Subway Crush No Longer Gets Weekends Off

The rush speaks to improvements in a transit system once seen as a national symbol of urban blight, but it also points to the shifting cultural and economic picture of New York.

Comments: 125

  1. During the past decade, we have seen residential hi-rises sprout like weeds throughout the city. There have been no provisions for expanding MTA capacity to serve these new residents. None. In fact the service has been diminished at the same time. There is something called civic planning. I know this because I have seen it offered in the colleges I attended. Apparently, no one took it seriously however.

    But considering that this recent expansion has been almost exclusively oriented to luxury and privilege, and these collateral effects have been inflicted upon the city be such society, I think the damage could be offset with at little upper-bracket... tax... ???

    And the MTA needs to provide a very public audit of their financials for the past ten years. I think you'll find some pulitzer-prize winning stories there.

  2. While there might be some lines where the subway cars themselves are a bit nicer a huge majority of the stations are in desperate need of repair. I am often embarrased when I take out of towners on the subway. Peeling paint at the entrances and exits; water dripping from the ceilings. We can and must do better.

  3. Indeed the subway delays have reached alarming rate. Some time waiting time is as long as 35 minutes.Is this not hurting the Economy of the city? Time lost is money lost.

  4. I find the additional weekend subway passengers, at least in Manhattan, could be due to the onslaught of both foreign tourists and out-of-towners. The subway still remains the most cost effective, and quickest means of travel throughout town.

  5. This phenomenon plays out in San Francisco but with cars. The traffic on weekends, both in the urban grid and on the freeways, is just as bad on Saturdays and Sundays as it is during the traditional workweek. In the 12 years I've lived in San Francisco the weekend traffic has risen at a dramatic rate.

    It's normal now to spend a relaxing Saturday or Sunday out of San Francisco only to have to sit through a 1, 2, or even 3 hour traffic jam to get home. And that's just going up to Sonoma! Many people now refuse to go to Tahoe because of the 8+ hour traffic jams coming back to San Francisco.

  6. "Dozens of residential developments have sprouted up around subway stations in once-desolate parts of Brooklyn and Queens."

    Once-desolate? What. Let me assume you are talking about Greenpoint, Williamsburg and Astoria: is the point that the people who lived there didn't take the subway? Because that was probably true as they trended heavily toward newly emigrated families who would likely work all week, then remain local. Or with children, opt for car travel. Your sentence construction seems to imply these areas were empty, though. And to write that these neighborhoods were once-desolate is lazy at best, making class value judgements at worst. This must be the New New York.

  7. It used to be when I took the train on a weekday at an off-time, like 1030 or 2 pm it was fairly easy to get a seat. Now the trains run much less frequently and its rush hr all day long. Its like how they raised the Central Park tennis ticket from 7$ to 15$ in one yr. Its become hell just living here.

  8. 5 years ago LightRail came to our part of town. You could get a whole car to yourself. Now at rush hour it is Stand Room Only and lucky to find a seat off hours. During sporting events you have to put up with the drunks.

  9. I nearly fully agree with Kevin -- however the fully public audit of the MTA finances should go back at least 20 years -- the organizaiton is as forthright as is expected and required.

  10. I was in NYC in May and was passed-up by taxi cabs at least half a dozen times (once in front of the Plaza) because they only wanted to go to JFK. I even saw them turn down a LGA and a Yankee Stadium run. Maybe the subway is so crowded because of the cab drivers turning down local fares?

  11. From Memorial Day to Labor Day the Far Rockaway A train is packed on weekends with hip trend setting Manhattan Yuppies and surfers looking to spend a day at the beach without spending a lot of green and wasting expensive gas fighting traffic jams and paying wallet-busting tolls. After years of being treated with contempt by the rest of the city Rockaway Beach is now experiencing a revival in popularity as a fun and reasonably inexpensive summer staycation destination.

    It's about time Rockaway got some long overdue respect!

  12. Well this has many positive aspects. Perhaps more cars and a better use of resources is the best idea. After all you have a 24 hour town so you need a 24 hour mass transit system.

  13. Agree with #2, majority of the stations are embarrassingly in need of repair.

  14. Tourist Perspective, what you describe is illegal. Maybe it was that dreaded hour when the taxi drivers change shifts? If you're going in the general direction of their destination, usually in Queens, you can get a ride, eg, over to the East Side not too far from the 59th St. bridge.

    FWIW, we take the subway if we're in a hurry and when we're sober. Seldom is there a problem getting a taxi when we need one, eg, drunk.

  15. With constant rises in fares, the noticable improvements are scarce and barely on the radar. Where is the money going???
    ANd duh, the subways are always crowded, who writes this stuff?

  16. I travel on the subways every weekend and can expect delays, changes in schedules (no trains on any given line). Tourists are at a loss. There is no way to put a positive spin on the weekend jumble. Couple that with the regular sights of crowding, dirty platforms, still poor sound systems, people leaving their trash on the trains and you've got a recipe for an unpleasant ride.

  17. New Yorkers, quit whinning. What if you lived in the Miami area, with mass transportation only truly available in the very core of the City of Miami, where there is the free Peoplemover, with its limited curcit. As far as real public transportation with stops all over the city, Forgetaboutit.

  18. Yeah - but maybe we should be chillin in the weekends and taking it slower on the subway. What's the rush?

  19. The subways are still dumps. Dirt and litter on the tracks and in the cars. Some of the people in this city are pigs. Fortunately I can walk to the offce and on weekends walk or take cabs. I avoid the subway like the plague.

  20. I’ll have to agree with #4 and say that one reason is probably the increase of European tourists on vacation in NYC to spend our weak dollar. I work on Broadway between Prince and Spring and when I leave the office, I CAN NOT WALK at a normal pace on the sidewalk due to the thick crowds of bulging-bag-toting shoppers. This is EVERY day in EVERY season: 90 degree weather and stormy weather, the shopping vacationers are out.

  21. Whether because of a perceived increase in safety of mass transit &/or the rising costs of taxi service, out-of-town tourists are much more willing to take the subway now than ever. They're everywhere, just look and listen.

    As for your comment about 'once desolate parts of Brooklyn and Queens'.... How dare you? These were areas with a long-standing residential base, not 'desolate' fringes of your version of NYC. Those residential bases have been increased by overdevelopment and the flight of a younger generation priced out of Manhattan who, yes, are taking subways home late at night on weekends (and weeknights). Pathetically, such increases in population have not coincided with increased service; in fact, several lines have been eliminated, resulting in higher ridership on remaining service because it's the only way to get to these places via mass transit.

