Wednesday, March 25, 2009

An Open Letter to the MTA

I will be out of town for a few days and therefore won't be able to keep you posted on the bevy of up-to-the-minute events surrounding Times Square.

But I am going to leave you with this: an open letter to the MTA and New York State lawmakers, who have now approved a 27% fare hike AND severe cuts to subway/bus services.

Dear MTA & NYS lawmakers:

As you may now know, 'cause you no doubt have hung on to every word of my one-week-old blog, I work in Times Square. Do I enjoy working in Times Square? No. Do I enjoy having a job? Yes.

Now, this may come as a surprise to you, but I actually do not LIVE in Times Square. I commute. Guess how? Why, yes, by using one of your convenient, eco-friendly, budget-friendly, world-celebrated modes of transportation: the subway!

Now, it seems to me from your proposed service changes and cuts that you have never actually ridden one of these new-fangled subway trains. Somehow you seem to think that there is currently the luxury of '100% capacity:' which you have deemed to be one seat for every commuter. Your proposal is to increase this to 125% capacity where there will be '6-12 people' standing in every car. Perhaps you should talk to any rush hour commuter who has ever stayed upright by either sheer willpower and/or being wedged in between enough commuters that a handrail wasn't necessary. I'm thinking if you want to increase the capacity by 25%, perhaps you should think about paying for 25% of everyone's gym membership so that we can all be 25% thinner. Come to think of it, perhaps this is your grand plan as it ties in so well to Governor Pateron's obesity tax.

Let's see: cutting service on the G. Besides being an oxymoron, that's like pouring straight whiskey on a gaping wound, my dear friends. Actually, don't pour that anywhere; I'll take the whole bottle, please.

Cutting down on weekend service, late-night service, and actually eliminating 4 stations in downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn on the weekends? Listen, I know you guys have car services that can take you home when you've had a little too much happy at happy hour. But some of the peons who keep this city running have unfortunately had to put their "limo money" towards...oh, yeah, the extra $23 a month they'll have to pay for a ride that is more crowded and less convenient, but, on the bright side, 27% more likely to cause nervous breakdowns (which should definitely pour some money into the mental health industry. So good call!)

In short, as a New Yorker, a commuter, and a highly influential blogger, I beseech you to do one thing before you actually put this proposal into effect: please ride the midtown 1 train at 5:30 PM on a Tuesday at least 6 stops. Go on, try it. It won't kill you.


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