Let me present a new theory:
Complaining why people do not give up their seats to the needy on public transport is akin to complaining why most people walk past without donating to the person with the bell and pot at Christmas.
The act of gifting, be it a coin or a seat, is by definition a self-initiated non-obligated act. It cannot be imposed on someone. Although we often see people acting out of social customs, for example christmas customs.
While the public transport companies have the right to demarcate certain train sections or seats as they deem most suitable for their customers, it might not always be for the best. Why do they do it? It doesnt bring more revenue. It isnt a more efficient use of space. It doesnt pack more people in, if anything the disabled and people with prams get a better deal. But they do it because public companies in our era live and die by public opinion and they have to pander to customer and social demands to appear like a caring and conscientious company. In order not to be boycotted, in order that the CEO might stay in favour.
So we have reserved seating. Which we seem to treat as having solved the problem once and for all: if you are in a reserved seat, you are obligated to give it up when you judge necessary. If you’re not in a reserved seat, you are free. No, better than that, you even have an amount of moral authority to turn a blind eye towards the needy. As if to say “you have reserved seats, it’s full? Too bad. These seats are mine. I fought for them. They are in a way reserved for those who fight for them. You can too.”
By delegating and demarcating our social responsibilities, we have disassociated them from us. We are now free. Free!
But how about this, if you (pregnant/disabled/otherwise handicapped or encumbered person) feels that you require or deserve a seat, ask for it. Politely ask if you could have a seat. If you don’t speak up, hold your peace.
If you haven’t a seat to give up, don’t criticise others without speaking to them.
I don’t think there is a birthright or local law that defines what are the minimum requirements for special treatment. It’s plain ridiculous to judge strangers the same way.
It is like saying “you can afford that LV bag, or bubble tea or macdonalds meal, why cant you donate to my cancer foundation?”