    As for the young woman who states she feels more comfortable on the subway because there are similarly aged peers riding along: Grow up, sweetheart! NYC is about diversity of all kinds, cultural, racial, religious and, yes, in terms of age as well. If you prefer living with people your own age, move to a university town, and leave this city to those folks who actually value the richness of its multi-faceted diversity.

  22. This sadly reminds me of what is happening to our DC system, which overall has a nice and modern design. Unfortunately, the people that run our system don't have the professionalism and competence to maintain it. Every year it gets worse. Prices go up and services become less reliable.

  23. When you spend all of your budget on bloated pensions and healthcare for retired employees, it is difficult to pay for expanded service and upgrading the subway stations and platforms.

  24. Arriving at the 14th St. stop Last Friday evening (July 9th) at about 6 p.m., I felt on upon exiting the train as if I had entered an inferno. I asked a station cleaner what he estimated the temperature was. "A hundred degrees!" he exclaimed, with streams of sweat pouring down his face.

    I am a huge fan of public transport. Have traveled the world over but I never found such intolerable working conditions.

  25. There is also a growing number of people in NYC who ride the subways instead of driving or taking a cab for ecological reasons. We are the same people who want more bike lanes, improved parks and hybrid buses.

  26. It is exasperating to wait for a C train on a week-end between 59th and 125th street (if there is one running and it has not been diverted to the express track). It is especially so at the 81st street stop when the American Museum of Natural History is getting ready to close. Try waiting and watching as 4 partially full express trains pass by on the express track.

    Why not cut back on express service on the week-end? Why not schedule 2 express and 2 local trains? Can't an express train run local when there is high volume traffic such as when the AMNH closes?

  27. We could also use more express buses during the week as well as on weekends (including Sundays during which they now do not run at all) with more frequent service. Surface transit can never go as fast as subways theoretically can, but those who can afford a few more dollars would be happy to pay for this alternative and this would help alleviate the subway crunch. Whether the fare needs to be raised is a controversial issue but maybe there's a way to give subsidies to those commuters who make at or near minimum wage and can't afford to pay more. I think someone else suggested raising taxes on the highest earners, but that must happen at the Federal level and then (hopefully) the Feds can allocate more funds to mass transit systems.

  28. Just buy a car. With everyone else getting gummed up in mass transit there should be no vehicular traffic, right?

  29. Hate the weekend baby carriages and bikes that add to the crush. They should be banned.

  30. The construction of these massive new luxury condos without any thought to improving the infra structure is just crazy. I have lived on the LES since the mid '70s and find that the 2nd avenue F trains stop has become just unbearable. with the arrival of that god awful full block avalon building on houston street, you literally have to wait on line to get up the stairs out of the station most of the time.


    Makes you wax nostalgic for the days when you just had to share the station with a few winos, junkies and hookers ...

  31. I must be older than most of the respondents here. I remember when subway frequency was much higher than it is today. Then in 1995 Giuliani stopped certain funds to the MTA and they had to cut back - I remember it was a 7-minute wait in between trains on the A. Then the MTA had to reduce by 2000, so it wound up a 10-minute wait in between trains. Of course, I understand the problem is labor costs which keep rising.

    I may feel different than most respondents here, but I would GLADLY give up cleanliness in favor of more frequent subway service during rush hours and late nights (I also usually go home at 1:30 am on Saturday night - and it's just as crowded as during the weekday rush hour. It's miserable.

  32. Friends from overseas think they've stepped onto the set of Serpico or The French Connection or some film based in NYC circa 1973 when they visit! Have you seen the City Hall/Brooklyn Bridge stop? Our MTA is the closest thing to a time machine.

  33. I was *thanked for my patience* half a dozen times yesterday by the anonymous, pre-recorded voice. Well, you know what? I've lost my patience.

    I submitted a MetroCard problem on June 6th, then followed up two weeks later and was told there was "a bit of a backlog" -- they were processing MetroCard complaints from April 13th. April!

    And they want to thank me for my patience? I expect some resolution in time for New Year's resolutions.

  34. Lived here for 27 years....trains are still the fastest way to get from uptown to downtown or Manhattan to outer destinations. Having said that, I avoid the train like the plague.

  35. Its no secret: Neither a public nor private enterprise, MTA has no accountability. They are stealing from us. What are we going to do about it?

  36. Sadly the MTA does not seem to realize that many people would like to use the subway late at night, as well. The train that serves my neighborhood turns into a shuttle after 11:00, often tacking on an extra half-hour to an already long trip. The platform fills up to the same weekday density observed in the story - the MTA seems to be saying to all these people, "since you stayed out after 11:00, you don't matter."

    Most of the time we can't tolerate it - we spring for a cab. Late night ridership would be even higher if service was decent. Heck, I'd even tolerate a fare increase if we would actually get something for it.

  37. You should mention http://subwayweekender.com. They do a very nice job of putting all the changes on a map which is MUCH easier to follow than the MTA's signs

  38. The fact that many lines are OUT OF SERVICE on weekends for "track work" and "maintenance" is a BIG factor in how jam-packed the trains actually running are!

    And when you say people worked 6 days a week in "the WW II era," what do you think many people are working NOW? 7 days a week! Not everyone in NYC is a billionaire who helicopters out of town off to the Caribbean every weekend like our Emperor mayor!

  39. Here's a breakdown for the cause of this: 1) The 4, 5, and 6 always sucks, regardless of weekday or weekend. 2) Happy go-lucky tourists in a pack of 10 get on the train and hang onto the center pole blocking the entrances and making the car look more crowded than it really is. 3) Weekend construction diverting express trains to local routes. 4) Trains every 10-15 minutes on the weekends.

  40. Despite everything, I still love the NYC subway: not many subway systems have both 24 hr service and express trains :) And the subway liberates me from being stuck in a car all the time - I'm literally footloose and fancy-free. People-watching on the subway is a lot more fun than reading billboards and the occasional bumper sticker in a traffic jam.

  41. Washington's Metro System has become such a weekend joke as well. Single tracking leads to inevitable delays. Worse, some Metro lines have closed stations for intensive track repairs. We have lots of tourists in town over the weekend. After taking a few 90 minute trips in crowded cars that once took 25 minutes tops, I now refuse to take Metro on weekends.

  42. I agree with Kevin (#1). I don't have statistics on how many more riders use my 86th/Lex station since I moved to the neighborhood 35+ years ago, but I would guess ridership has at least tripled since then, with all the new high-rises that have gone up, particularly along First, York and East End Avenues. What used to be a crowded station has reached the breaking point, where you have to actually wait on line to get down the stairs at peak times. (And don't even get me started about the free newspaper hawkers blocking those stairs!) Why weren't provisions made to at least add entrances at 85th and 87th Streets?

