Is that 17 Sacagawea’s in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Happy fare hike Monday.  Actually, the fares jumped over the weekend, but most of us wouldn’t have noticed until today.

So now that we have a $2.25 fare, your pants just got heavier.  How so?  Well, if you buy a single ride with a $5 bill, you’re going to get back two dollar coins plus 3 quarters.  Awesome.

God help you if you paid for it with a $20.  That’s 17 dollar coins plus 3 quarters.

$20 bill goes in, 20 coins come out.

Granted, even a few days ago, it still would have been 18 dollar coins…but still.  It’s pretty insane.

The bigger problem is going to be the little old ladies that have to break out their coin purse full of nickels to get up to the 25 cents.  You know there ain’t no damn way grandma is going to break another dollar if she doesn’t have to.

At least the machines don’t take pennies!

“Courtesy is contagious…”

“…and it starts with you go f**k yourself.”

On the newer trains (like the 2 train), they’ve added some more public service announcements.  They aren’t especially new, but they seem to be playing them a lot more, and they’re starting to piss SUBWAYblogger off.

For the longest time, you only had a couple basic announcements from the voice in the ceiling.

“Backpacks and other large containers are subject to random search by the police.”

“Please do not block the doors while the train is in the station.”

“If you see a suspicious package or activity, do not keep it to yourself.  Tell a police officer or an MTA employee.”

Those pretty much summed it up for years.

Now there’s these obnoxious ones that say, “If you see an elderly, pregnant, or handicap person near you offer your seat.  You’ll be standing up for what’s right (pun intended).  Courtesy is contagious and it starts with you.”

First of all, lay off the “jokes.”  Standing up for what’s right?  Hey here’s an idea.  You hire staff that knows how to speak English when using the PA system.  That sounds “right” to me.  It’s not to much to ask to be able to hear and understand the more critical announcements.

If you want to stand up so that Mrs. Preggers or Grandma can sit down, fine.  If you don’t, who cares.  That’s life.  We don’t need you’re little reminders.

It’s almost as infuriating as President Obama having to hold a press conference to remind people to wash their hands in order to avoid swine flu.

Gents, let’s just stick to running the trains.

Your thoughts?

Another Nail in the Fare Hike Coffin

Aaaand we inch ever closer to the $2.50 single ride and the $103 monthly unlimited. The final vote is Wednesday.

I don’t claim to be that good at math, but eventually the unlimited card is just not worth it.  I mean, the average commuter is going to take the train twice a day, 5 days a week, 4 weeks a month.  That’s 40 total rides.  At $2.50 a ride, that’s $100.

Eventually, I think I’m just going to buy a $100 regular card and get my extra 6 free rides ($15).  There’s rarely a month that goes by where I take 6 rides on the weekend.  When I head out on the weekend, I’m usually cabbing it up.

SUBWAYblogger MIA

Sorry we’ve been missing in action the last few weeks.  We’re getting back on track ASAP (pun intended).

It’s been an insane few weeks around the office, and it has totally dominated every waking moment.  The thought of writing even more, even via Blackberry on the train, was overwhelming.

Things are finally calming down, so we’re hoping for a triumphant return.

In the mean time, the long awaited South Ferry station has finally opened.  I did, however, think the water main break yesterday was kind of funny.  Here they are launching the new South Ferry station, yet 1 trains were terminating at 14th Street because of the water around Canal Street.

Anyway, here’s what people are saying:

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 »

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.

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.