hoons90
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The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 6:21 am

Having spent a considerable time touring NYC's subway system, I was thoroughly intrigued in the way which the system was set up. What I particularly enjoyed was the express trains-- There's no better way of commuting, zipping under Lexington Avenue or Broadway while knowing that there's a huge traffic jam above you.

Granted, most of the underground stations look rather grubby, but there's 468 stations in the system, most of them built before the 50's. At least many of the trains are new, the 2, 4, 5, 6, J, M, Z, L, N, Q, W routes mostly have the latest R142/R143/R160 series trains running on them.

So, how are your experiences using the NYC subway system, and would you consider it to be your most preferred method of getting around in NYC?

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/hl7534/R62A_IMG_2184.jpg
R62A type subway train approaching Queensboro Plaza on the 7 Express Service, on the IRT Flushing Line. Picture taken on October 24, 2008
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iairallie
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 6:43 am

It's efficient I like it. There are certainly cleaner transit systems in other cities but often they do not run as fequently or as late as they do in NYC.
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Elite
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 6:44 am

My preferred method would be to walk, since NYC is ridiculously easy to walk around when compared to say, Los Angeles. But for long distances yes, I use the Subway, even though I'm not a fan of it.
 
jfk69
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:03 pm

Its hot as hell during the summer, its frezing during the winter, You sit next to everything from Stockbrokers to drug dealers.....As a born and bred New Yorker, there is Nothing better!!!!

I drive half the time and I take the subway the other half. Its nice to sit on the train and read and be where you want in 20 minutes, but I also enjoy the peace and quite of my car....and a 1 hour commute.
 
Charles79
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:11 pm

It gets the job done very efficiently and you can connect nearly any two dots on the map with a train ride. Yeah, there are cleaner systems with newer cars/stations but as public transport goes it is one of the best for a reason.

Having just moved out of Los Angeles I can certainly appreciate having a Metro here in DC. It's nowhere near as frequent or comprehensive as the one in NYC but it's good enough that I have only driven my car twice in 3 weeks.
 
desertjets
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:28 pm

While the coverage and service is pretty extensive the NYC subway has some serious shortcomings.

The first and probably most serious, is an aging infrastructure. Those really nasty years in the 70s and 80s when NYC was practically bankrupt certainly has had its toll on the system. I cannot imagine how many millions, perhaps billions, of dollars in deferred maintenance exists in the system.

Second it is horribly Manhattan-centric... even then much more so on Lower and Midtown. Granted the majority of the wealth and the major employment centers are there but still. Even within Manhattan there are notable gaps, which the new 2nd Ave subway (finally being built after being proposed for the better part of a century) will help to alleviate.

Third little connectivity between the outer boroughs. If you want to go from Brooklyn to Queens, Brooklyn to the Bronx, or some other combo you really cannot do this on the subway. And if you can you have to go through Manhattan.

Forth accessibility is a huge issue. It would cost billions of dollars to bring the stations up to a reasonable standard of access. Not to mention make them larger for the current and projected traffic numbers and make them safer.

And finally everything smells of urine down there.


But there isn't another city like NYC. And for the most part the MTA does a good job with the hand it is dealt.
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STT757
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:39 pm

What separates the NYC subway system from most in the World are it's express tracks, most of the major lines in Manhattan have four tracks (two local, two express). That makes it one of the most convenient in the world.

The best system is the PATH, it's way cleaner than the Subway especially in the stations.

[Edited 2008-10-27 06:54:20]
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57AZ
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 6:53 pm

It does have its issues, but overall it is one of the best subway systems in the world. They have made a good amount of progress in cleaning up the subway-much cleaner than in the past.
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
 
comorin
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 7:49 pm

As a straphanger from the 70's I'm really impressed with how it's improved. The frequency of service is amazing (as good as London's), it's round the clock, and the cars are all air-conditioned. The trains hardly break down, so the MTA does a great job of maintenance.

Not so great are the platforms it can get really hot or cold depending on time of year; signage not up to date (no arrival estimates on platform) and hygiene ( my fellow NY'ers fault.)

Overall a great system, does the job. Could be better, but then we'd have to charge London fares.

 
hoons90
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:10 pm



Quoting Comorin (Reply 8):
signage not up to date (no arrival estimates on platform)

The L train (Canarsie Line) currently has arrival time information on electronic displays, and the 7 train is bound to get them soon once the Communication-based train control system is implemented.

I noticed that many of the major stations, such as Chambers Street, 14th Street-Union Square, Times Square-42nd Street and Queensboro Plaza etc. have announcements that the next train is at the previous station.
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lincoln
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:23 pm



Quoting JFK69 (Reply 3):

Its hot as hell during the summer, its frezing during the winter, You sit next to everything from Stockbrokers to drug dealers.....As a born and bred New Yorker, there is Nothing better!!!!