    What about bus ridership? For the elderly and disabled, buses are frequently their only accessible transit options. Yet I have often waited more than 30 minutes for a bus up Third Ave., even during the day! And it breaks my heart to see people who obviously cannot stand for that long, have to endure such long waits for a bus.

    I'd like to know who makes the schedules, and why subway closures aren't taken into account. When the L was shut down for three weekends, the M14 was packed to capacity, even at 7:30 on weekend mornings. (Yes, many of us do work weekends and rely on the subway and buses to get to work.)

  43. MTA-NYCTA kicks itself in the foot when it half bakes its operations. I understand the need for repair and maintenance of the lines however will it kill someone to provide a shuttle service that crosses the East River when one of the lines like the L Train? If they are going to do this BTR thing like with the M15+ then skip the bike lanes and give the busses its true own dedicated lane (See: RTA Heath Line Cleveland) for at least 80% of the ride so Delivery Vans and Taxi are not sitting in it. Oh and is it me or does it take kind of too long to build a subway? SAS is going to look like some spaceship when it just need to be a simple classic NYC Subway. Chambers Street Station looks like something left over from the set of the movie "The Warriors" but people still use it. Its not that hard people.

  44. .. speaking for myself, one of the main reasons I am riding the subway more is that bus service ('my' line is the M10) has been cut drastically- so much so that I cannot 'support' bus rides.. a frustrating Catch-22 as the MTA can feel vindicated that lines are 'no longer needed' if it not supported by ridership. I am a performer who needs to ride home from work between 10:30pm-midnight: a subway ride may be fast but the walk from the station, for me, is 15 minutes.

    another frustration? why do express trains outnumber locals, as many as 3-4 to 1? ! it would seem the opposite is logical..

    I have a younger sibling who has lived in Paris for over 20 years.. where unlimited YEAR-long metro cards are available for residents. I sure wish the MTA would consider offering that to us NYorkers! obviously not the direction the MTA has been moving in-- sigh.

  45. Having lived in Brooklyn most of my life, the only time I can remember crowded subways at night and on the weekends was in the late 1950's and early 1960's. After 11PM, the trains were packed with people holding playbills from Bway shows. On the weekends, loads of beachgoers in summer and shoppers in winter,. Soon after the subways becamee scary places to be avoided outside of weekday rush hours. I'm happy to see the subways are now packed - waiting a long time for a train is a small price to pay.

  46. Actually it doesn't speak to that more than more people, higher gas prices, more tourists and ridiculous driving regulations. Those impact the subway ridership much more than the minimal improvements that have been made.

  47. I moved into one of the areas which were desolate and primarily industrial fourteen years ago and yes, the developers came and saw an opportunity to grab every inch of vacant land to produce soaring high rise buildings to rival the East River view.

    While I believe strongly in development, it seems the planning stages and consideration for the growing community were left out. The #7 train is the train that services this now overburdened community and there is no relief in sight with another 59 story building being erected, a 42 story building and 5000 new apartments that Bloomberg has added to this sweet "village" on the East River. The park created near the river has no shade for children or adults. Clearly the developers didn't consider skin cancer.Schools are turning children away or are waitlisting in the lower grades, the subway platforms are dangerously crowded at rush hour and sewage is heavily overextended.

    Shouldn't urban planning be about the community more than the developers who get their way by filling the pockets of those who "plan". A library was to be put on a site, by Avalon, one of the developers, in exchange they were given twelve extra floors for one of their buildings and they were moved from the back of the property to the front, closer to the river. Reward before completion of the library. The library, still a vacant lot, now six or perhaps seven years later is just another example of what is not imortant to developers and city" planners".

    Our city is groaning and more people are using mass transit because it is the most efficient and inexpensive way to travel in the city, so why are there so many cutbacks to diminsish the quality of transit? I see more people going through the turnstile without paying because the manned booths are unmanned. How do we effect change if our community leaders are unwilling to listen? They get elected without the right to be in office anyway.

  48. The MTA needs to do a better job of getting its weekend service advisory notices out to the public. If you live in New York City and work on the weekends, you probably know to check the few subway station posters on Thursday and Friday and plan on how you need to alter your route. Actually, the MTA has improved their signs immeasurably, but the problem is severe for tourists, especially foreigners, who are following the regular subway maps and routes.

    This past Saturday night, for example, I noticed two young women get on the downtown #1 train at 34th Street/Penn Station and talk about how they needed to get off at 23rd Street, not knowing the train was going express, not local, as it usually does. They were from Oregon and were shocked when the train bypassed their station, and when they got off at 14th Street, I showed them how to go on the opposite track and take the #2 train to 23rd. But they were confused: "We saw the #2 was the express and the #1 was the local." Well, naturally they were confused, because everything was Bizarro world.

    Then, on Sunday afternoon, I saw more people, including tourists from Europe, utterly befuddled when other trains did not stop at their usual stops or even go on the usual routes (as when the A and F trains regularly swap routes from lower Manhattan and downtown Brooklyn on weekends).

    As for the poor G train: fuhgeddaboudit. Friends in Williamsburg tried to get to the Mermaid Parade in Coney Island, which would normally mean for them going downstairs, taking the G to its Church Ave. terminus and then continuing on with the F right across the platform. Instead, they had to take one G shuttle, transfer at Bedford-Nostrand Aves. with a 15-minute wait for another G shuttle to the weekend final stop of Hoyt-Schermerhorn, take the A or C one stop to Jay Street-MetroTech, and then go on the opposite platform and get the F train. A normal two-train 40-minute ride became a four-train 2-hour ride.

  49. Given that I chastised some self-important commentators this past week for putting down LA while overlooking problems in NYC, I now feel vindicated. I agree with the majority of comments here.

    No form of transit is perfect, especially with large cities/ populations. More cars clog the roads. More denizens and tourists clog the subways and buses. As an avid cyclist, I support bicycles, but I am realistic enough to know that while bicycles may help for short commutes, they are not practical or feasible for people who are disabled, shopping for large families, moving large items (paintings, sound equipment, furniture, surf boards, plants, etc.), or commuting long distances. Mass transit has some of the same limitations.

    That said, mass transit remains the most important source of transport in NYC, and the budget and quality of operations must be improved. It needs to be extended, cleaned, and designed for disabled people. If an audit is needed to find the corruption and waste, please do so!

    I am also appalled by the selfish comments against tourists, older riders, bicyclists, and parents of babies... all of whom should all be welcome in NYC. In some ways, these sorts of attitudes resemble those of teenage thugs who terrorize others in the buses or subways or toss garbage wherever they please for their amusement. We all need to get along; those who cannot should be jailed for ruining the public's resources and safety. Otherwise, the transit system in NYC will deteriorate into Philadelphia's transit system. Few dare use the subway in Philly.

