Tag Archive: MTA


mta

Today while clicking around the internet, I found a site called 100 Improvements to the New York City Subway. I read through it (and you should too) and I agree with some of his ideas (solar panels on outdoor stations, train positions, and notifications on platforms, among others). Of course, some of his ideas are stupid or impractical or both (Subway USB power, I’m looking at you), but what are you going to do, right?

It got me thinking of how I would improve the subway experience. And I think I have some pretty good ideas.

  1. Arrest the panflute guy. – Honestly, does it got more annoying than the fucking panflute guy? He’s so fucking earnest. When they arrest him, they should smash his panflute and break his fingers so he cannot make another one.
  2. Publicly shame any dude who sits with his legs spread wide open on a subway car. – We get it, asshole. You have huge balls and have to keep your legs spread wide open so your balls have a seat of their own. But guess what? Your balls aren’t that big. Close your legs. If someone is caught doing this, the MTA should post embarrassing photos of them all over the train so they get their egos deflated. In the off chance your balls ARE that huge go to a god damned doctor already.
  3. Record the “meaningful” conversations of people on the L train. – And then send the tapes to them when they are A) sober or B) over 30. Not as publicly embarrassing as the balls-guys, but potentially more life-crushing.
  4. Ban paint buckets. – No one ever went into a crowded subway station and thought, You know what would be super pleasant right now? Some shit head playing drums on a bunch of buckets REALLY LOUDLY. Stop it.
  5. Install anti-dance devices. – Your show sucks, kid.
  6. Take away Ralphie’s newpapers. – Any longtime L rider will recognize Ralphie, the son of a bitch who’s “just trying to sell newspapers to get back on his feet”. Well, he’s been trying to get back on his feet the exact same way for at least 10 years and he hasn’t seemed to have made any real progress. We see through your elaborate ruse, Ralphie. No one is convinced. Give it a rest, you miserable junkie fuck.
  7. Kick out the stress test Scientologists. – Yeah, I am stressed out and you trying to foist your hokey pseudo-religion/cult on me isn’t helping. Ditto for all the other religious panhandlers in the subway tunnels.
  8. Pay the saxophone alien guy a million dollars. – Sorry. I love that guy. What a brilliant asshole.

There are a few ideas. What do you think could help improve the subway experience?

Dear The MTA,

Months ago, after spending many months prior building the connection between the 7 train and the E and M trains at Court Square in Long Island City, you decided you then needed to close the brand new same-station connection to do track work on the 7. That was, what, maybe December of last year? People were furious. And understandably. You inconvenienced riders for months to build the connection and, as soon as it was open and they’d breathed a sigh of relief, you closed the damn 7 train at Court Square. Fuck that!

Signs sprouted all over the station informing people that the track work would be finished April 2nd, 2012. No one believed you. I mean, I didn’t take a poll or anything, but I am going to assume no one believed you. Why would they? You don’t exactly have a sterling track record in this area. We lived with exiting at 21st St and walking over to the other 7 stop for months. It was a pain, but we dealt. How the hell else are people supposed to get into town?

We heard the announcement every single time we stopped at every single Court-bound G stop. There was no 7 service at Court Square. You need to get off at 21st and walk over to Hunters Point. So on and so forth ad nauseam. It became like a little song, like the regular “Stand clear of the closing door” announcements you hear so often that they cease to be words and become a collection of sounds, meaningless, musical, abstract.

And then, April 2nd happened and the 7 train at Court Square started running again exactly as you had promised. I was absolutely amazed. Amazed. And surprised. And shocked.

And that’s what this letter is about. I am not writing to express gratitude to you for opening on time, when you said you were going to, but to express how thoroughly disappointing it is that I am amazed, surprised, and shocked that you did something on time, as you initially claimed. Fuck that. Doing things on time and on schedule should be the base. Yes, I understand that sometimes projects get out of hand or things change and deadlines push and expectations have to be shifted, but that should be the exception, not the rule. To have me absolutely astounded that you managed to finish a project when you said you were going to is fucking pathetic.

FUCKING. PATHETIC.

I work in a fast-paced industry where deadlines are tight, nights are long, and the work is hard. We will work around the clock to make sure we meet our clients’ expectations because that is how we keep our jobs. If we were to behave as you do, MTA—letting deadlines slip, projects drag on, budgets explode—we would be out on the street without a penny to our names. And we don’t even do anything that actually has real benefit to people! When was the last time you heard someone say, “Man, I couldn’t get to work/school/whatever on time because the advertisements were late.” Never. But how many times have you heard, “Man, I couldn’t get to work/school/whatever on time because the G is down again for some fucking reason and the god damned L isn’t running into Manhattan and the 7 isn’t connecting and for some reason the M doesn’t come into Queens on weekends, so I had to go all the way downtown, then all the way back up, and what the fuck, I hate the MTA.”

I hear that all the time. Literally all the time. I don’t know if you know, but when you use “literally” to describe something what you’re saying is “the words I am using mean exactly what I am saying and in no way am I using metaphor, hyperbole, or any other literary device”. So imagine, MTA, what it means that I hear that literally all the time. Yeah. I know. It’s terrible.

And can you do something about these fucking metrocard bonuses? Why don’t they just work out to an even number of extra rides? It is infuriating to have like 4 extra metrocards in my wallet, each with less than a single fare on them. Get your shit together!

I hate that I have to rely on you.

Sincerely,

The Black Laser.

Dear Metropolitan Transit Authority,

I understand that you are currently very busy in Albany trying to fleece New Yorkers for every last nickel and dime in our pockets while cutting service and overall making our lives hell. This is an admirable goal and one of which I am fond. Lining your own pockets through graft and corruption at the expense of hard working people in and around New York City should be your number one concern. Assuming that New York could ever have a public transportation system that was both useful and efficient is far too much. Surely that Herculean task can only be accomplished in such fantastical countries as Germany, France, and Japan. For this you are forgiven.

My specific complaint is regarding a lingering odor in the downtown 23rd St station for the F and V trains. If you walk through the turnstiles and make a right, about 1/3 of the way to the end there is a 15 foot stretch along the tracks where air comes down from the street that smells like shit. And I don’t mean that it just smells bad. It does that, but what I mean is that it actually smells like fucking shit. (Note, I am not referring to the scent raised by copulating with feces, rather I use the word fucking in its pejorative sense to express the intensity of my negative feelings about the smell.) Sometimes the odor resembles horse shit, while at others it’s more reminiscent of toxic human shit. Regardless of its current parfum du jour, it’s quite unpleasant. I do understand that this city is filled with surprising pockets of wretched stench sometimes so overbearing as to cause my eyes to water, but to have to endure the stomach churning stink of excrement every day in the subway after work on my way home is just plain unbearable.

Please rectify this situation.

Sincerely, a distraught rider,

Joe Dillingham.

PS – I don’t forgive you.