Poll: Wishing for Subway Luxuries

On my way to work, I was thinking about what I would wish for if I was able to get one wish from the subway.  If I could make any subway related improvement at the snap of a finger, what would it be?

[poll id=”11″]

If you can think of any others, please drop them in the comments.

I think cellphone reception might be my first choice.  Then again, the simplicity of everything being nice and clean would be a great change of pace.

Of course, most of these are just pipe dreams.  Maybe there’s still hope.

Subway Cheapskate Makes Out on Leftover Fare

Stack of Metrocards

Turns out it’s not just the homeless guys that pick up the tossed Metrocards to try and to use the leftover values.

The Post reports that Georgette DiFini, an F line resident of Brooklyn, regularly picks up discarded Metrocards.  She claims that roughly 40% of all tossed cards have at least some money left on them.  Not enough for a ride though.

You might be asking yourself how on earth would anyone be left with anything less than a whole dollar on their Metrocard.  Well, it’s that tricky 15% bonus you get on any fare purchase over $7.00.  If you get a $7 card, you’re going to get bonused $1.05.  That damn $0.05 is going to carry over.

The MTA says simply refill your card to use the leftover bonus.  So in this case, you’d have to add another $0.95 to cover the remaining balance of a $2.00 fare.  It’s like the MTA is getting their ideas from the crack dealer’s handbook.  Get just a little taste extra to keep them coming back.  The $1.05 isn’t worth a damn thing.  They’ll need to spend another $0.95 to be able to use it.

Anyway, this woman finds these cards everyday. How many you ask?  Try around 45 a day!

The then takes her loot up to the tokenbooth to rollover the balance onto her card.  She’s making about $10 a week she says.

Not a bad idea if you don’t mind fighting the bums for their finds.

What happens to all the “change” that never gets used?  The MTA keeps it of course.  That change adds up to about $4 million a year.  That’s a $4 million donation New Yorkers make to the MTA a few cents at a time.

Welcome to New York, Get Out of the Way

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back after a lovely Thanksgiving weekend.  SUBWAYblogger’s back in business, sorry for the lack of posts.

Without further adieu, we believe it is time for our annual public service announcement for tourists visiting our fair city for the holidays.  Here goes:

Get Out of the Way.  Thank you.

To harsh?  I think it is short and too the point.

First, you must wait for passengers to get off the train before you try to get on with all your shopping bags.  Yes, you will see other people doing it, but those are experienced New Yorkers that know when they can jump on a train early.  Do not attempt it yourself.

Stopping at the top or bottom of an escalator is not ok.  Take at least 10 steps off the escalator before you try to turn around and look for your friends/family.  Stopping at the top to put your mittens on will guarantee that you get mowed down.

Yes, he’s touching you.  Those other people on the train are going to be in your personal space and probably touching you.  Get over it.  Or take a cab instead.

Ask for directions ahead of time.  Waiting until the last minute to jump out of your seat and run for the door is not cool.  Pay attention to the stops, and don’t be afraid to ask someone.

If your 20 blocks or less away from your destination, just walk.  I know…exercise is not what you are used to.  Trust me, it’s not that far.  No need to pay the $2.00 for a ride and crowd the trains even more.

Last but not least, keep moving or get out of the way.  There’s very little area in the city (approximately 13 square feet) where it is ok to just stop and stand still.  So always keep moving.

Good luck.

Wish I could take the subway up state

So tonight I had to go rent a car for Thanksgiving travel.  Unfortunately, I didn’t know that every garage in my neighborhood was going to be filled to capacity.

Where the hell did all these cars come from?  There’s no room in the garages, and there’s no room to park on the streets.  I drove around for an hour before I found a space.  It’s insane.

Makes me glad I don’t actually own a car in the city.  I don’t know what I would do if I had to deal with this crap everyday.

Now if only we could get the subway to run up state, I’d be in much better shape.  Instead, I’ll be battling the girdlock alert day.

I did see bleachers set up along the parade route already.  They have a bunch right outside my work subway entrance.

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

iPhone & iTouch Subway Applications

Here’s a pretty comprehensive list of iPhone & iTouch applications for subway riders.  They include NYC subway maps, directions, tips, and MTA information.  They all have their pluses, and are really cheap.

These are apps that you will find yourself using on a pretty regular basis, especially if you spend a lot of time traveling around New York City.

These links will open up iTunes on your computer automatically.  From within iTunes, you can see what the apps look like, and see all their features.

Now when you’re out in the Village on the weekend, you can easily navigate your way back home!

Tube New York is a superb interactive guide to New York’s Subway, Path, Staten Island railway & Air Train services along with an informative central New York street map.

With no need for a Internet connection Tube will display a clear scrollable detailed map of these transport systems uniquely overlaid onto an informative central New York street map.

Tube can calculate the quickest routes for all your journeys on these public transport systems and show a fantastic animated display of your route on the map.

Full details of your routes are provided including line changes, platform directions, direction of travel, number of stops and accurate journey times. The New York subway services change dependent on time of day and the user can select from 6 different schedules (Rush AM, Midday, Rush PM, Evening, Night and Weekend).

When an Internet connection is available “Live Information” on the current state of the transport systems can be viewed (and automatically saved for future reference) allowing you to plan your journeys in advance and avoid any potential delays.

Quick station search and station information such as disabled access and fare zones are just a few taps away.

A wealth of other information on places of interest, hotels & restaurants, museums & galleries, entertainment etc is also provided along with details on the nearest stations and the quickest route to get there.