    Last of all, I am saddened to realize that both this newspaper and various commentators belong to a privileged elite who live exclusively in Manhattan, the center of the universe. These myopic demagogues have no clue about the lack of mass transit, let alone the populations, in other boroughs. They have never been to Queens or Staten Island. They do not know that subways to Manhattan from Brooklyn are limited.

  50. I have an idea: add cleaner, safer & protected bicycle lanes throughout the city. Increase advertising to promote the ease and safety of bicycle riding throughout NYC. For me, it’s an exhilarating experience crossing the Brooklyn Bridge on my bicycle and riding along the beautiful West Side Highway on my way to/from work every morning and evening. I never have to subject myself to the unacceptable sardine-like experiences on the subway & I save a lot of money by not driving a car! There are so many special places in all boroughs. Anyone can explore & SEE all of NYC’s neighborhoods above ground, by bicycle and forgo uncomfortable subway and car commutes!

  51. I'm still waiting for system wide electronic platform displays with next arriving trains as in other cities, especially European Metro systems. It's still on limited basis here. And can they clean the platforms just a little bit more, i.e. overflowing trash bins?

  52. One platform that need serious work is the 4,5,6 at Grand Central. Half of the platform seems to be taken up by stairways and columns and the little room that is left to stand is usually packed to the point of being dangerous. Given more and more people riding the trains, some platforms need more room!

  53. So perhaps the MTA can think twice before shutting down both the A train and the 1 train above 168th St at the same time--stranding thousands of would-be subway riders, and the shuttle buses and long walks adding literally hours to routine trips. Our family has long since opted out of regular downtown activities because we simply cannot depend on the weekend subways running efficiently. It's gotten to the point at which it's a surprise if these 2 trains are running a regular service on weekends. I read a report a while ago about cut backs to service, in which an MTA officer said that people in Washington Heights and Inwood wouldn't care about cutbacks because they are so used to having reduced or no service on weekends anyway. And this is the same area poorly served by yellow cabs. It's a transportation black hole up here some weekends.

  54. We NYers are lucky to have a subway system that runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. On a recent trip to Rome, I was horriefied to find out that on a Friday night, the subway was not functioning at 10:00 PM!! 10:00 PM!!! I think this is typical in many metropolitan cities.

    The other difference from other subway systems world wide, is that ours is very old and very large. I'm sure it requires a lot more money to keep it functioning, even if it does see to function at a bare minimum sometimes.

  55. People are nailing it -- the issue isn't so much that the subway is a flawed system, it's that there are millions more people in the city than the grid was built to handle. This includes sidewalks, staircases, apartments, roads, bike paths, trains, you name it. New York's issues will grimly persist for decades if there isn't a serious sorting out of population and demographics, because this metro area is being stamped into dust.

    As a side note, with transit ridership at record levels, how can anyone in their right mind argue service cuts? Where are the hundreds of millions going?

  56. Complaining about the conditions on the subways seems to be the majority
    view. However, people don't want construction to update the system, or
    people don't want to pay for improvements, or people want to move to neighborhoods without checking the availability of mass transit. For a
    very smart populace, New Yorkers don't want solutions. Complaining is
    much more constructive.

  57. Actually, all those annoying weekend closures are a fairly new phenomenon of the last 15 or 20 years. Before that, they did repairs without closing the lines. It's just another way in which the MTA has managed to reduce the quality of the service it provides.

  58. The Sky Train in Vancouver was always very busy on the weekend when I lived there, too. Thankfully the system was updated for the 2010 Olympics, because a lot of the cars were very old and needed cosmetic repairs and better seat layouts; sometimes the doors didn't even fully close, scary for something in the sky and not underground!

    I believe that the Sky Train was 24 hours, but the bus system stopped at 2 AM and resumed at 6 AM, which is when a majority of maintenance was done on the Sky Train track system. Sometimes in the morning or early afternoon there would still be stuff stuck on the track and cars would get stuck or people would have to be rerouted to a different station to get off. None of the waits usually took longer than 15 minutes, though.

  59. I love the subway, but this past Saturday it took me an hour and 15 minutes and 5 different trains to go from 49th/Lex to 112th/8th, and this doesn't even include the E train that I didn't take since it wasn't running (and no sign telling me otherwise until after I paid the fare and got all the way down to the platform). Better planning and communication is needed from the MTA on the weekends.

  60. #49, please...I just visited Philly for the first time this past week and rode the subways and buses all over town. The Independence Pass made the system even more enticing to use. Staff at the stations were much more helpful and knowledgeable than booth employees here in NYC. The stations are smaller, but certainly not terrifying, or a test of one's sense of self-preservation. I would even go so far as to argue in towns like Philly, Nashville, Chicago, and Cleveland that riding in the cabs is worse that public transit.

  61. Raising fares while cutting service as subway use grows is an insult to the riding paying public.
    As the trains are deplorably crowded, and weekend 'service' is dicey at best, and over-crowded, a sensible solution would be to have trains run more frequently.
    I do need to add my voice as a long-term (25 years) resident of an apparently uninhabited neighborhood - the placing of enormous towers in a low-rise neighborhood, with no thought or planning as to how they impact the existing transit was completely irresponsible, and did/is doing a big disservice to us old residents. The L train used to be a comfortable commute, and it has not been that way for over 5 years. It seems that one in city government, or maybe just those in zoning and development, cares about anyone but rich newcomers.

  62. We are the poorest nation on earth and there is no way to raise revenue. We have no choice but to cut services and blame all our problems on working people.

  63. The notion that ridership has increased because the system has improved is laughable. The system consistently demands more and more money as it consistently provides poorer service than it ever has. Instead of blowing money on those ridiculous led signs, how about more trains or maintaining a human presence at the stations.

  64. Don't forget that the cost of taxis has risen markedly; in previous years, certain commuters might have opted for a cab.

    The unlimited Metro Card is no bargain at $104 a month. One needs to use it in order to get the benefit from it.

    The constant construction work during the weekends is maddening. The posted schedules are difficult to interpret and the change in stops is often not announced or hard to hear. Last weekend, not the first time, the train skipped a stop with no announcement whatsoever. Not wanting to wait for the subway in the other direction for some undetermined time, I had to walk about 20 blocks to get home. Were cabs cheaper, I would have hailed a taxi.

    At least the unannounced skipped stop didn't occur at three in the morning, which happened to me a couple of years ago. To be a woman alone at a Harlem subway stop with no one but a loud junkie was a truly scary experience. A cab wasn't even an option: try finding a taxi at 110th Street and Central Park North at that hour.

