A Conversation for New York City Public Transit System

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Post 1

NYC Student - The innocent looking one =P

The most efficient lines: 7, 4-5-6, 1-2-3-9, N-R
The least efficient lines: B, C, D, F, G

In red trains, (2, 7) the third car is never air conditioned...

Places to find street musicians in stations, now that they've been all but out-lawed (rush-hour is the best time to find them):
Central transfer point in 42nd St. Times Square
Uptown 1-2-3-9 line in 42nd St. Times Square
Uptown 1-9 line in 59 St. Columbus Circle
Downtown A-B-C-D line in 59 St. Columbus Circle
Downtown 1-9 line in 66 St. Lincoln Center
Uptown 6 line in 28 St.
7 train platform in 42nd St. Grand Central
L train platform in 14th St. Union Square

Stations with interesting architecture:
42nd St. Grand Central (7 train platform)
168th St. Washington Heights (1-9 platfrom)
14th St. Union Square (4-5-6 platform)
Chambers Street (J-M-Z line)
South Ferry (1-9 line)


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Post 2

Durandal47

Btw,
110 has cool intrumentalists (i.e., cello, tuba, good guitarist/singers)
since 9/11, the 9 train has died, and the two goes local below 96 street, and the 3 only goes to 14th

42nd is very easy to navigate, with all the signs, and 34th can be too


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Post 3

ExpatChick

when i left my beloved hometown in the fall, times square and 34th were still hells-on-earth... the F is indeed one of the worst lines. the Straphangers' Campaign, a great organization that wasnt mentioned in the original article, produces reports on the MTA about twice a year. the last one i remember, they worked out what, in their opinion, a ride on each line was actually worth (keeping in mind that it will cost you $1.50 regardless). their estimate of the F was $0.32. (second worst line in the city). they organize letter-writing campaigns, various s**t to lobby politicians, they're pretty cool.
however, for anyone stupid enough to attempt the F, i highly suggest taking it out to brooklyn, particularly from carroll st to 4th ave/9th st. it goes elevated (the smith/9th st stop is the highest elevated passenger train platform in the US) and the views are great. you can see all of carroll gardens (now a trendy neighborhood), red hook (supposedly turning into one but somehow i doubt it) and some of park slope (wont even mention that one). you get a great view of the gowanus canal, that festering sliver of water all south-brooklynites know and love, and some of ny harbor. it's beautiful industrial city-scape. note, though, that you cant see much from the elevated stations themselves, so dont get off the train. unless you want to go to one of the coolest bars in the city, in which case get off at smith/9, walk around the corner to court st, find sparky's ale house, introduce yourself to gerry the awesome irish bar-owner, and tell him sasha sent you. sorry if i'm blathering off-topic, i guess i'm a little homesick. what i wouldn't give to be stuck on the F train right now...


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Post 4

NYC Student - The innocent looking one =P

For the longest time, however, it used to be that the IND lines were the new, sleek, fast and efficient lines, and the IRT were slow, old, and maddening as hell. Ahh, well. I just came back recently for winter break from college to find such aggrevious cut-backs as the unmanned 66th st 1/9 station with no turnstiles and only one metro-card passable exit - the kind with the bars that works like a revolving cell-door, only allowing one in or one out at a time. I waited 20 minutes to get IN the station, and missed two trains because the city wouldn't put one traffic cop at the booth.

And there's STILL contruction in 42nd street, though - yes - it is better. =P


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Post 5

ExpatChick

Jesus- I just read about the fare hike... (am still overseas so thankfully I dont have to pay the new fare!) I knew it was coming, but I had heard that it would be to $1.85, now it's $2!!! and they are cutting service, cops, cleaning, etc. what a disaster. for $2 you can ride the Moscow metro for a week...


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Post 6

NYC Student - The innocent looking one =P

See how they treat NYC? We always were the "island off the coast of America," paying more in taxes than we got in services. Screw fare hikes, what about how they're closing down fire departments?!


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Post 7

ExpatChick

yeah, the fire houses, or say, the (total lack of-) public education system. there was a funny article in the NY Times a few weeks ago about how a small group of people were in a way glad... the returning grittiness of nyc feels more personal than the glitzy 'new times square'. hell, if it makes hordes of midwestern tourists less comfortable... (sorry, no offense intended)


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Post 8

NYC Student - The innocent looking one =P

lol - I was never a fan of the New Times Square. But wasn't the biggest and most univerally-recognized tourism slogan borne from when the city was quite a seedy place? "I Love NY" was commissioned in 1977...


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Post 9

ExpatChick

oh wow! did you read today's NY Times? a judge repealed the fare hike! though they say it might not really happen - that the MTA could justvote a new one. but still, the principle of the thing is great!