If I may say that's most of NYC (or at least Manhattan) about two weeks ago -- I was in the general area and decided spur of the moment to take a train into Grand Central Terminal and spent the afternoon wandering around Manhattan -- no maps, no plans, no nothing. And it was one of the best afternoons of my life. All of the people, all of the energy, people who looked homeless next to people in suits that cost more than I make in a month. And everyone moved -quickly- and decisively... Wow.

Even found a place that is the definition of "Hole in the Wall" called simply "Burger Joint" and it was exactly the same -- the guy across from me was very well dressed, the guy next to me was a beat cop, across the way at a table there was someone who looked a little grubby.
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Ps76
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:39 pm

Hi,

I remember the Subway from a summer working in NY (upstate NY) in 1999. From what I remember was very convenient (and much less deep than some London subways which made it generally quicker to access etc.).

I used to take it from the Upper West side to I think the stop near Madison Square Garden for work (I used to work at HMV if it's still there!). Also used to work in Tuxedo NY which I got to by either the PATH train to Hoboken then the overland train to Tuxedo via Sloatsberg or by bus direct from the Port Authority Bus Stop.

Looking back was kinda a crazy time in my life but definitely found travelling via subway or train or bus generally very nice at the time. Also one time I was on the subway reading "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenence" (I never even got half way through!) and this guy came up to me telling me what a cool and important book it was etc. (definitely something that probably wouldn't happen in London without the whole carriage staring!).

P.
 
TWFirst
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:53 pm



Quoting STT757 (Reply 6):
he best system is the PATH, it's way cleaner than the Subway especially in the stations.

Ugh.... the PATH is ridiculously slow... and whatever the unseen mold is that grows exclusively in the PATH tunnels makes me nauseous.

RE: NY Subway system... I'll say this about it... it's fascinating. I LOVE LOVE LOVE not owning a car!! What's fascinating to me is it's cobbled together from 3 different systems, one of which (IRT or Red/Green/Purple lines) has cars and stations of a completely different scale than the rest of the system. That's why transferring between IRT lines at stations where they intersect with the rest of the system (BMT & IND) is not very intuitive.

It's an extremely interesting experience to ride the system at 4 am - I highly recommend y'all do it once!  Smile

One time I passed out on the A train and woke up at the end of the line in the Rockaways! THEN... I passed out again on the way back towards Manhattan and woke up on the Upper West Side.... and I was just trying to go 4 stops!
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greggarious
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:55 pm



Quoting TWFirst (Reply 12):
It's an extremely interesting experience to ride the system at 4 am - I highly recommend y'all do it once!  

Ha ha ha, my most memorable late night subway moment was this one night earlier this year where a couple of friends and I went to Carroll Gardens for a birthday party. By 3 AM or so everyone was starting to clear out. We had to take the F to connect to the A to get back to Manhattan (we lived by the South Street Seaport at the time). Well, I was relatively sober, but the other two were gone... anyways, we get to the station right as the train pulls in. They got in without a problem, but my MetroCard didn't swipe the first time and the train left without me. I was like, "Oh no! They're too drunk to switch to the A!" So I ran out of the station and flat out sprinted like twelve blocks north to the Jay St. station. Turns out they got out and onto the waiting A train without a problem and were waiting for me. My roommate/best friend started hugging me incoherently and then promptly threw up.  Silly

I LOVE the subway. I mean, it runs 24 hours a day (I don't think any other major system can say the same, if I remember correctly). There's the random people you meet, it's fast, the express vs. local part, everything about it I can't get enough of. Unless I'm walking, it's easily my favorite way to get around New York... of course, I'm not loaded, so I can't drive here!

NYU is starting a bike sharing program within the next month or two, though, so that's going to be really interesting. I really like riding bikes, but it's going to be insane competing with the insane cab drivers for space.
 
texan
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 10:38 pm

I lived in Brooklyn last summer. I love the subway. It allowed me to live away from the noise and insanity of Manhattan, avoid paying Manhattan prices, yet go into any part of Manhattan I wanted to, walk around, do whatever I felt like, and then retreat back into Park Slope. In 3 months, I filled up my gas tank twice...and one of those times was because I had to drive back to Vermont and back! The people are usually nice, the trains (other than the 4) typically run really close to schedule, and the system was really easy to figure out. The only complaint I had was that to get to my work in Queens (out by JFK) or to get to LGA took forever since there was no subway service. Took LIRR out to Jamaica and then the Q6 bus to the JFK service road. Let me tell you: there is nothing like the smell of Jamaica Station at 7:30 am. Fish markets, oil, and other assorted smells that you can't really place (or just don't want to). And getting to LGA on public transit required taking the Q to Union Square, the 4 to Harlem, and then the Express Bus over to LGA.

All in all, though, it is really easy to use, could take me just about anywhere I wanted to go, and saved me from having to drive in the City (apart from an exciting trip from Park Slope to Penn Station, which I made in 10 minutes by car at 4:45 am to drop someone off for a Jersey Transit train). If all goes according to plan, I'll be moving there for a minimum of three years starting in May 2009. Of course, I could also be heading to Dallas, Denver, or Seattle...

