Pumping the brakes


Some subway drivers make me want to vomit by the time I get off the train. most of thr time, it’s fine, but then there’s the drivers that pump the brakes.

Did you ever notice yourself jerking forward 8 or 9 times as you pull into a subway stop? That’s a brake pumper.

Instead of applying constant, gradual pressure on the brakes, the driver instead brakes and releases. Brakes and releases.

It’s just like riding in a car with someone like that. They see a red light and instead of slowing up, it’s brake and release.

People all over the train start losing their balance, falling all over eachother. The first pump is usually pretty sudden and sharp so straphangers don’t see it coming.

There’s no real reason why the motormen need stop that way. It would be one thing if the tracks were slick, but they do it in all weather.

The best motorment glide the train to a nice gentle stop. That’s when a ride is relaxing and pleasant. A ride on a brake pumper’s train is like riding a bull to work. Grab hold and try to remain upright until we get to the next stop!

Live from the subway, back to you in studio…

10 thoughts on “Pumping the brakes

  1. Might I say that I find your blog very interesting to read. Things aren’t much better on the other side of the world (Holland) so I know what you’re going through each day šŸ˜›

    Keep writing! šŸ™‚


  2. There is a certain time every morning that will put me with a certain driver. He’s a leadfoot. Speeds to get to the next stop, but then has to brake to allow for the traffic ahead of him resulting in a start stop jerky motion. Very cab-driverly.


  3. I’ve always maintained they do that on purpose. When the train is empty late at night the pumping never happens. However, during rush hour, when the entire train is jammed-packed with people, that’s when the motorman decides to have some fun and pump the brakes relentlessly. He’s probably giggling while he does it.


  4. This describes the entire red-line, the ones that aren’t computer controlled that is.


    What pisses me off more tho, is when express lines run at less-than-express speeds. You are sitting there like… shit, this ride takes 10 minutes, why are we going so slow, why does my watch say 15 and 1/2 minutes!!! BASTARDS!


  5. I guess i’m missing the point, is this a satire site? Maybe I have too much tecnical back ground in this area. If you really want to know how hard it is to control a 400 Ton + fat sweaty whinning passengers (guess thier weight yourself) ride the front car and see how expertly the MotorMan is timing those red signals so he can stay the minnimum distance from the train ahead. This allows more trains to run more often for your rush hour commute. At night with 10 & 20 minute headways those signals are GREEN!


  6. Yes, Tom. This is only a semi-serious site. The whole point is to tell the story from the perspective of the subway rider. However, it is nice to have someone “on the inside” participate in the discussion.


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