It's nothing personal but I don't want to talk to you man. Not because I hate you or even dislike, I don't know you and I'm on the bus trying to get somewhere that I need to be. This isn't a social event for me.
Also, don't try to speak to me on a plane either. It's bad enough I have to sit next to someone I don't know for hours, but we're so close that inadvertent touching happens and is super awkward.
It's because they're low floor streetcars, meant to be more accessible. The seats are raised because they're over the wheels, and I guess making them face-to-horrible-face is the only way they could fit them.
Busses here have the seats that face eachother. If the bus has a lot of seats taken, strangers will just sit across from eachother and just look past the other person or out the window. Just being close to strangers, or even in line of eyesight, isn't gonna get people talking. Even the awkward moment of having to get off the buss with three people cornering you is just a little nod and a shuffle and it's all good. Talking to strangers on public transport? Not gonna happen.
Last time I was on a bus some lady had a baby doll with no head and she was talking to it like a person and she was getting pretty aggressive. I don't know if I'd want to be any closer to people on a bus.
I remember the time I genuinely thought I was going to die because some complete asshole started screaming at the top of his lungs some fake Middle-Eastern sounding gibberish (the kind a dickhead racist would spout if they wanted to make fun of brown people) behind me in an incredibly crowded bus. I was already an anxious bastard at the time and that didn't help whatsoever. This shitty idea is only going to encourage those kinds of people, it's ridiculous.
Wow... I guess I shouldn't be surprised by the responses here since many of you are very anti-social and socially awkward (this is neogaf after all) it seems, and I am too, but I think this is a cool idea!
I can guarantee you that 95% of the people you see on the bus have no interest whatsoever in striking up conversations with completely random ass strangers while wanting to just go home or to work. And no, those 95% of people aren't anti-social or socially awkard.