I've noticed an uptown 4 train at Union Sq between say 8:10 and 8:25 in the weekday morning (I haven't noted the specific time), that is decidedly less crowded than any other uptown express train. One time, I saw it at Grand Central with almost no standees!
Is there 1 that's turned at South Ferry or perhaps starts elsewhere further up the line?
Please stand away from the moving platform as trains enter and leave the station. Your safety...