  65. "many trains during the weekend now run once every 10 minutes"

    Oh what a dream that would be. Try every 20 minutes, or any at all. I have to go into work every weekend, total mess.

    This is an overly-generous view of the system, a vast majority of the lines have not received the upgrades mentioned. My line (the C line) has been shut down on nights and weekends for the past two months, what do I have to do to get from 110th to 168th? Ride downtown for 6 stations to 59th, then ride uptown to 168th. Of course, no shuttles to replace lack of service, just tell people to double their commute time.

  66. How dare the NYTIMES praise the filthy dirty NY subway system -- I guess no one there ever takes trains. E>G at Penn Station, the number one local staircase (downtown side) has needed to be replaced for years-- it predates the previous update -- and of course this won't ever be done. Stations are retiled (the amount of air space limited by raising the floor four inches -- no exhaust fans installed so the platforms are bloody hot. The new brightly lit trains have less seating and are much much noisier than the old.. and as the article points out, trains run less often than before (they should all be run by robots already -- and the new enuciators don't work properly at subway entrance level -- they worked better two months ago before the current reprogramming).

    People use subways because they can't find parking or buses because of the ridiculous street fairs and parades that mess up Manhattan travel on both Sat. and Sun. (And who exactly makes money from street fairs -- NYTIMEs reporters? please find out? Why aren't they in the outer boros along with every other parade?)

    I cannot believe this piece. It may be true that the black garbage bags that used to litter the station are removed more frequently now... but the MTA deserves as much criticism as possible. Too much still goes wrong..too much is still unmaintained and uncleaned. Whoops, left out the ridiculous stainless steel handrails which either need to be coated with paint or replaced with wood so they aren't too hot to touch in the summer and too cold to touch in the winter.

  67. In the Bronx, we get short shrift. The A line gets preference over the D train on its shared track in upper Manhattan so all D line workers have to leave home 15 minutes earlier than those on the A line an equal distance away from Midtown. The 4 line crawls in the Bronx, then in Manhattan it suddenly goes much faster. The stations are dirtier (except Yankee stadium). The service is worse in the Bronx.

  68. Let's have a WPA to improve the subways.

    There is work that needs to be accomplished. Let's put aside ideology and focus on the real: make our economy work for us doing what needs to be done.

  69. Ah, only the NYT would try to spin the weekend's utterly dreadful service into a positive view of the MTA. Weekend service has gotten worse and worse, leaving many people to alter plans or just plain stay at home instead of braving weekend delays. Those greenhorns that do ride the subways on weekends are usually tourists who end up lost, confused and inevitably late to whatever plans they may have had. Using the L train in Williamsburg as a positive example? Ha, please. That station, with it's wealthy young socialites with nothing but time on their hands is hardly indicative of the subway system on weekends. The author should try getting around Queens on a Sunday...

  70. The system is 100 years old plus in places, so get used to track work and other construction. The crowding makes the case for system expansion, even if it is to run an added train when conditions are crowded to ease those conditions. Give people a reasonably pleasant and efficient ride and they'll return. The alternative is to turn them off and add more cars clogging already crowded streets.
    Transit system operations people have to start thinking like passengers. Give passengers more information, not just the chirpy "another D train is behind this one." We live in an on demand world where other transit systems are providing info on smart phones. A little real time info makes the wait a little more tolerable than peering down the tunnel for train headlights that aren't coming.
    And passengers, do what your mama taught you. Pick up your trash and throw it away. No one wants to sit or stand in your garbage.

  71. Lets wait and see what the MTA's excuse is going to be for their next fare hike.

  72. Or you could ride a bike.

  73. Mayor Bloomberg, are you reading these posts??? Where is the accountability where the MTA is concerned? Force them to open their books and start asking the tough questions. The MTA is a sham. people complain about the banks ripping off customers, the MTA isn't far behind.

  74. "The new weekend rush speaks to significant improvements in a transit system that was once seen as a national symbol of urban blight." Puhleeze. This city is just too crowded with illegals. Don't believe me? Take any train to Queens.

  75. ANOTHER article that centers on what affects the rich kid scenesters. There have been vast improvements to the L and the G trains, and more frequent service, since daddy's little darlings displaced the folks who once populated those neighborhoods.

    Try riding the 7 line any night at 1AM and you'll see a rush hour-style SRO capacity of New Yorkers who have been working.

  76. There seems to be some wishful thinking here for a bunch of free lunches. For example, do the people calling for station rehabs know how much that costs in money, time and of course, shutdowns? We are both lucky and cursed to have inherited such an old system. And do you seriously believe that the MTA/NYC Transit is not regularly audited?

  77. LKS #50, sold my bicycle, too dangerous.

  78. When I lived in Manhattan, I remember being frustrated at times with the subway. But move to somewhere that doesn't have the extensive public transit system that NY has, and the subway looks like a miracle.

  79. Those in charge of the Subways are going under a microscope in the near future... Leaders will start to edge towards retirement's golden parachutes, leaving behind stinky-dirty messes...

    Anyone ever go to jail over the Disability Fund's losses???

  80. Everyday... millions go into the subway and thousands come out.

  81. Too much easy and undeserved money showered upon those working in financial services has made NYC a very unpleasant place to live. Money crowds out originality. I find New Yorkers a fairly boring lot these days, even if ambitious.

  82. Why, with all the world famous art and design schools in NYC, must the subway stations look like rat holes?

  83. I was an out-of-towner from San Francisco visiting Manhattan in June. As an engineer, I pay attention to city's transportation infrastructure. I was very impressed by the NY subway system. Yes, many stations are old, stuffy, and gritty, but those make it even more impressive that the system can still efficiently move lots of people at a reasonable fare. Lack of escalators and air conditionings at stations add to energy efficiency and promote physical exercise. New Yorkers, you should be thankful for what you have.

  84. Recently I was in Rio de Janeiro. The subway was spotless, the riders courteous, the fare inexpensive and the stations and cars spacious and airy. Meanwhile back in New York it's the opposite on all counts.

    The worst is in my neighborhood and half of the stations in the system there are no attendants in them. You are rolling the dice when you walk into them, especially at night. I've watched as slowly the resident suspects (beggars, junkies, unattended children, petty thieves, sellers of card swipes, winos, etc.) have taken root at my local station. How far behind can the serious criminals be? But when the victims are in the city morgue it will be treated in the press like an inevitable event, as if unattended stations were not transparently a bad idea from the start.

    Whatever is saved in firing those union employes will be lost ten fold in vandalism and payouts to crime victims bringing suit against the city for creating a dangerous environment. The quality of life in the subway has gone down under Bloomberg. Though it had gone up under Giulianni. The idea that things are getting better is absurd.

