was on the number two train today, going to Harlem for a healthfair. all of a sudden, the announcement started: “all passangers, number two is going lexington express number five route. for all passangers wanting the west side, number five is going broadway local number two route.”
and ther you have mta in a nutshell.
what is the sense, i ask, in switching routes for two and five? if there was another line involved, like making nr 1 run crosstown or express instead of local, i would understand.
it is the same with the BX12 express and local buses. they put these machines up in the bus stops and i was happy because i thought i could fill my MTA card in them and not go to the train station anymore.
guess what, it ain’t happening. all you can do there, is pay with the mta card you already have and get a receipt which you need to show to the driver when you get in the bus. which you previously did inside the bus in the appointed machines that now stand unused and sad and stuffed with old transfer cards.
of course the MTA has no more money and wants to raise the fare. if they keep implementing innovative ideas like this one, they’ll never have anything. unless they are being paid to keep up the alert levels of new yorkers. which, in a way, explains why new yorkers are so very alert and quick thinking. and why it feels as an accomplishment when you finally learn to navigate the subway and get to your destination without either:
1. paying double
2. waking up at the last stop not knowing how to go back.
3. losing the past three trains because you want to get the express line and nobody told you it’s all local service today
4. trying to unscramble that PA announcement which is supossed to make your navigation easier, instead of frantically asking the other passangers: what’d he say? what’d he say?
5. all of the above.
anyway, even for veteran commuters like myself, there is the occassional “jolt of mind” like the one above. i suppose i should be grateful my brain is not yet on vacation.
in case you want to live in NY though, here are some pointers for the subway:
there is always another train coming and they usually run every hour. for this reason, the boss can be surprisingly understanding when you show up late at work.
do not be afraid to ask the staff even if they are grumpy.
never get out of the turnstile if you have not yet reached your intended stop. this way you will not lose the fare money.
you can transfer from train to bus but not from bus to train with a metro card.
visit http://www.hopstop.com if you are not sure what train to take, and map out your commute. i love this site!
always look at the seat before you sit down.
subway maps are free.