It's probably also more hygienic.
A daily rider of Bay Area public transportation, product designer Justin Choy noticed that the transit system doesn't exactly accommodate the diversity of its riders. For one, the height of the grab rails is an enduring problem for shorter people who can't reach and hold the rails comfortably.
That’s why Choy designed Rail Reach, a portable handle that gives shorter people just a little extra reach for the rails on subways and buses. Made from durable plastic, Rail Reach is designed to withstand the rigors of daily commute. Soft rubber lines the handle for a more comfortable grip as well as the hook portion to prevent sliding. The handle weighs in at 30 grams and folds up compact enough to fit in a purse or bag. To use it, just unfold and clasp the hook to a rail.
On his Kickstarter campaign, where Choy's hoping to raise $35,000 to bring the design to market, he also argues the hygienic benefits of Rail Reach. He writes, "Creating a separation from the rails greatly reduces your chances of transmitting/contracting germs from other riders." Choy does not supply scientific proof, but it sounds about right.
All images by Justin Choy on Kickstarter