Snow in New York City

Snoooooooooow.

This morning’s snow really pisses me off.  I was totally getting into the thought of it becoming spring.  Even on Friday, it was really nice.  You barely needed a jacket.  Then, wham!  All this snow.

It’s total bull.

So it should make this morning’s commute a gem.  Actually, what will really be interesting is when it all starts to melt and flood the tracks.  That will be really pretty.

In the immediate sense, all we have to deal with is falling down the stairs as you enter the subway.  No biggie.

Unfortunately, the subway stairs have these metal plates on them that have diamond patters cut into them.  They also have a somewhat abrasive texture to them.

In wet conditions, they work pretty well.  It adds a little traction to what are otherwise tile (freaking stupid) stairs.  However, when it snows, the metal plates tend to cling to the snow.  Under foot traffic, snow gets tracked onto the stairs and then gets packed into the textured plates.  It builds up over time and then gets really slick.  Read More »

“Shut up kid.”

This morning I had a little kid standing near me with his little sister and parents.  Overhearing the conversation, it turns out that the dad used to live in Manhattan years ago.  The family was in town on vacation.

It started off with them jumping on the train.  Dad told the kids where to hold on, etc.  Mom looked a little jacked up about the whole experience, but whatever.  The boy was about 7 or 8 years old.  The little girl was probably 5.

Well, every little jerk and bump, the boy would yell, “Whoooaa!  Hold on,” like it was a roller coaster or something.  Of course, he was asking his dad a million questions.

Why does it go so fast?
What stop are we getting off?
What’s the next stop?
What are the lights outside?
Why isn’t that guy holding on?
Etc.

At first it was pretty cute.  It was clearly his first train ride ever, and he was super excited.  It was like Disney world for the kid.

After about 5 stops is started to get a little old.  I made a note to invest in Ritalin stock later today.

I was fine with it until the train started to really get crowded.  I mean it was the heart of rushhour and I think they were headed to the Statue of Liberty.   So they were on board for the long haul.

At one point the kid was behind me holding on to the pole that is in the center of the aisle.  I was closer to side holding the overhead bar above the bench.  Once we started moving again, he kept slamming into me.  I mean he was holding on, but he was being ultra dramatic about each little bump and jerk.

I guess the thing that made me uncomfortable was it’s an 8 year old kid that keeps throwing his back into my ass repeatedly.  We adults bump shoulders and what not all the time, so you hardly notice it.  But when there’s something behind you constantly hitting your butt, it gets a little awkward.  I don’t even think he was paying attention to what he was doing.

But it is just another example of parents not taking control of their children in public places.

Subway Ridership Breaks All Time Record High

Subway (and bus) ridership in 2008 hit an all time high according to a report released by the MTA.

There were 2.37 billion subway and bus rides.  That’s billion with a B.  Billion.  Can you even fathom that number?  It blows my mind.

That big number represents a 3.1% increase.

Of that, there were 1.62 billion subway rides, a 3.9% increase.  That’s the highest ridership since 1950.

Who cares about all of this?  You should.   Why?

Because the MTA is such a financial disaster, they are actually trying to cut services.  That’s right…CUT.  They want to cut service in a system has a growing demand of 3%+ each year.  That makes no sense at.

With demand increasing due to gas prices, a tanking economy, and increased home residential living, there has never been a time where investing in mass transportation made more sense.

Person Killed by Subway Train at 116th Street

Around 7:30am, a report of a person struck by a train went out across police radios.

The incident occurred around 116th Street & Broadway on the Uptown 1 line.  The thing we find odd is the report that the person was dead on arrival between 116th and 125th.  That makes it sound like the person may have been in the tunnel when they were hit.  That’s just an assumption.

Typically, people that jump or fall off the platform die right there.  There’s no report of the bodies being found “between” stops.

However, I suppose it is possible that he person was hit and dragged as the train pulled out of the station.

The incident tied up trains for hours right in the heart of rush hour.  Beyond that, not too many details are available.  That makes me think that it was probably a homeless person living in the tunnels that got hit.

