New Rider Report Card

I was handed a new (the Second Annual) Rider Report Card this morning as I headed down to the subway.  I can’t believe it has already been a year since I filled out one of these things.

I especially enjoy the little opening letter inside the card.  Here’s a few highlights.

“We’ve worked diligently over the past 12 months to improve your riding experience.  We hope you’ve noticed…”

Ummmmm…not so much.

#4 – Sense of security in stations

#5 – Sense of security on trains

Notice the use of the term “sense.”  They specifically are not asking about actual security, just how you feel about it.  Not “do you think security is good,” but instead “do you feel like you are secure.”

I wish there were more room to write on the card.

#2 – Reasonable wait times for trains.

Yeah it’s been great so go ahead and cut service as soon as possible.

Resident Discount Metrocards

So here’s an idea that came to my mind.  I’m sure I am not the first one to think of this, so I’m by no means trying to take credit.  I’m just trying to initiate the discussion.

What if Metrocards were priced based on residency?

People living in the 5 boros would receive a significant discount on Metrocards while people from out of town would pay the higher rate.

Let’s assume that the price of all fares are going up.  With that in mind, let’s make the out of towner rate a premium and residence get a break.  Maybe the price of a monthly unlimited card goes up to just $90 for residence.

You could sell them like TransitCheks.  Residents would simply receive their cards via mail or from their employers.  Or maybe it is just one card that automatically gets renewed month to month.  That way you would be able to verify who is a resident.

You could attach it to drivers liscences or ID cards even!

Just an idea.

A bit of rain for the next few days. Will the trains hold up?

I guess only time will tell.  When there’s back to back days of solid rain, it can cause some big issues on the subway.  For whatever reason, the subway and water just don’t mix.

It is kind of ironic that an massive system of underground tunnels build on an island at the mouth of a major river completely melts down when the water gets even the slightest bit high.  Poor planning?  I’m just saying.

Also, the manager of my home subway stop clearly cannot wait to start salting the stairs.  Either that or he has more bags of salt than he can store.  Everyday for the last week, there’s been obscene amounts of salt on the stairs.  It actually has made the stairs more treacherous because you feel like you’re walking down gravel planks.

It’s been fairly warm and dry so the salt just sits there.

A little sprinkle here and there would probably be a good idea when it gets below freezing at night, but it has been so warm lately.

Of course, we’ll get a foot of snow in January, and we’ll need to bring our own shovels to get down to the train.

Kid Slips in Gap

This morning, right before my eyes, I saw a kids slip in the gap between the platform and the subway train.  I was standing about 6 feet away.

He came running down the platform as the doors were closing.  He stuck his foot out as the doors were closing but missed.  I’m assuming he was trying to get his foot in the door to keep them open because his mom was trailing behind.  He looked to be about 12 or 13 years old.  Tall and lanky.

So he came running up to the train (I was already on board facing the door).  He jumped with one foot out but it hit the outside of the door and slid down.  With that, he fell with one leg down in the gap right up to his hip.  The other leg and rest of his body were still on the platform.

A guy standing in the doorway also saw the whole thing and stuck his foot in the door when he saw the kid slip.  He fought the doors as he bent down to pull the kid back up.

The platform had a new plastic edge…the yellow kind.  He cut his hand a little bit on it as he fell.  Nothing major but that’s the only injury he complained of.

Almost by magic, two police officers were right there helping the kid get up too.  Eventually one put his foot in the door to to keep it open.

The kid ended up fine and got right on with us.  He joked about it with the guy that helped him get back up.

The kicker of it is the train door operator kept trying to close the doors!  Even with a kid’s leg in the gap, a passenger holding one door, and a cop holding the other, the dick running the doors kept trying to close them.  The second officer had his flashlight out trying to signal them to stop, but they never poked their head out the window like they are supposed to.

So if this ever happens to you, take note.  You’d better move it or lose it.

Fat Woman Hissy Fit

So a fat woman and a gay guy walk into a bar.  (Just kidding)

Instead, a skinny gay guy sits down next to a biiiiiiig hunk of woman on the subway.  She’s easily a seat-and-a-halfer.  Her thighs are just spilling over into the seat next to her.

She was all the way at the end of the row, so her other side was oozing out under the bar into the doorway.  I’m not even kidding when I say that people had to be careful walking through the door on that side.  One guy’s leg rubbed up against her and scared the crap out of him.  It startled him as he got off the train.

Anyway, big momma is reading the paper.  The New York Times I believe, surprisingly not the Food section.