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Pyrex
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:31 pm



Quoting HOONS90 (Thread starter):
So, how are your experiences using the NYC subway system, and would you consider it to be your most preferred method of getting around in NYC?



Quoting JFK69 (Reply 3):
Its hot as hell during the summer

Correct. This summer was brutal - NY is already hot and humid as hell as it is and the subway stations are always at least 5ºC hotter.

Quoting JFK69 (Reply 3):
its frezing during the winter

Haven't experienced it but I can oly dread it.

Quoting JFK69 (Reply 3):
You sit next to everything from Stockbrokers to drug dealers.....

Correct, and that is reflected on the ads - on-line stock brokerage ads side-by-side with ads for methadon clinics.

Quoting Lincoln (Reply 10):
Even found a place that is the definition of "Hole in the Wall" called simply "Burger Joint" and it was exactly the same

In the lobby of the "Parker Meridien" hotel, right? My first time in NY somebody took me there and it was amazing, I have been trying to find that place again for ages but haven't quite managed to.
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lincoln
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:54 pm



Quoting Pyrex (Reply 15):
In the lobby of the "Parker Meridien" hotel, right? My first time in NY somebody took me there and it was amazing, I have been trying to find that place again for ages but haven't quite managed to

"Le" Parker Meridien to be technically correct, yup-- West 57th between 6th and 7th Ave. (actually it's easier to find if you enter from W. 56th). Hidden under a cheeseball neon hamburger behind a curtain... A friend told me about it, but I had to ask one of the concierges to actually find it when I was in the lobby (it's just to the side of the checkin desk)
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n229nw
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Tue Oct 28, 2008 2:49 am

Ha ha that's funny, I was just about to start a thread called "The New York Subway is a pitiful disgrace"

So I can vent here instead of ranting in my own thread.

I love not having a car too, but I can say that not having a car in NYC is significantly harder than not having a car in Boston, London, Paris, Prague, Berlin and a lot of other cities.

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 5):
The first and probably most serious, is an aging infrastructure. Those really nasty years in the 70s and 80s when NYC was practically bankrupt certainly has had its toll on the system. I cannot imagine how many millions, perhaps billions, of dollars in deferred maintenance exists in the system.

 checkmark 

But equally problematic was the fact that the system was designed poorly. No other system has so many separate, busy lines merging in and out of the same tracks. This is not usually a large problem in Manhattan, since the most investment has been put into making it work there, but, for example, in Queens, the queens boulevard lines--especially the E--regularly sit in the tunnel for several minutes or more at a time waiting for traffic to clear and merge ahead. One slightly delayed train has a knock on effect on many other lines because of this. In general, the E train is a piece of crap, lovingly gilded with lark's vomit.

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 5):
Second it is horribly Manhattan-centric... even then much more so on Lower and Midtown. Granted the majority of the wealth and the major employment centers are there but still. Even within Manhattan there are notable gaps, which the new 2nd Ave subway (finally being built after being proposed for the better part of a century) will help to alleviate

Yup. The G train is nice, but they treat it as really low priority...A Queens Bronx train would also be nice...then again, a crosstown train in Uptown Manhattan is also a major lacuna in the design.

Quoting Comorin (Reply 8):
The frequency of service is amazing (as good as London's)

Are you kidding me? I have often waited almost 10 minutes for a 4 train AT RUSH HOUR. It's nice to know they are building the second avenue subway (but I wouldn't hold my breath because the last several times this has been planned it has fallen through due to economic crises, and lo and behold, we are entering one now, and the MTA is already talking about reducing service and/or raising fares...) But I digress, I was saying: it is nice to know that the 2nd Ave. Subway is being built, but I do laugh at the idea that it is partly "to alleviate overcrowding on the Lexington Avenue line." Here's an amazing way they might alleviate that overcrowding long before they eventually perhaps open the second avenue subway: RUN MORE TRAINS!!!

Anyway, the London Underground has many problems, but its frequency of service, both at Rush hour and off hours probably averages over twice as many trains per hour on many lines both at rush hour and off-peak. Example: the Piccadilly line runs about every 2 minutes at rush hour and 3-4 minutes (max!) off peak, even late at night. Most NY lines run about every 5 minutes at rush hours, and 8-10 minutes off-peak. Meanwhile, several Paris metro lines can operate at 90 second headways during rush hours. The Berlin U-Bahn runs much less frequently (5 mins rush hour, 10 mins off-peak) but in that case the system is significantly less crowded, and the trains run efficiently and flawlessly on time when they do come. These systems are basically the same age as NY, but have not suffered from chronic underinvestment and general managerial apathy. That's why they have so many technological advances that leave NY in the dirt: trains that are one long articulated unit joined inside, single axle bogies to get rid of screeching on curves, etc.