Drunk Man Gets Hit by Train and Wins $2.3 Million

Dustin Dibble, 25, of Brooklyn fell onto the subway tracks back in April of 2006.  A train came and ran over his leg.  Unfortunately, the leg had to be amputated at the calf.

Dibble was drunk at the time and reportedly had a BAC of .18.

The courts just awarded him $2.3 million!

They found that the train operator saw him in time to stop, but did not.  Dibble’s lawyers allege that the train operator saw Dibble and had 180 feet of room to stop, but did not.

The train operator’s lawyer says the driver thought Dibble was simply trash on the tracks.

Dibble admits being intoxicated and does not even remember the incident.

So how is it that this is the fault of the MTA? This guy was drunk, fell onto the tracks, and was hit by a train.  It is absolutely an unfortunate situation.  Obviously, Dibble will never be the same again, but how is that the fault of the train?

It’s not like the driver actually saw a person on the tracks and said to hell with it…hit him.  It’s extremely traumatic for the person driving the train when they hit someone.  Actually, the MTA requires crews associated with this kind of incident to undergo psychological counseling.

It just boggles the mind.

Wierd Transfers?

For a few weeks now, the 1, 2, 3 lines have been making weird connections.  There is some construction happening on the 1 line, but that’s nothing unusual at all.  For some reason, the trains are waiting extra long at the joint platforms.  Are they waiting to make connections with express trains?

Sometimes the local train waits for two express trains to come by.  It’s getting really annoying.

It’s definitely not train traffic.  How do I know?  Because I had to wait 2o minutes for the train to come in the first place.  I know there isn’t another train ahead of us for at least 8 stops.

“We are being held in the station by the train’s dispatcher.  Please be patient.”

Once in a while, I can be patient.  Every trip is getting a bit much.

Also, isn’t “dispatcher” a bit much for this person’s title.  They aren’t dispatching trains anywhere.  The extent of their dispatching includes:  1) Stop.  2) Go.  That’s it.

The person on the other end of the police and fire radios are dispatchers.  They’re actually doing work.  Not sure that a “train dispatcher” does besides keep the trains from running into each other.  Its not like they’re telling them to take a left or something.

I guess the only time they need to spring into action is when they have to divert trains around incidents or construction at which point they are just transferring tracks.  Anyway, I digress.

More Free Dunkin Donuts Merch in NYC

Last month, we told you about Dunkin’ Donuts plan to hand out free Metrocards around New York City.  Now, DD tells SUBWAYblogger that they plan to hand out gift cards to rail riders!  Some may even get $99 gift cards.

Here’s the details:

Dunkin Donuts CoffeeHello Subway Blogger,

Hope all is well! I really appreciated you blogging about Dunkin’s MetroCard promotion last month, and wanted to let you and your readers know about another program where Dunkin’ is making the morning commute a little brighter for New Yorkers during these tough times.

On February 10th and 12th, Dunkin’ Donuts “Latte spies” will roam the New York metro area handing out loaded $5.00 gift cards to anyone they see holding a Dunkin’ Donuts bag or cup on their morning commute. Four lucky commuters will also receive $99 gift cards.

These giveaways are a component of Dunkin’s newly launched promotion where all stores in the tri-state area are now offering Lattes for only 99-cents, reinforcing that customers can still indulge in a high-quality beverage without blowing the lids off their budgets.

The “Latte spies” will travel on foot, as well as the LIRR, Subway, NJT and Hoboken Ferry in search of loyal customers at these locations:

Hicksville, Long Island and Penn Station/Herald Square (Tuesday, February 10th)
Iselin, Secaucus and Hoboken, NJ and NYC (Thursday, February 12th)

Now I’m just saying…SUBWAYblogger is a regular Dunkin’ Donuts coffee drinker.  By regular I mean DAILY.  I many not get spotted by a Latte Spy.  Sooooo I’m just saying…HINT HINT.  Wink Wink.  Wouldn’t kill them to send some of those cards my way.