'm only 5' 3" and find the straps don't provide enough support when the train is jerking along. I feel like I am swinging from the bar with these. Not the most comfortable thing in the world.

I also think the stainless steel ones would be the easiest to keep clean, then the vinyl, then the nylon.

Posted by: Laura | September 11, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

This is painting deck chairs on the Titanic.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Metro Man | September 12, 2008 7:47 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

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