Daily Archives: 29 February, 2012

The New York City Subway. A Brief Rant

Today’s Music: The Police – Every Breath You Take
Days Til Spring: 20

This is just something I wanted to get off my chest, and since it isn’t what I usually do, I thought I’d throw it in on the extra day we get this year.
I ride the NY Subway system every workday. I take the train in, I take the train out. Sometimes in the course of my day, I need to take the train Uptown. Then, to get back to the office, I need to take the train Downtown.
The J, M, 4, 5, 6, 7, E, F, R, G, 1, 2, 3, 9. Even the D. I’ve ridden almost every line in the system.
Sometimes it’s a freaking nightmare.

Sardines have it easier

The NY Subway has around 7.5 million riders per day. They go down to the platform, get on train, get off the train and back to the street.
So what I don’t understand is why two things happen every day:
– Someone holds the doors for more than the 15 seconds we all expect
– How some of the train crew manages to keep their jobs.

Yeah I've ridden with this guy.

We’re all in a hurry. That’s why they call it rush hour. And you don’t want to wait five and a half minutes for the next train. Because you’re special. So you race for the door and then hold the door for your slow friend.
But at the next station, when some other pez-head does the same thing, you explode in righteous rage. Because they aren’t special.

Generally conductors are nice enough. Some of them throw a little something extra into their station announcements. Mostly, they know their way around the system, and are happy to give directions.
But sometimes, they don’t care. Or even more likely, they don’t like you.
Seriously, I’ve seen conductors stand with a smile on their face waiting for someone to race to the bottom of the stairs before yanking the door close lever.
While smiling.
And I’ve seen it a lot.
Sure, I whined about the door holders above, but the conductors? Dude, we have to be someplace. You’re probably going to get stuck in the tunnel because of traffic or a bad signal anyway.
Have a heart.
I don’t think there is deliberate ill will in the subway, but there sure is an awful lot of random ill will.
And it all seems designed to piss me off.

K, that’s it. Rant over. I still think it’s one of the best mass transit systems I’ve ever been on.
The best is London’s Tube.
Now for a fun subway moment.