So skinny gay guy is just minding his own business.  He’s a little squished in his seat, but doesn’t seem to mind.  He’s reading a book and listening to an iPod.

Then, big momma goes to turn the page.  She nearly smacks him in the face.  She’s so round, she can hardly get her hands around in front of her.  The bottom of the paper keeps getting hung up on her breasts as she tries to fold the page back.  So with each page turn, she’s flapping her flippers arms out and getting all in the gay guy’s business.

To his credit, he didn’t say anything the first two times she did it.  He just made a face and rolled his eyes.  People around us were smiling, trying not to laugh because she made a big deal about every turn of the page.

On the third turn, she bumped his book.  The pages of her newspaper were covering his book as she was turning the page.

Finally, he had enough.  Read More »

It’s official, there’s a cold-only smell in the subway

This is gonna sound strange, but hear me out.  There is definitely a distinct smell in the subway that can only be found when the weather starts to get cold.  Right?

It’s a sort of musty, sour, grandma’s basement sort of a smell.  I’m not the only on that notices it, right?

Yeah, I know, there’s an infinite amount of odd smells in the subway at any given time.  But this one is distinct.  It seems to transcend trains, lines, and stations.

Maybe it is cold activated.  Maybe it has something to do with people wearing coats and hats.  Who the hell knows, but it is definitely there.

[poll id=”9″]

I don’t know where it’s coming from, but it is one of those things that’s going to drive me nuts every time I smell it.  Sometimes it is really, really strong too.

Damn you mystery smell.  Damn you.

Jury Duty

Kill me now.

The only saving grace is the free WiFi available in the jury room. Otherwise, I would be contemplating homicide the entire day just to make things interesting.

An uneventful ride down town to the City Hall area.  It was just after 8am when I got down here, and it seemed like the city was still asleep.  Not many people out at all.  Even the courthouse security screening went fast.  No line!

Any advice on things to say to get dismissed from service, without getting charged with contempt of court would be greatly appreciated.

Slightly Embarrassing Turnstile Moment

I’m going to open myself up to a ton of criticism here, because I’m sure I probably made fun of someone for this at some point in the past.  Here we go anyway…

So I got a new work bag to carry my laptop and whatnot.  My other one started to rip where the shoulder strap attached to the bag itself.  Loved that bag, but after 4 years, it had served its useful life.

I bought a new one that arrived on Friday.  It’s really nice and I love it.  For what I paid, I better love it.

It’s professional gear.  Really high quality and durable because I definitely beat the crap out of my work bags.  So I don’t mind making a hefty investment in one that will last.

Anyway, it is a bit more ridged than my last one.  It has more structure, so it doesn’t squish what’s inside.

Just for reference (and you’ll see why in a moment) it is a single shoulder carry case that hangs down next to your hip.  You see hundreds of similar bags every day of your life.

So I go to swipe through the turnstile as usual.  Unfortunately, I got stuck.  Yeah I know, stuck.

My new bag is about an inch too wide to fit through the turnstile perpendicularly.  So I got half way through and got jammed.  I had to take the shoulder strap off, turn around, and pop my bag out.

It was suspended in mid air because it was wedged between the left and right side of the turnstile.  Oops.  Wide load coming through.

So now I have to consciously remember to turn it parallel each time I go though.  It’s gonna take a while to get used to.  I’m sure I will look like an idiot a few more times before I really remember.

Nothing Better than Perfect Timing

I know I’ve said it before, but it excites me I guess.  Yeah, I’m a huge dork.

Nothing is better than flawless subway timing.  You walk into the station, and just as you swipe through the turnstile, the train arrives.

You hop right on, and hell, there might even be an open seat.  You fly through all the stops to the point where you make a connection.  What do you know, right across the platform is your connecting train already waiting.

You get to your final stop so early, you can take your time getting to work.  Maybe you even have time for a more complicated order at Starbucks.  Heck, you’ve got all this extra time to kill now.

How sweet it is.

The AC Turned Off Early?

I feel like the air conditioning on a lot of subway trains was turned off too early.

Honestly, I have no idea how the AC works on the trains.  Don’t know if there is a thermostat or what, but I feel like the AC was cut.  Seems to happen every year.

There was a bit of a cold snap a week ago, so there wasn’t much need for too much AC.  So I think it was cut off on many trains.  Then late last week, it warmed up again, but the AC wasn’t turned back on.

It really gets oppressively hot when theirs no air on the trains.  The heat is one thing, but then it feels like the oxygen in the air is getting thing.  Kind of a panic situation if you are at all claustrophobic.