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 5):
Forth, accessibility is a huge issue. It would cost billions of dollars to bring the stations up to a reasonable standard of access. Not to mention make them larger for the current and projected traffic numbers and make them safer.

But it woudln't cost them nearly so much to at least fix the service gates so that strollers and suitcases could go through without having to get the attention of a usually surly employee and swipe a card and turn a turnstile first--not to mention exiting without a siren going off. Touchless entry cards would help alleviate crowding at the turnstiles in general...but of course would cost a good deal more to implement.

Well, I'm done ranting for now...
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hoons90
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:14 am

The Lexington Avenue Line is definitely overcrowded, but there really isn't any way to decrease headways, as CBTC (Communication-Based Train Control) isn't implemented on that line yet, thus requiring a buffer so that trains do not collide. Furthermore, another reason for the crowding may be because the R62, R142 and R142A trains that are used on the Lexington Avenue Line are narrower and shorter than the ones that run on the lettered lines. Other trains cannot fit into those IRT tunnels. IMO it still beats the horrible traffic on Lexington and Park Avenue. The M101, M102, M15 bus etc. is an absolute pain to use.

Sure, operational irregularities do occur on a daily basis, but the punctuality has substantially increased over the past few years with the introduction of newer, more dependable rolling stock such as the R142A, and increased funding increased the MDBF (mean distance between failures) of the other existing rolling stock. Some reasons that actually contribute to delays are door-holders (I've been on a 2 train once when the door reopened and closed approximately 12 times at Times Square--42nd Street Station, because people kept trying to get on when the doors were closing).

Some of the unreliable routes that I've noticed are the F and R Trains, as well as the 1 Train at times. I haven't had any problems with the E Train so far. The L is at or beyond capacity, but IIRC the headways cannot be increased even with CBTC, because the R143 and R160 sets that can run on CBTC exist in limited numbers, and even then Canarsie Yard also has limited space.

One major peeve of mine is when the express train have to run local on weekends due to construction. However, I guess it's necessary in such an old system that runs 24 hours a day.

In the grand scheme of things, I think it's a very useful way of getting around in NYC, and think that it's better than getting around by other means. It certainly has gotten me around the places I needed to go, in a swift manner, except during construction.

[Edited 2008-10-27 20:17:46]

[Edited 2008-10-27 20:18:28]
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57AZ
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:49 am

One of the things that you have to consider is that NYC did a GREAT job of merging three competing entities into one operation. One must remember that all of the subways (excepting modern construction and the IND) were constructed privately to compete with the existing street railways and each other. Those companies were the Brooklyn Metropolitan Transit and the Interborough Rapid Transit, and they were fierce competitors. They played all the usual tricks to maximize traffic and profit-drawing maps that showed their lines as more direct than the competition (if they showed a competitor's lines at all), attempting to differentiate their line's operations from the competition. The IRT's stations had ornamentation that did not appear in either the BMT or IND stations.

I must also say that the MTA has done a great job of preserving the history of the subways while making them ready to meet the city's future needs. The MTA does fund a small transit museum that maintains a fleet of historic subway cars. The cars are available for viewing in the old Court Street Station, home of the MTA Transit Museum and one of two locations at which rotating exhibits are displayed-the other is a gallery in Grand Central Terminal. The subway trains are maintained in operating condition and occasionally venture out on the line for fan trips or MTA sanctioned special events-Breast Cancer Awareness being one such event that they will run trains for. Great way to appreciate those rare trains for what they are and a great way to connect with one's past.
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:00 am

On Saturday January 12th, 2008 nearly 2,000 people took off their pants on subways in 10 cities around the world. In New York’s 7th Annual No Pants! Subway Ride we had around 900 participants, spread out over three subway lines. Enjoy the videos first and then go behind the scenes with our mission report and photos.



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767Lover
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:29 am

I found the system to be efficient and easy to navigate---but the underground stations are stiflingly hot. They need to do something about the ventilation.
 
Cadet985
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:32 am



Quoting 57AZ (Reply 19):
The MTA does fund a small transit museum that maintains a fleet of historic subway cars. The cars are available for viewing in the old Court Street Station, home of the MTA Transit Museum and one of two locations at which rotating exhibits are displayed-the other is a gallery in Grand Central Terminal.

This is a must see for any subway buff or just anyone with some time to kill. It's only $5 to get into, and they have a nice gift shop.

As someone who rode the subway off and on for 5 years, accessibility is a huge issue. Many stations are not ADA compliant (E. Tremont Street in the Bronx comes to mind).

Something else I'd like to see done is installation of call boxes in all cars. Right now, only the newer cars have emergency call boxes to get in touch with the operator or conductor. This means if I see someone having a heart attack, etc., I have to either walk through a crowded train to get to one of them, or get off at a station, and hope to get their attention before the train leaves.

I had heard rumors of the MTA doing something like what the WMATA in DC has done - contracting for cell coverage in the tunnels. This would be a good safety feature, and a convenience feature.