With the iPhone’s inbuilt GPS system you can find your position on the central New York street map and easily locate the nearest station or place of interest.   A must have for anyone traveling in New York.

$9.99 Tube New York

The Kick Map is designed is to get more people to ride New York City’s subway system. Created with clarity and ease of use, it allows riders to navigate this vast system easily and without uncertainty. The subway map is the key to understanding this most complex subway in the world, which has 26 separate lines and 468 stations.

A well-designed map not only welcomes and empowers novices to use the subway but also encourages additional use for regular “home-to-work-only” commuters to use the subway for recreational destinations where they might otherwise take a car. For this reason the design of the subway map can directly influence ridership numbers and can indirectly have an effect on New York’s traffic congestion and pollution. In short, a better-designed subway map will make our subway system more open and accessible.

$1.99 NYC Subway 24-Hour KickMap

The iPhone game Subway Shuffle is a collection of puzzles set in a subway system. You have boarded a car on the Red Line, and your task is to reach your destination. The problem is, there are other subway cars in your way! Each subway car can move only on its own color line: the red cars on the Red Line, the blue cars on the Blue Line, etc. Can you shuffle the cars from station to station, eventually moving your own car to your exit station?

Subway Shuffle comes with 70 different layouts, of increasing difficulty. The early levels are fairly easy. They help you learn the techniques you will need to solve the later levels — which, though simple looking, are surprisingly challenging.

$2.99 Subway Shuffle

iTrans NYC Subway – Tell us From and To, and we’ll get you there.
Using a sophisticated algorithm, iTrans finds the fastest route between any two stations taking the current schedules into account, then guides you step by step. It even works when you’re offline underground.

Search – Find any station with a few taps.
Search is easy and instantaneous. iTrans shows you the lines that service each station, as well as the borough the station is in (New York City only). Select a station and iTrans scrolls right to it on the map.

Schedules – Tap on a station to see the next trains.
If you tap on a station, the Stop Info Pane shows the next departures for each line. Leave the office at just the right time to catch your train, or see which lines are running right now.

Maps – Beautiful offline high-res maps
Scroll around the interactive system map in stunning high resolution. Pinch or double tap to quickly zoom in or out—graphics are always sharp. It’s by far the best way to view the system map on iPhone.
Maps and Location Integration.

Go to a station in Maps; find nearest stations.
Tap “Show in Google Maps” to go directly to that station in Maps; it’s great for getting from your final stop to the destination. iTrans also has a Location button; it’ll find the nearest stop and scroll to it on the map.

Advisories
Info about delays and service changes.

$4.99 iTrans NYC Subway

CityTransit is a comprehensive guide to traveling through New York City. It includes official subway maps licensed from NYC’s MTA, line data, a GPS-based station finder and live service advisories. An expandable architecture will allow the future download of bus maps, commuter rail lines and more.

-Integrates with the Maps Application to show nearest stations
-Live service advisories from the MTA website

$2.99 CityTransit NYC Subway Guide

NYC Subway Maps – You ride the subway and want to be able to check a map from time to time. Being able to check the MTA website on your iPhone/iPod Touch is great, but if you are already underground with no signal you are out of luck.

Mapped New York’s underground with original illustrations, and many users feel they are easier to ready than the MTA’s own.

$2.99 NYC Subway Maps for iPhone and iPod touch

NYC Subway Maps

We thought it would be useful to put together a list of the best NYC Subway maps available on the Internet and beyond.  If you have any to add to the list, please post a link in the comments, and we’ll add it to the main body of the post.

Since our last post about NYC Subway maps (back in 2006), there’s been a lot of new ones, and some improvements to the old ones.

  • Gypsy Maps – A Google Maps mashup of the subway lines.  Nicely color coded and information about each station.
  • On NY Turf – Similar to Gypsy Maps, but is actually the original Google Map mashup.  Also includes the PATH trains.  Available in many languages because the people that need the maps most are often from outside the US.
  • MTA Trip Planner – The MTA finally got off their butts and put together a route planner.  They also teamed up with Google to get it done.  They also offer a widget for you to put the planner on your own website.
  • Public Routes – A Hop Stop like site that offers routes and maps for transit systems all over the country, including NYC.
  • Hop Stop – One of the more commercialized subway and transit mapping systems on the web.  Put in your location and destination, and Hop Stop gives you the detailed directions of how to get their including subways, buses, and good old walking.
  • iPhone Map – One of a couple iPhone subway maps.  This is one of the better ones, and it is free.
  • iSubway – Another iPhone subway maps.  A bit more simple.  Just an image you can download and save to your phone.
  • DadNab – An SMS based subway direction service.  Text your location and destination to get directions txt to your phone.
  • Trips123 – Subway and transit maps from around the country, including NYC.  Also has up to date information about on going construction and incidents for each subway line.

Do you have one to add to the list? Let us know!

Signage to Promote Express Metrocards

Did anyone else see signs, literally put up on easels, at your subway station advertising the new EasyPay Express Metrocards?

At Columbus Circle, they had a bunch of them printed up and set up at the main entrance.

In case you don’t know already, the MTA has set up a Metrocard that automatically refills itself when the balance gets low.  It’s kind of like an EasyPass for your car.  Once your MetroCard balance gets down to $30, it will aautomatically refill itself with $40 more.

For the pay-as-you-go crowd, this is probably a great idea.  It will certainly save you time, and you’ll never really have to worry about refilling your card again.  I only wish they did the same thing for the monthly unlimited cards.  They should have one that automatically renews itself each month.

Anyway, this is the first time I’ve seen the MTA set up these little sign boards to promote a new program.  Wonder if it will make a difference.