Monday, July 02, 2007

Pratical Advice for Subway riders

These are the responses to my June 28th, article, "Mayor Likes the Subway, But Rush Hour Patrons Are Feeling the Squeeze", please continue to provide us with your feedback


  1. good one really enjoyed reading this one

  2. "down one flight from the people giving out AM New York and Metro at the entrance. I make it a point to take one paper from each vendor, rather than from the piles lying around, because I remember the days when I gave out literature, and the small spark of pleasure I had when someone accepted a leaflet." This is just a hint of what makes you so terrific. The sincerity and charm is awesome.

  3. I lived in Tokyo, where the subways employed professional packers to cram people into the cars. The Japanese have made several adaptations to crowded subways: their books (including textbooks) are small and thin, easy to hold aloft and read; they pay attention to hygiene; they remain compact, despite increasingly fatty diets.

    It seems like the city can adjust the congestion on the subways like a faucet, by simply shifting the workday for public employees, even school opening times. Or discounting the fares in non-peak periods.

    I look forward to hearing your suggestions.

  4. This is fabulous. I would highlight the best parts but there are so many it would bore you. Who am I kidding? A writer bored by praise for his sentences. Yeah, sure!

  5. I like the alliteration. [I once referred to a politician's district office staff as "The wimpy, White women of the Weiss warren." They were.]

    Over-capacity? The T.A. mis-speaks. Signal speed is 90 seconds (how often you can run a train safely behind another), BUT because of the antiquated system and the heavier and faster cars, for a safe "signal speed" it is now 120 seconds. Anyway, no trains run more often than every five minutes (300 seconds apart), and if they run more closely, then it is because the trains are off schedule, which is most of the time anyway.

    Long ago the Transit Authority gave up its legal responsibility to run trains safely and on time. There is no question that the T.A. can run more trains even during rush hour. Pataki was the first Gov. (since 1968 when the T.A. went over to the M.T.A.) to cut rush hour service, so that more service can be run even then. Service has been cut back and cut back under the T.A.'s "1-2-5" loading guideline: 5 passengers for every 4 seats.

    I understand that since 1961 there has been on the average a 50% reduction of runs on the subway. Buses are worse: 66% reduction in runs.

  6. Live in Armonk but as kid took 456 to nyu crowded but only 5 cents. Thanks

  7. Wonderful piece on our subways. I have just been to Chicago and they have beautiful multi-newsrack boxes all over the city. At each station they have a bin just for recycling newspapers, so no one throws them on the platforms. Why can’t we do that??

  8. This piece is priceless - gave me a good laugh.
    We (and I'm sure many others) seem to have developed similar techiques to survive the Lex experience.
    Looking forward to your suggestions.

  9. don't push! take your backpack off and carry it at your side! by wearing your backpack you are taking up space for two!

  10. I enjoy reading your well written pieces.
    But this one suffers from the chronic disease of Manhattan Myopia.

    The majority of subway riders live in outer boroughs, ride more lines ane ride longer than you do. These places are also far from the power structure that can attend to problems. (When was the last time Bloomburg was on the #7?)
    Many of your citations are quite trivial compared to the problems we endure- without the choice of buses, walking or cabs.

  11. When I was a subway rider, as I was leaving work, my boss asked me to discard a long florescent tube that had been replaced .
    Deep in conversation with a friend, I carried them onto the subway.
    When the train pulled out, I stood clutching the tube which was now grasped by several other passengers in the crowded car.

    When I exited a few stations later, I left the tube being upheld by my fellow straphangers and am still wondering who the last passenger was left holdingthe pole.

  12. Dear Henry-- I prefer the bus but your writing talents are really needed to
    describe air travel therse days. The fact that the Mayor rides the subway is
    a superb example of his leadership --how nice to have him back in the
    vangauard of liberal values. By the way, I bel;ieve Churchill died in 1965.

  13. Bloomberg is no Churchill in any way whatsoever!

    His trans-fat ban, and the smoking ban were terrific, and dissolution of the Board of Ed was long overdue; all of these things hit the nail on the head and very much to the point.

    However, his congestion pricing proposal fails the smell test hands down. David Weprin's observations on the subject make very good sense, and are very realistic. The only thing I would add is separate and focused attention paid to buses, BOTH private and MTA. One way to stop idling is to find out who the driver is waiting for how long, and then detain him and his for twice that amount of time. No more idling!

  14. Great combination of the personal with the policy, SQ. A lifelong subway rider, I really enoyed this one.
    Crowded trains are a sign of urban vitality - immirgrants, workers, tourists, etc. Now just some planning and energy is needed to channel it.
    Look forward to learning your thoughts on this.

  15. I thought I was the only one who approached subway riding so strategically!

    And although I agree the underground environment is somewhat different at
    7am, I'm also all for Mayor Mike's tough-love talk, as he's right regarding
    perspectives on many things, and funny, too.

    Glad to know I'm not alone...

  16. I have to agree with the mayor concerning the blackout. Since I live in
    Sunnyside, Queens (the recently approved Landmark district) I suffered a
    blackout of approximately two weeks last summer. I have to tip my hat
    to the folks of Western Queens for bearing such a blackout without much
    complaint. No looting, no old folks dying in their apartments, no
    ranting, just bearing with the situation and trying their best to get
    through the day. The real New Yorkers who can face adversity and not
    complain live outside of Manhattan (no offense to yourself of course)
    and they show it every day with a long commute and by taking care of
    their neighborhood.

  17. Re: Your posting of June 29: The subways often are capable of running during blackouts. I think this is because they are still powered by their own generator plants, located throughout the city. However, service is always halted during blackouts because the signal system loses power. I suppose this means the signals, unlike the third rail, get their power from Con Ed. I’ve always wondered why the signals are not powered by an alternate source, at least during Con Ed outages. It would be wonderful if the subways could function during blackouts.

  18. Congestion Pricing must be stopped.
    It is a sham and a mere commuter tax in disguise. Treat all New Yorkers equally. Tax the communters from outside the 5 boros. There are so many flaws with the idea it's too long to right here.