Marc
 
57AZ
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Tue Oct 28, 2008 5:26 am



Quoting Cadet985 (Reply 22):
This is a must see for any subway buff or just anyone with some time to kill. It's only $5 to get into, and they have a nice gift shop.

It's also educational in a painless way. I am involved in the railway preservation field and was very impressed with their small operation. Definitely an interesting re-use of an old subway station and a fitting way to present the vintage trains. Much more dramatic to present them as one would have seen them in daily use-in the tunnels-rather than in a sterile museum setting.

Their gift shop is very well designed and targeted, carrying only MTA or historic IRT/BMT/IND related items. They have a decent range of products from the trinkets that appeal to most visitors on up to air brake gauges, strap handles and fare boxes-high end items that really only appeal to transit enthusiasts. Selling parts off of retired cars is an interesting concept-giving enthusiasts a legal avenue to obtain those items and bringing in some additional revenue from pieces that would otherwise go in a scrap bin.
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
 
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n229nw
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:15 pm



Quoting HOONS90 (Reply 18):
The Lexington Avenue Line is definitely overcrowded, but there really isn't any way to decrease headways, as CBTC (Communication-Based Train Control) isn't implemented on that line yet,

Yes, but the point is that other systems installed better signalling to decrease headways long ago, and retrofitted older trains with compliant technology. I understand money was the issue in NY, but I suppose that is half of where my complaints lie. For one of the world's busiest subway systems--on which a lot of the city's and region's economy depends, there needs (but especially needED) to be more investment...

Quoting HOONS90 (Reply 18):
Some reasons that actually contribute to delays are door-holders (I've been on a 2 train once when the door reopened and closed approximately 12 times at Times Square--42nd Street Station, because people kept trying to get on when the doors were closing).

Here's another simple, inexpensive thing that would make a HUGE difference: have a uniform warning system that the doors are closing. For example, a bleep that sounds consistently 3 seconds before the doors will close, etc. Right now, there are announcements to "stand clear of the closing doors" but half the time those announcements are made right after the doors have opened, when people are still exiting and everyone on the crowded platform is still waiting to enter. Then the doors shut unpredictably 20 seconds later. There is a pinging noise as the doors close, but this is too late, often sounding after the doors are already closing or closed.

I hope (but don't believe) that the new 2nd ave line will be built with platform edge sliding doors...

Quoting 57AZ (Reply 19):
One of the things that you have to consider is that NYC did a GREAT job of merging three competing entities into one operation.

True, and the system has definitely improved since the 70s!

Quoting Cadet985 (Reply 22):
This is a must see for any subway buff or just anyone with some time to kill. It's only $5 to get into, and they have a nice gift shop.

It is great.

Quoting HOONS90 (Reply 18):
Some of the unreliable routes that I've noticed are the F and R Trains

Funny, I find the R reliable (although at off-peak times the 10 minute headways annoy me), but it seems to come down to the fact that any route that merges into or out of the IND Queens Boulevard lines is subject to delays. Especially since over the last months they have been making frequent, unpredictable, and unannounced repairs...
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Cadet57
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Tue Oct 28, 2008 5:42 pm



Quoting Cadet985 (Reply 22):
I had heard rumors of the MTA doing something like what the WMATA in DC has done - contracting for cell coverage in the tunnels. This would be a good safety feature, and a convenience feature.

So that explains why I always had service on the Metro...
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comorin
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:56 pm



Quoting N229NW (Reply 17):
Quoting Comorin (Reply 8):
The frequency of service is amazing (as good as London's)

Are you kidding me? I have often waited almost 10 minutes for a 4 train AT RUSH HOUR. It's nice to know they are building the second avenue subway (but I wouldn't hold my breath because the last several times this has been planned it has fallen through due to economic crises, and lo and behold, we are entering one now, and the MTA is already talking about reducing service and/or raising fares...) But I digress, I was saying: it is nice to know that the 2nd Ave. Subway is being built, but I do laugh at the idea that it is partly "to alleviate overcrowding on the Lexington Avenue line." Here's an amazing way they might alleviate that overcrowding long before they eventually perhaps open the second avenue subway: RUN MORE TRAINS!!!

I'll defer to your greater knowledge, but the trains run practically back to back for me - #6 train at 77th St Btw, overcrowding also leads to longer gaps as pax hold up trains at platforms. I am sure running more trains would help too, but traffic only goes as fast as it does at its narrowest point.

The Lex line is a single line on the East Side, unlike the two lines on the West Side. The Second Avenue subway will definitely alleviate the load - anyone living east of 3rd Ave will switch. At least the big dig is on, and if I live to 2015, I do look forward to using it.

The London Underground, btw, is run by the ex-head of NYC's MTA.

I like the NYC subway system because I remember how bad it was in the 70's. They really need to raise the fare - everything in NY is way too cheap - we have no right to grumble if we want to pay peanuts.
 
