I spent six weeks of my summer living in New York City by myself. I was staying in Manhattan, but frequently I was all over the city, visiting friends in Brooklyn, seeing the Chelsea Square Market, and visiting colleges such as New York University and Fordham University. Consequently, I had to learn to travel via the subway in order to get from place to place. My first subway experience was with Sara Seger, who had been traveling by the metro most of her life. As we squeezed through the crowded subway we finally found a place to stand. The doors closed and the subway began with a jolt, and then with full speed. Unfortunately Sara forgot to mention to me to hold onto the metal bars above us, and as the subway started, I fell backward onto a man's foot, who yelled at me as I scrambled to stand unnoticed. He gave me dirty looks for the rest of the subway ride as I tried to ignore him. Thankfully he got off on the next stop, but I was sure to keep all body parts, including my eyes to myself for the rest of the summer while on the subway.
From my experience this summer on the subway, I am sure that there is no way to increase social capital within the metro. Especially in a large city, there are too many people to connect on a level necessary to increase social capital. Even if it was safe to interact with other people, the subway stops usually aren't long enough to engage into any kind conversation.Whenever I was on a subway by myself, I always had my iPod on and read a book simultaneously, in order to prevent any interaction with strangers. If anything, riding the subway decreases social capital.