  85. Nothing new.This is how it has always been.Since the 1940s when the last new subways were built,the city has torn down elevated lines,actually reducing train service.No new lines or tracks have been built,to add to service.The city also has been cutting back on subway service.Unless the day comes when the federal government starts to fund mass transit,nothing will get better.

  86. If there are so many more riders, why doesn't the MTA have a better balance sheet? Are they all jumping the turnstiles?

    Thank you, #20. The tourists are emboli in the traffic artery. I have often wanted to say, "no, you're doing it wrong! People can still get past you! You have to join hands, spread out allll across the sidewalk, plop your baggage in a barricade, and spend the next half-hour lookie-loo gaping at the tall buildings! And if you do walk, weave back and forth at an erratic speed." However, I promise you, they are on the subway as well, clotting at the doors with backpacks the size of Rhode Island, riding well past their stop (and yours) while they try to decipher maps and consult their Baedeckers.

    On the other hand, you can always tell New York natives, because THEY coagulate in front of the stairwells, ready to dash down to the E or up to the C, whichever comes first (and trample you in the process).

  87. NYT: You say that crime has receded? Need to substantiate that statement.
    Riding the subways is a task that we New Yorkers have to endure, it was never a picnic. Trains are dirtier than ever, they have notoriously never been on time, so now forget it, and yes there is still crime, unstable people and lots of angry folks due in part to the present
    economic situation. Have a conversation with a handful of folks, and listen to what they have to say. On the flip side of this story, why not ask the MTA (since there is such a high ridership)to lower their fares? Is anyone in their right mind really thinking that this agency is hurting financially?

  88. Something else I've noticed in the last year or so has been the influx of strollers (some of them double), baby carriages, people with impossibly large suitcases and bicycles. (Bicycles? I thought the idea was to...)
    Not to mention the host of people who suddenly appear to have all sorts of "Emergencies" as they exit.
    You can't leave the subway nowadays without the alarm going off. I always pray everything turns out OK for them.

  89. I lived in Jackson Heights from 1998-2005. It was evident at that time that Queens residents did not fit neatly into the M-F, 9-5 schedule, although the trains were scheduled as if we did. You couldn't be assured of a seat on the 7 train at most times of day or night. The MTA could have gotten a jump on this issue back then, but they were too busy cooking up two sets of books. Maybe now that the NY Times, ever sensitive to the plight of gentrifiers and tourists, has suddenly taken notice, the MTA will snap into action. And the NY Times can get to work on similarly breaking news stories such as how fewer people are opting for landlines or how high rents are pricing the middle class out of the city.

  90. Agreed - some stations are in need of repair. But let me say this after a nice long visit in NYC, what a magnificent way to travel around the best damn city in the world. It can get confusing at some of the interchanges - as evidenced by us when a New Yorker asked us visitors to help him find his way around.

  91. Does an improvement from abyssmal to passable really merit an article? Compared to urban train networks abroad, the MTA is still laughable. And I don't just mean Scandinavia.

  92. As for the young woman who states she feels more comfortable on the subway because there are similarly aged peers riding along--I hate to burst your bubble, but it is mostly young people (men aged between 18 and 25 specifically) who commit most of the crime! In fact, the main reason crime has gone down in recent decades is that your generation is smaller (hence fewer criminals). When you grow up, you will realize the folly of your statement.

  93. It's not just tourists.
    With the economy being what it as, particularly the cost of fuel, car-owners are more likely to come into the city by train just to save money. It's unfortunate that the transit instructions provided by city attractions (on their websites, for example) are out of date, not reflecting buses which no longer exist or that certain trains (i.e., the "B", and the "Q" beyond 57th St. and 7th Avenue) don't run on the weekends, so even without the reroutes necessary for rebuilding the system, information is lacking.

  94. There are too many delays and service changes on the weekends. I avoid the subway on weekends for this reason. Walking is often easier and faster.

  95. The only good thing I can say about the NYC subway is that it runs 24 hours. Every other subway system that I've tried outside the USA beats it in many ways: they run more often, are cleaner, quieter, often less crowded, and some even have underground cellphone service.

    I always find it ironic that the NY subway seems to be more crowded late at night or during the weekends than during rush hour.

  96. A bit of perspective, if I may.

    London tube: still shuts down at midnight; multiple lines completely cease operation in whole or in part on weekends; signal failures during the workweek routinely cause frequent delays; has no air-conditioning; seating is covered in grungy fabric; is not a single fare system.

    In many respects, we NYC residents have it good! [end]

  97. Please not that our mayor has been waging a quiet war on cars in the city. The tickets are very stiff and the police are definitely being directed to give out a certain number per month because violations count as revenue. The quality of life in nyc has fallen off the edge. Those crowded and hot summer subway cars are a stark example of why many people are asking " Why do I need to live in NYC?

  98. #86: Very funny!!! Also, I live in Staten Island and take the ferry to work in Manhattan. Wow! The tourists are in great masses there, blocking all the views of Manhattan skyline and taking all the nice seats on outside decks!!! So unfair to tired local who are coming home from or going to work. I can never get a seat where I can just look outside and enjoy the view after a long day. Tourists should reallu have designated areas on the ferry. And pay the fee! Why is the ferry free, shuttling tens of thousands of people every day?! It is beyond me. New Yorkers could still avoid additional cost, by using transfers and unlimited metro cards that they already have to buy to use on the subway, but all the gawkers who want to see the Statue of Liberty -- why not have them pay???

  99. To those who complain about crowded trains, hot platforms, and especially dirt: I always remind visitors and residents that New York's subway is the ONLY one in the world that runs 24/7/365. That, more than anything, is what makes this an all-night town. I've been living here since the '70s and I find it ridiculous to say that there are fewer trains these days. I never wait more than 8 minutes for a 1, even in the middle of the night.

  100. The subway problems are indicative of the larger issue that we have in this country: neglect of our infrastructure. It is no different than the pothole-filled roads. This is an old system that probably requires a major overhaul, but the neither the money nor the political will is there to do so. To make matters worse, as other commenters have pointed out, the city continues to approve the building of glittering new high-rise apartments and condos while ignoring the fact that neither the subways or the roads are equipped to transport all of these additional people. The subway problems are not going to be addressed any time soon. The system will just keep limping along with these weekend band-aid repairs.

  101. Sure, the MTA makes it easier than ever to access info on the subway line changes. But regardless, the information given is often enough to cause your eyes to glaze over. And what about for those poor tourists? If you are a tourist, say travelling from the UWS down to West 4th on the C, imagine reading that "the C train will travel express on the 6th Avenue line from 14th Street to Canal. For stations between 14th and Canal, get off at Canal and then switch to the Uptown 1 train to your desired station.' (OK, so I may have some details technicall wrong but...you get my point. The MTA thinks they are being helpful with this info, but for a tourist their eyes must glaze over. The 6th Avenue line? I didn't know there was a train called the '6th Avenue train'? Or the 8th Avenue train? Yet often the MTA will refer to trains as travelling over the 6th or 8th Avenue lines. Totally confusing for tourists!