Cadet985
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:38 pm



Quoting Comorin (Reply 26):
They really need to raise the fare - everything in NY is way too cheap

That is the most asinine thing I have ever heard. NYC and cheap are two things that do not go together. Maybe someone who lists their occupation as an entrepreneur can afford to pay higher prices for everything, but most people cannot...especially the large numbers of New Yorkers who live in city-owned housing (aka - projects), college students, and recent college grads.

Marc
 
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:03 pm

New York subways are wonderful. Gosh I wish our system here in San Francisco was as good as the New York or Chicago subways.


The subway is my preferred way to get around New York.
I also prefer the illegal taxis or 'gypsy cabs' to get between lines in Brooklyn.
Bring back the Concorde
 
IH8BY
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:54 pm

I found it a bit intimidating compared to the London Underground, possibly partly due to the dilapidated appearance of some of the stations. The swipe system is a bit annoying, and it's even more difficult to make one's way around it with a suitcase than it is on the LU. That said, it's really good value and the service frequency is very good. Sans luggage, it was a really easy way to get around NYC.

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 15):
This summer was brutal - NY is already hot and humid as hell as it is and the subway stations are always at least 5ºC hotter.

Tell me about it... I was there in early September, when they were saying it as about 95F in NY. The joy of getting onto the train itself (except when the aircon was broken a couple of times) was unbelieveable after the heat of the platforms.
Have you ever felt like you could float into the sky / like the laws of physics simply don't apply?
 
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DocLightning
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Tue Oct 28, 2008 11:58 pm

So I lived in New York for three years.

I *HATED* the NYC subway.

Oh at first when you move there it's this really neat toy and you can ride on these fast trains that go through really tight tunnels at often fantastic speeds (or seemingly fantastic...35 MPH seems fast when you're in a small tunnel, but they actually don't go much faster than that these days, they only hit about 40 on the 2/3 Express down Broadway).

But soon reality sets in. At least once a week I'd wait and wait and wait for a train that never came. At least twice or three times, my trip was delayed over 20 minutes by the subway. About once a month, I had to pay a cab $30 to get me to work because the subway was running so late. At that point I started driving to work (in the Bronx), as inefficient and uncitizenly as it is, and driving to work took 1/4 the time that the train did.

Let's talk about what's wrong with the system and compare it to the system which I think is best in the world: London.

1) The Layout is horrible. NYC's subway was designed as two systems, the Interoborough Raapid Transit company was first. Their tunnels are narrow and their loading gauge is smaller (although the rail gauge is the same, as is the third-rail). These are the 1-7 trains. Then, a competing "second system" consisting of the Independent subway company, IND, and the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit company (BMT) came online. Then they were consolidated. But the problem is that the two systems were never really connected very well. In many places, the two different systems cross right over each-other without so much as a station. In other places, you actually need to leave the system to change trains (86 st express stop on the Lex Ave. Line).

At other places, the interchange is underground, but just enormously long. Furthermore, connection with intermodal services (surface rail, air) is poor. Only one of the city's three airports is accessible by subway. One of the airports is accessible by (absurdly expensive) rail and one is only accessible by bus. The two main surface rail systems have no direct link between them (you have to take the A/C/E or 1/2/3 to 42 st and connect to the 7 or S).

The coverage in Brooklyn and Queens is pretty good and there's even an inter-borough train connecting the two, the G. But in the Bronx it's dismal. There are only trains to and from Manhattan and stations are few and far between. It was a 20 minute walk from my hospital (Jacobi) to the nearest station (Pelham Pkwy on the 5) and that station didn't work at 2AM or before 6AM (well it did, but it would take 3 hours to get anywhere). But the MTA doesn't really offer an alternative to late-night Subway service.

And above the bottom of the park, there is NO cross-town service. You have to take the bus and the average Manhattan bus moves at 8MPH. Slowest in the country.

By contrast, almost all crossovers in London have interchanges. There is service in most directions from any given point in the system except on the very extremes. Rail service is conveniently available to all three major airports. Connection to all major surface rail station is available and connection between those major surface rail stations is easy, usually only involving a single train.

2) The condition of NYC's system is atrocious. I will never forget the very last day I rode the subway. I got home on Wednesday and the station smelled like sh!t. No, I mean really. Like excrement. We all know that smell very well. And I found the source, a trickle of sewage that was leaking down a wall. So I went and told the lady in the booth. "Yeah, they workin' awn it!" was her answer in a Bronx contralto. There was no evidence above or below ground that they were "workin' awn it." Which is why it was there the next morning. And the next evening. And Friday morning and Friday evening, even though I called the city hotline to report the situation and explain that this was a major health hazard. And Monday morning it was still there. I walked right back out of the station and took a cab. And never rode the subway again.

