All-Star Game at Washington

Friday, February 16, 2007

Is This Any Way To Run A Railroad?

It's time for me to get off on a rant, and some events from Thursday night really set me off.

I'm not seeing eye-to-eye with the New York City subway system these days.

They've been pulling crap lately that's been driving me crazy. I live by a local stop in the Midwood section of Brooklyn. But lately I've noticed they've been pulling this lately: when a "Q" train is running late, and I've been waiting in a station for 20-25 minutes for a train (and almost always either in the rain or cold, or both), they will skip my stop and few other local stops along the line to get "back on schedule." I'm sure that's good news for people already on the train (unless one of the missed stops is theirs). But it royally pisses me off that people waiting in my station have to keep waiting because of the incompetence of the Transit Authority to run their damn trains on time.

And it's also happened on my way home. I've had to get off at the express stop and wait for another train when these boneheads announce that they have to skip some local stops, including my own.

Back to last night. I had The Train Ride From Hell trying to get to Manhattan to see my pal Alex's jazz gig at the Kitano Hotel. (I did get there and he and his trio were terrific.) First I get on a Q train in the next-to-last car, and what do I find: a near-riot is actually going on inside. About 25-30 teenagers were acting like total assholes as they were hitting each other and ripping down ads and posters, tearing them up and throwing them around the train and at each other. A few others were throwing bottles (they looked like the plastic kind). I didn't see any weapons on anyone, but I decided not to hang around to find out. (A few brave souls were sitting there as all this mayhem was going on.)

I moved up a couple of cars and decided to let the conductor know what was going on. At the next express stop, I went up to the conductor's window. As bad as what those jerks were doing a few cars down, as even more appalled by what happened next. I told the conductor was happening in the train, and all I got was a "yeah, yeah, yeah" from him. I couldn't believe this idiot's "I don't give a shit so get out of my face" attitude. After I spoke to him, I shrugged my shoulders and got back on the train. So what would it take for this asshole conductor to take some action, someone getting bludgeoned or murdered? He couldn't simply make an announcement to those jackasses, or maybe alert the police in an upcoming station? (And I could just imagine if one of those assholes in the melee got hurt, they later would probably be screaming "lawsuit" to the TA. )

I changed trains to the IRT at Atlantic Avenue, and the train simply crawled into Manhattan. But right after Brooklyn Bridge, this train's conductor gets on the PA and announces, "This train will make all local stops in Manhattan due to the cold weather." Have you heard about this crap? Since the cold started, they have stopped running certain trains on express tracks because of the cold. I can never remember the TA ever doing something like this before. On my line, they stop the "B" train about 2 hours before its supposed to, creating jammed Q trains. And the IRT train I was on crawled and was absolutely packed when I get off (and at 8 PM at night, after the rush hours). They are parking trains in the tunnels, and creating all kinds of chaos on the local tracks.

The New York City subway has never been "good," but lately it's really been a mess, with all the construction they've been doing inconveniencing passengers, especially on the weekends.

Anyway, just needed to vent on all this crap.

And I just bet a fare increase is on its way.


Suldog said...


Granted, my experience on NYC subway lines is limited - I've never had to commute to and from a job, for instance - but my rides have all been at least decent. Of course, just taken while on vacations or visiting relatives, etc., so...

Sorry to hear about your troubles.

The Omnipotent Q said...

It generally isn't this bad on the subways, Suldog, but I was so angry last night I needed a place to vent, so where better than my blog?

Michael Leggett said...

My experiences, basically during rush hours, are with the BMT on Jamaica Avenue, B'way-Brooklyn & Fulton Street:

Luckily, my stop is Woodhaven Blvd on the Elevated J & Z Lines, but on some evenings @ B'way Junction, you hear "The Next Stop is Woodhaven Blvd" & that train skips 8 stops, leading to crowding at Woodhaven Blvd with a crush crossing over to the other side of the tracks, through a crowded mezzanine;

My parents said this many times that when the BMT was a company, it was run on time & right. Ditto, the IRT;

Government has no business running Mass Transit.

Michael Leggett said...

& I'm glad that somebody, other than me, uses the old time names of IND, IRT & BMT:

You may be "The Omnipotent Q";

It sure isn't the Q Train on the BMT Brighton Line, that's for sure.

The Omnipotent Q said...

I guess old habits are hard to break, Michael...