    My favorite scenario is when I as a NYCer will get on a train over the weekend. I was waiting on say the Downtown A platform, and a completely different train that makes no sense will pull in, with NO announcements on explanations. I get on the train and look for the obvious NYCers and say 'is this train running as an A train?" And even the NYCers will just shrug their shoulders. It's like on the weekends, we all just get on the trains and silently pray that we'll miraculously get where we need to be.


    I remember after spending two weeks in Tokyo and then returning to NYC, I was reminded of how absolutely repulsive our subways are, and how utterly unprofessional and inept the MTA staff and management are.

  102. Well, New Yorkers should get their money's worth out of the system. The price of a monthly ticket went up $15. Where is that money going? Even during rush hour, it has been a hassle to get in and out the city because of mechanical issues and other delays.

    It should not be a surprise that there is sizable ridership on the weekends. It is free time to explore and enjoy the city. For the size and popularity of the city, the system should be more sophisticated and accommodating.

  103. I live in Greenpoint and take the G at least 5 days a week. Weekdays are tolerable (even if a 10 minute mid-morning wait is the norm), but weekends are often a disaster. The past two weekends, if I wanted to travel to Park Slope, normally accessibly directly via the G, I would have had to take 4 trains! What is the MTA doing with my $104?

  104. The subways have more people in them on the weekends than in the past. I agree with and earlier post that we "should be thankful for what we have." I believe most New Yorkers are thankful, however that does not mean there is no room for improvement.

    I was angered when I learned that the "un-limited" card is not un-limited. The card is not valid from mid-night to 5AM. Meaning all those people referred to in the article as "service workers" on a late shift do not have access to an "un-limited" option. Those individuals working shifts ending or starting between midnight and 5AM are often those earning a lower wage. The MTA should be ashamed. And the MTA Board should justify why they approved an obviously unjust fare mechanism.

  105. My friend and I used to take some weeks of our vacations in August because many years ago the city virtually shut down during that month We loved walking around the quiet streets, especially Madison Avenue.

  106. I'm not surprised that the hipsters cant reconcile the fact that a 100 year old system needs maintenance. These fresh inhabitants of our once fun city wouldnt have survived a subway ride in 1975.

  107. For a while during the late 90's and early 00's there was a marked improvement in the NYC subway but now? It's standing room only on the D train to Brooklyn at any time except the middle of a week day now that the M train no longer runs in Brooklyn. The sound system is useless. The MTA workers completely disinterested in being helpful. AND every single week night the D train that leaves the Broadway Lafayette station at 5:30 goes express in Brooklyn so that they can get back on schedule. I think that's what the conductor is saying. I've been trying to figure it out for the past 3 years but I'm pretty sure I'm close to getting the whole announcement deciphered. Really the trains run on a schedule? That makes me laugh every day.

  108. We subsidize automobile and airplane travel in this country heavily, and make relatively little investment in trains where they make sense, either intra- or inter-city, compared to other developed societies (e.g., France, Switzerland, Japan, and now China). We reap what we sow. The notion that the only way to get around, so prevalent in this country, is to wrap oneself in 3, 4, or 5 thousand pounds of machinery, or fly, has to end, for environmental and national security reasons. I wonder how many people know that we send over $100 million to Saudi Arabia EVERY DAY for crude oil to pour into our SUVs. Remember 9/11? 15 of the 19 perpetrators were Saudis. As Tom Friedman said so well, we are paying for both sides of the War on Terror.

  109. It is hugely frustrating for anyone who does not live below 57th Street or above Canal Street to efficiently take care of errands or leisure tasks like shopping or meeting friends because of MTA subway line reduced schedules and skipping stops. This is extremely aggravating for a Monday thru Friday 9 to 5'r who only gets 2 days a week to do these things. A 25 minute subway ride uptown to downtown during the week can turn into a 90 minute time vacuum.

    Forget it if you plan to return home and then head back downtown later in the day. This can eat up almost 6hours in travel time over a 2 day weekend. Plus the decision making around scheduling the stops often makes no sense at all. When forced to take a local train on certain lines like the N & R or the 1 train to stop at stops like 28th Street and 18th Street-it makes a person want to really go ballistic. Really? 28th Street on a Saturday? FIT has no classes on Saturday, is it really necessary to delay people from 23rd & 14th?

  110. #60, I am glad you enjoyed Philly without getting scarred/scared! There are great aspects to Philadelphia that few in NY know about. I've lived inside and outside of Philly throughout the years, and I've used many of SEPTA's rail, subway, trolley, and bus lines.

    You only visited one time. I am glad if the booth employees were helpful, because they usually have a terrible attitude. I am also glad if you were able to ride the EL through West Philly, the bus through South Philly, or the subway through North Philly without getting attacked/spit upon.

    But honestly, I seriously doubt you were riding subways and buses all over "town." Philly isn't NYC, but it is a big city with notorious neighborhoods whose denizens can tell you're an outsider. I'm just saying it like it is. Most tourists stick to Center City as there is little to interest them in the other sections (except for Manayunk or Chestnut Hill or parts of South Philly).

    The truth is that SEPTA wouldn't be bad (and much better than MTA) if it wasn't horribly blighted by crime. Students at Temple and U Penn are always afraid to take the subway despite the convenience. To avoid a trip to the emergency room, everyone I know tries to avoid SEPTA when inside the city if at all possible and rely instead upon "wheels" in one way or another. Center City's streets are even worse for car traffic than NYC, though, so a bicycle (a mountain bike, not a road bike) is preferable if practical.

    How bad is the crime on SEPTA? SEPTA's hq on Market Street is just a block from City Hall under William Penn's shadow smack in the middle of bustling Center City. Just two blocks in the other direction (east) are Market Station East (for rail) and some stairs/passageways (for the subway). Gangs roam around during all times of day, robbing and stabbing people even during RUSH HOUR. SEPTA and the police cannot handle them. Fortunately, there two ERs just blocks away at two large hospitals...

  111. "many trains during the weekend now run once every 10 minutes, up from eight minutes" Oh, please. On a good day, the B and D going uptown run every ten minutes during rush hour.

  112. #56 Mr from Great Neck has it correct. Everyone wants a better subway system, but no one wants to pay for it. You want that stairway replaced? It costs money. You want trains every 5 minutes on the weekends? That costs money. You want paint jobs on platforms, more thorough cleaning and trash pickup, and new cars? It all costs money.