It's not surprising. The ceilings are some unidentifiable color of bare metal and plaster, eroded by years of neglect. Sometimes pieces of the ceiling fall on you. The metal would be bare if it weren't covered by some accumulation of impacted... well I don't want to know what it is. It's just grey and sort of...fuzzy-looking. And that can't be good.

The floors are covered in black marks of old chewing gum left there for years. Even the "newly-renovated stations" feature these charming touches. The support columns are rusty and the paint is uneven, pockmarked, and dull. The lights are dim. There is sewage running down the middle of the tracks. There are rats the size of loaves of bread roaming around. Once I came across a pile of human feces, probably left by some homeless guy.

And the station at 59th st on the East side smells like an old sock rolled in an armpit, dipped in trough water, and left in the bottom of a locker for three days. With a side of Limberger cheese.  yuck 

An escalator at Union Square hasn't run for over 5 years now. The MTA claims it's not their job to fix it. The station says it's the building's job, and the building says it's the station management's job.

The cars are old, noisy, dirty, covered in scratched graffiti, have inaudible announcements, and bumpy. They're air-conditioned and quite spacious, though. The newer ones are at least brighter, smoother, and quieter with automated announcements and lighted strip maps. But many of the cars on the system are 50 years old now and really look every bit their age.

By contrast London's system is clean, brightly lit, the cars, while old are lovingly maintained and most of them look quite new thanks to regular overhauls and retrofits. The tracks are clean, there is very little litter (in spite of the annoying lack of garbage cans), and signage is plentiful and clear.

3) The service. I'll never forget the time on the NYC subway when the train stopped in the tunnel. for 10 minutes. Then the power went off. In the tunnel. In July. For 20 minutes. It got really hot. I mean REALLY hot. I had a liter of water with me and I was sharing it with people. People were starting to panic. And then the power went on and we started moving. And at no point was any sort of announcement or explanation.

In London I was on a train and it slowed and stopped in mid-tunnel. Within 2 minutes, the T/O came on and explained that there was an incident with a sick passenger at such-and-such a station and that he would give us more information as soon as he had it. Two minutes later he came on and said that they were still dealing with the sick passenger but that he was going to try to get clearance to proceed to the next station and open the doors. About a minute later that's what he did. And then he kept us updated every 2-3 minutes until the problem was resolved 15 minutes later.

4) Amenities and features.

I expect a modern first-world subway system to give me information on when the next train is coming. Don't tell me the system is too old; London is the oldest and they have next-train signs. Have for years. They FINALLY got it working on the L train. And now it will take them years to install it on each line, with the 7 next. At the rate they are going, it will take over 50 years to get next-train indicators on the whole system.

I expect good, bright, easy-to-read signage. The MTA's signage looks awfully dated. It's also hard to find, difficult to read, and maps are scarce. London's signage is bright, easy to read, and there are maps everywhere.

So yeah, New York's is probably the worst system in the industrialized world given its size. It runs 24h, but service during the night hours is so poor that you might as well take a cab or a bus. The trains have A/C, but the stations don't and they get OMFG so hotxxorz. And the service and condition of the system is just abysmal.
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767Lover
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:12 am



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 30):
3) The service.

I have to disagree with you about London having stellar service in regards to trains. On a 3-day visit in 2006, we encountered at least five instances where the train was either cancelled (without them telling anyone -- meaning that people got onto a train that was marked as operating, and then about 15 mins later some chap came by to tell everyone that that train is not running for the rest of the night) -- OR we'd be on the train enroute somewhere, and the conductor would come on the speaker and say "this train will not be stopping at the next stop" and then we'd be deposited at some stop way further down the route. (It wasn't a case of we tourists not knowing -- the natives were caught off guard as well).

Kind of makes it hard to get around in a timely manner when things don't run as posted.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:16 am



Quoting 767Lover (Reply 31):

I have to disagree with you about London having stellar service in regards to trains. On a 3-day visit in 2006, we encountered at least five instances where the train was either cancelled (without them telling anyone -- meaning that people got onto a train that was marked as operating, and then about 15 mins later some chap came by to tell everyone that that train is not running for the rest of the night) -- OR we'd be on the train enroute somewhere, and the conductor would come on the speaker and say "this train will not be stopping at the next stop" and then we'd be deposited at some stop way further down the route. (It wasn't a case of we tourists not knowing -- the natives were caught off guard as well).

Oh that happens in New York ALL the time. I'll never forget the time the train pulled into the station, came to a stop, sat there for 5 minutes with the doors closed, and then moved on. I was aboard the train, that had been my stop, and I had to get out at the next stop and go back. Another time, after the doors had closed, the train went all the way to the end of the Pehlam Line and then I had to wait 20 minutes for a train back down. *sigh*
-Doc Lightning-

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n229nw
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Wed Oct 29, 2008 2:55 am



Quoting IH8BY (Reply 29):
Tell me about it... I was there in early September, when they were saying it as about 95F in NY. The joy of getting onto the train itself (except when the aircon was broken a couple of times) was unbelieveable after the heat of the platforms.

