Friday, April 01, 2005

A popular uprising on the 2 train

A popular uprising on the 2 train

In the past month the New York subways have been a mess. There’s a fire, the trains stop. Someone drops a backpack, the trains stop. It rains too much, the trains stop. That’s right people reading outside of NYC, here in the Big Apple it rains underground apparently.

Last night was a trackwork-related diversion. The Q train stopped at Pacific street which means you have to high-tail it through the station to the Atlantic Street platforms in hopes of catching a train that continues into Brooklyn. I was one of the first people up the stairs and on my way to the 2 platform when I saw a train pulling in.

Now most people would think that at 1:30 in the morning when there are several hundred people heading for a train, the train would wait at the station until everyone got on board. It’s not rush hour and there isn’t another train coming for a while so there would be absolutely no harm in holding the train for three minutes. Most people would be wrong. Just last week I had a similar situation at Franklin Street, trying to catch a Manhattan-bound train back to my station that had been skipped. The Manhattan-bound train held at the station long enough for people to start coming down the stairs from the other platform and then it closed its doors and took off, stranding several hundred people.

This is why I had to break into an all out sprint to catch the 2 last night. If the train held in the station I would look like an idiot running my ass off, but I couldn’t let my fate depend on the good graces of the MTA, I’ve been burned too many times.

My skepticism was validated when the doors closed on me just as I was getting through them. There were hundreds of people behind me hoping to catch the train so I did what I’ve always hated teenagers for doing: I held the doors.

The conductor opened and shut the doors a few times and other door holders gave up. I kept my big ass steel-toed boot in the door as people continued to pile in.

“Don’t hold the doors in the back!” The conductor screamed over the P.A. That’s right, he’s angry. He’s about to strand a legion of riders and he acts like he’s the one being inconvenienced

I guess if I worked for an agency that constantly cried poor my only joy would be to get drunk on the power of angering so many faceless New Yorkers. It would make me feel important, like I was someone not to be trifled with.

But then again, if I were that person it would pain me to have to realize that all of my efforts could be thwarted by a steel-toed boot.


At 12:57 PM, Blogger daFunkGoDDeSS said...

You seemed to be in good spirits despite the "Lord-of-the-Rings-esque" journey home. Dare I ask what kept you so jovial?

At 9:23 AM, Blogger Cap'n John said...

Good for you, Rob! Sometimes Metro employees forget that they're working in "Public Transport" and thus their primary job function is to transport the public. Being a daily rider on L.A.'s Metro, I would have done the same thing myself.


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