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Post 10

NYC Student - The innocent looking one =P

Yep, yep! All about how they cooked the books so they could get fare increases because nobody'd pay them otherwise... gotta love municipal politics. =P


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Post 11

ExpatChick

well, further evidence that you really can't go home again: i just read in the NYTimes that they are in fact closing 6 firehouses. one of them i lived next to for four years (in cobble hill/carroll gardens). i couldnt believe it. there are no other firehouses close to there, what the hell are they gonna do? and what the hell are my friends gonna do? i lived next to those guys for four years, i got to know a lot of them. even if they get re-assigned, instead of laid off, it will be awful they are part of that neighborhood. when i would walk home, if i didnt see them out front playing stoop-ball, it was wierd. it'll just be empty without them. they taught every kid on that block how to swing a bat, ride a bike... and now the f**king city will probably turn the house into luxury condos. god it makes me sick.


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Post 12

NYC Student - The innocent looking one =P

Welcome to the reality of having a silver-spooned Republican running a Democratic city into the ground... but I'm not being partisan, I swear! Seriously, the state doesn't like the city, the country doesn't like the city; Bush is essentially saying the same thing Ford did, and we still haven't seceded yet! I'd really like to see a the firemen demonstrate visibly during the GOP's proposed rally during the Sept 11th anniversary.


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Post 13

Researcher 232314

Wow! Reading these posts make NYC sound worse than the "Bad Old Days". Really the City looks and works better than it has in 50 years. Crime is down and falling. Filth is cleaned up and getting better (witness Central Park, Morningside, Prospect, Flushing Meadow etc). The trains don't derail like they used to. Who the devil wants to ride the G train anyway? Times Square was um, unique, with the porn, drugs, muggings and snuff features but not an asset. It is currently a legitimate entertainment hub again. Rail against Disney all you want Fun City was killing NYC tourism. In the original descriptions the author obviously had real problems with 34th and 42nd. They _can_ be confusing. They _are_ much better than years ago. If you keep your wits and look for the EXIT signs when you need them you are good to go. Remember, the bulk of the City is set in a grid. Higher numbers mean uptown or western avenues and vice-versa. Practically, anywhere else in the US a car is a must. In NYC $2 gets you anywhere with a free transfer to any City bus (goodbye "two fare zone"). Buy the weekly or monthly pass and use it well and you can get your commutation cost below $1 per ride easily. Yes, it is cheaper to ride many other systems in the world but that is there (Moscow??), this is NYC. As for the school system... Have you been in or worked with a NYC school? Many struggle, but many are the best in the world. Witness, Bronx Science and Stuyvesant, LaGuardia and Brooklyn Tech. Don't just take the easy "bash NYC" path. Have a close look and compare it to what it was.


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Post 14

NYC Student - The innocent looking one =P

Hey! I WENT to LaGuardia High School, and both my parents are career teachers in the NYC BoE - and NYC schools are still in a sorry state of affairs. January of my graduating year they pulled the best and brightest from our school - half the teaching staff, to be replaced with people fresh from college - so as to bring up the quality of such schools as Martin Luther King Jr high school next door without spending more money. City wide, half my graduating class DIDN'T. NYC spends $5,800 on its students on average when our suburbs and satellite cities spend anywhere from $8,000 to $12,000 per student per year. You want to see some nice NYC schools? Try Washington Irving or Lower East Side Prep. Blech.

$2 is a travesty when it comes to NYC Transit because half the city needs this subway, and it may not seem much to you but YOU try working a minimum wage job and spending that much just on transportation. We still run on cheap labor, and it always turns out that when the city needs money, we tax the poor even more. We're the least subsidized system in the country - and like you implied we're the only city where people really require the trains.

And, to say it most diplomatically, some of us could do without the tourism. =p That said, I love this place and wouldn't miss it for the world. I feel I can bash NY all I want 'cause I'm not going to live anywhere else.


rebuttle

Post 15

ExpatChick

umm, well, researcher 232314, i think you misunderstood a bit... i'm not some outsider bashing NYC. yes, i now live in moscow, but i was born at SUNY downstate in east brooklyn, grew up in prospect heights, lived in red hook, and went to NYC public schools. my dad just threw in the towel in his teaching job at George Washington HS, because although the death threats and laughable salary didnt get to him, he finally realized that he just couldnt stand watching kids destroy their futures any more (with a lot of help from, as he put it, "nightmare of a beuracracy which doesnt give a shit about them").

I love NY with nearly all my heart - it's the only place my family could have happened, and the only place that could have produced me - but that doesnt mean I cant see stuff to criticise in it. I mean, have you never watched a woody allen movie? or seinfeld? new yorker's #1 past-time is bitching.

oh, and thanks so much for your helpful tip about following signs in the subway. never occurred to me. do you think you might be a little mahanttan-central ("who wants to ride the G anyway?"... people who live near it!)


rebuttle

Post 16

NYC Student - The innocent looking one =P

Arr, I think we just scared away a potential hootoo researcher...


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