Photo of the day: Penn Station, Charging Station

I’ve found myself at Penn Station quite a lot lately. You see, I’m working on the project of a lifetime with Happy Cog Philadelphia, so I visit by train from time-to-time.

A few weeks ago I observed some unusual behavior:

I’ve passed by this column dozens of times when I walk into the Amtrak area from the subway — and I have previously noticed the power outlet at the rather unusual height. But I didn’t think much of it until I saw a guy charging his phone there the other day.

A few things immediately came to mind:

  1. Is it considered “legal” for Amtrak customers to use this power outlet for their own purposes?
  2. If not, what is the purpose of that power outlet?
  3. Is this an example of an opportunity to pave the cowpaths? Should Amtrak recognize a customer need and install a mobile charging station?

What comes to mind when you see something like this?

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  1. says

    Amtrak needs to get their head out of their asses, in a lot of ways… Its really a shame when you compare them to European models of train-transit systems…

    That said.
    It makes me think of the world we live in, and how we aren't using it. There's a lot of things we walk by blindly all the time, that are right there for the using, and we don't… out of weird social contracts we impose on our selves, or because we're not even present in the moment when we walk by them…

    He's a smart guy, I now know to look for that electrical outlet when I'm in penn station… I just don't think I'll want to sit down there with my laptop… *ick*

  2. says

    I remember when I took a bus into a city, and then had to make a call. My cell-phone at the time didn't hold a charge very well, so the battery was out. I made the call sitting against the wall with the phone plugged into the nearby outlet.

    But then, this was in Canada, where we have cheap electricity, with power outlets in front of many parking spaces.

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