    And yet, what do most of you do when the MTA raises fares? Whine and moan and complain, and then preach how you could magically sort it all out and come out in the black. The NYC subway system is one of the cheapest subway systems in the US, and it is much more frequent, 24/7, and extensive than any other system in the world. $2.50 barely takes you anywhere in DC, and good luck in most European cities after 10 pm.

    Don't get me wrong; I'd LOVE to have a cleaner, more efficient, and more dependable subway system. However, I am also willing to pay for it.

  113. From the title, it appers the writer is not a regular rider of the subway into Manhattan from any outer borough, such as Queens or the Bronx.

    The subway system has been in steady decline the last five years. Citing a 22 year old to support the subway's improvement (intra-Manhattan commuter it sounded like) is pretty weak. The article is very misleading and certainly not one worthy of the NY Times.

  114. I'm a resident of Brooklyn, originally from Cincinnati and currently in Pittsburgh for the summer. I dearly miss the subway. That is something I never thought I would say.

  115. While this is a problem, it is a GREAT problem to have. Imagine if the problem were more people driving . . . . To head off that much worse problem and its envrionmental consequences, the MTA must step up to the plate on subway issues quickly.

  116. Wish they would just cut out the Midwestern-accented female recording that is constantly adding to the overall noise quotient of the subway (at least on the L line stations I frequent), with lengthy, unhelpful announcements about when the next train is coming. The spiel goes something like this: "Ladies and gentlemen...the next... Eight Avenue-bound... L... train is arriving on the ....Manhattan track in approximately... 2 minutes." It's irritating, painfully drawn out, and also completely redundant of the train status signage that is already deployed throughout the station and is (silently) updated just as frequently.

  117. Oooh, and the crawling 5 and 2 trains in da Bronx (why are they on the same track??? why not put one on express??? they literally crawl!!!)! And have you seen the Bronx stations? Like nowhere else. Truly, a forgotten neighborhood.

  118. I'm an out of towner who has visited NYC on a few occasions. Compared to other subway systems around the world that I've seen, NYC is very affordable, but also filthy and hardly state of the art (in any way). It doesn't make sense to me why a city like Vienna can run such a pristine subway system while New York cannot. Yes, Vienna's system is only half as old, but it still looks like it's in excellent condition with few signs of wear.

    My suspicion is as obviously crusty as the subway system appears, it pales in comparison to the MTA.

  119. I gladly gave up my car in favor of the NYC Subway and haven't looked back.

    Rider behavior actually makes the experience worse than it has to be. Say what you want about the MTA and how it runs the trains and plans the construction, but consider the following irritating behavior and how it makes the situation worse:
    1. People stand in the stairways and entryways on their cell phones or texting.
    2. People crowd onto the train before others have gotten off.
    3. People insist on standing in front of the doors instead of moving to the middle of the car.
    4. People bring strollers, suitcases, bicycles and shopping bags onto the trains and place them in front of the doors.
    5. People "pre-board" trains by waiting at the spot closest to the exit at their destination.
    6. People prevent two-way travel in stairways and platforms.

    Be a courteous rider. Thanks.

  120. Excellent article by Times staffer Grynbaum and the comments, too. Here are my thoughts. 1. "Always a seat except during rush hour" was the mantra in my father's day. Subway service has been cut ca. 55% and bus, 78% since 1961. 2. Management is incompetent; both current MTA chair and Transit Authority pres. are placeholders and have no vision for the future. Jerry Nadler, a non-driver NYC-er, once publicly said at his home Dem. club "The management of the Transit Authority are idiots." He should know. When a State Assemblyman, he headed the Mass Transit sub-committee (and got us the a/c cars); then chaired the Assembly standing committee having legislative oversight of the MTA. I relish that day former MTA chair Peter Stangle announced bus & subway cutbacks. The next day Nadler went public, saying if there are any cutbacks whatsoever, not one MTA bill will ever leave his committee for the floor of the Assembly. Stangle backed down completely. 3. Fare may not be as much an issue as service. A long-ago Fed. Reserve Bank NYC study indicated that businesses don't mind taxes if they got services/value in return. 4. John Liu once pointed out that many weekend subway diversions weren't necessary because about half the weekend construction projects never took place! 5. The new liberal "Republican" Gov.[Ripon Society type: liberal on social issues; conservative on fiscal ones.] "ain't" no saviour [The State, not the City, runs the MTA since 1968--a long complex story there]. Andrew cut $100 million from the MTA budget. He appoints campaign contributors to State boards & agencies. His daddy did nothing for NYC in housing, utilities, transportation--nor shall Mario's son ["Now is the winter of our fiscal discontent made glorious summer by this sun of Mario."]. 6. We have a transit system, but not a mass transit system (principally destroyed by Pataki). Ask any European. Public transit is inadequate for NYC say transit advocates...Stormin' Norman for MTA head anyone?

  121. Has anyone at the MTA ever seen a well-run subway system? Moscow's metro, for example, is a marvel. I'm just not sure that anyone realizes what an embarrassment our own subway is!

  122. Here in Chicago, someone needs to tell the CTA about increased train traffic, since the Brown line only runs four car trains on the weekend and people are packed in like sardines. It would cost them no more to run 8 car trains since the same number of personnel runs a long train as well as a short one, but they don't get it.

  123. Anyone can explore & SEE all of NYC’s neighborhoods above ground, by bicycle and forgo uncomfortable subway and car commutes! #50
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    By god you're right. I'm calling my 84-year-old uncle right now and telling him to throw away his canes and Metro card and get a bike immediately!

    Look, there are millions of people who, for whatever circumstances, can't use a bike. So let's make sure what they can use - the subway - is clean, efficient and safe. K?

  124. There's definitely a borough hierarchy when it comes to the frequency of available trains on weekends. Here it is:

    1. All points in Manhattan up to 125th St.
    2. Brooklyn Heights, Williamsburg and Park Slope
    3. Everyplace else.

    Basically, if you don't live in those areas. You're lucky to be getting a train on weekends. If you do, it will be crowded and uncomfortable.

  125. As I'm retired and no longer commute regularly, I was reminded just last night (Sunday) of the joys of riding the subway. Returning from Washington, D.C. after a long train ride, and shlepping my bags, I hopped on an uptown C to 86th Street at 10 p.m. Despite the lack of ANY paper signs or ANY oral announcements, the train skipped my stop and barreled on its merry way to 125th Street. The fact that it was 89 degrees outside only added to the pleasure.

    The changes in service are bad enough, but when a rider is left to guess as the train barrels to some unknown destination is really a pain. Come on, New York: Fix it!