Monday 23 January 2017 8:14 am

A new app has launched to solve that ever awkward question: “Should I give up my seat on the Tube?”


I mainly cover transport and infrastructure, along with workplace diversity. You can email me on Rebecca.smith@cityam.com with stories and commentary.

I mainly cover transport and infrastructure, along with workplace diversity. You can email me on Rebecca.smith@cityam.com with stories and commentary.

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Many of us have had the awkward moment of hovering awkwardly out of a Tube seat. 

To offer or not to offer? Does that person need a seat?

Well, fear not, hesitant commuters. For a new app launches today aimed at helping pregnant women specifically get seats on public transport. It's called Babee on Board.

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It will essentially function as a smart Baby on Board badge – once it has been pressed it sends a notification to smartphones within a 15 foot radius so commuters who choose to opt in, will be alerted to the fact a pregnant woman needs a seat.

Even if they've got their headphones in, eyes glued to their phone, or simply can't see anything but a sea of people as the carriage is rammed. 

The app uses bluetooth technology so will work without the need for signal or Wi-Fi.

It has been developed by London-based firm 10x. Babee on Board needs two apps to work though – Request Seat for the women who want to request a seat and Offer Seat, for commuters who are happy to offer their seat.

The request seat app costs £3.99 – in an effort to crack down on those misusing the app – though 10x has said 100 per cent of profits will go towards Project Healthy Children charity; the offer seat app is free.


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Hew Leith, CEO of 10x, said: "A year ago an 80 year-old woman, who was sat next to me on a busy Tube, got up and offered her seat to a heavily pregnant woman. I was mortified. I was too engrossed on my smartphone to notice anything. So as soon as I let the older woman have my seat, I began racking my brains for a solution. By the time the Tube train pulled into the platform at Moorgate, I had the idea to use beacon bluetooth notifications so pregnant people could let commuters know they’d like a seat."

Another plus, he pointed out, is that it removes "any awkwardness for commuters". And we all know how much commuters hate awkwardness.

Here's how it works:

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