Of course, it is the train air conditioning that is pumping all that hot air out into the stations to begin with...but I still love the relief you feel when you step inside...

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 32):
Quoting 767Lover (Reply 31):

I have to disagree with you about London having stellar service in regards to trains. On a 3-day visit in 2006, we encountered at least five instances where the train was either cancelled (without them telling anyone -- meaning that people got onto a train that was marked as operating, and then about 15 mins later some chap came by to tell everyone that that train is not running for the rest of the night) -- OR we'd be on the train enroute somewhere, and the conductor would come on the speaker and say "this train will not be stopping at the next stop" and then we'd be deposited at some stop way further down the route. (It wasn't a case of we tourists not knowing -- the natives were caught off guard as well).

Oh that happens in New York ALL the time. I'll never forget the time the train pulled into the station, came to a stop, sat there for 5 minutes with the doors closed, and then moved on. I was aboard the train, that had been my stop, and I had to get out at the next stop and go back. Another time, after the doors had closed, the train went all the way to the end of the Pehlam Line and then I had to wait 20 minutes for a train back down. *sigh*

Well, there's not much point in this debate, because New York and London are the TWO most poorly run systems I've encountered. (Having relied on both...) I'd have chosen a better counterexample to NY, Doc... In both systems, trains stop in the tunnel and wait, and your trip is often 10, 15, 20 minutes longer than it should be. In both systems there is sometimes an announcement (I love the useless all purpose NY one: "We are waiting because of train traffic ahead") and sometimes no announcement or explanation. The London Underground is constantly experiencing "signal failure," computer failure," "points failure," and "train failure." In New York, more of the problems are caused by the inherently poor design of the system rather than the underinvestment in maintenance. But the underinvestment in new technology (signalling, fare access, etc.) over the years has caught up and dragged the whole system down...

When all is said and done, I find NY even worse, because, as DocLightning says, the stations are butt ugly, smelly, hot and charmless, even when they are "fixed up."

And what is most aggravating: so many of the problems of the NY system are frustratingly easy to solve, if anyone really tried--such as my suggestion above of a consistent 3-second-before-door-closing buzzer to stop people from having to guess when the doors are going to close on them without warning...thus delaying the train. Example form today: doors close on the D train. Doors re-open unexpectedly. And stay open for about three seconds. Three peole are running down the stairs, see the doors reopen and board the train. Two make it into the train, then the doors reclose without warning on the third lady, which causes a several second delay...Of course, at more crowded stations and times these incidents are compounded multiple times with a domino effect that could end up delaying several other trains (even trains on other lines that happens to merge into the affected line elsewhere) by 5-10 minutes.

I say all this as a subway fanatic, who thus has a love-hate relationship to the London and even the New York systems.

Maybe a better counterexample to NY would be the world's busiest subway: Moscow. Compare either New York OR London to Moscow and you see a world of difference. The Moscow metro system is significantly cheaper than both NY or London and runs (with older equipment) absolutely constantly. The headways are so short that it often seems as if one train is arriving in the station as another one is leaving. The stations are palaces (many of them) of stained glass and marble. The trains (and escalators) move quickly and efficiently. Of course, no system is without its problems and drawbacks. The Moscow system is an utter nightmare in terms of handicapped accessibility, it suffers from overcrowding depite the short headways, and someone made the stupid decision that interchange stations have a different name on each of the lines that meet there, which is needlessly confusing. (Not to mention that all those beautiful "peoples' palace" stations were build on the backs of thousands of dead and injured slave laborers under Stalin...) Nonetheless, in a country that has been more cash strapped than the US or UK for a lot longer, it is a testament to the will to run a sterling municipal service, and keep a city really moving well.

In the end, for me the real shame is that so little was invested for so long in both NY and London that the systems effectively atrophied and decayed at a key period in their aging process, while other old systems such as Paris and Berlin were never allowed to go into such decline...
All Glory to the Hypnotoad!
 
hoons90
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Wed Oct 29, 2008 4:42 am

Although I agree that the Bronx isn't all that well served by the subway when you want to go across it, the new Bx12 Select Bus Service (almost like BRT) that runs along Fordham Road should make it at least somewhat easier.

The oldest trains in the system are the R32s from 1964 (Rebuilt in the late 80's). They currently run on the E service, but they should all be retired by early 2009 when MTA gets their R160A and R160B option trains delivered. When I rode the E on Saturday, I only saw two R32 sets.

There are also the R38s from the late 60's that are used on the C (they look exactly like the R32s). The R40s from 1969-70 are almost all extinct-- they are only seen on the B service, and even that is rare. The R42s from the early 70s that were used on the J, M, Z until recently are almost eradicated from those lines, replaced by brand new R160A trains from Alstom. All of the trains on the L services are operated by relatively new R143 trains. The N, Q, W mostly has R160B trains from 2006, or, less frequently, R68A trains from the late 80s, both made by Kawasaki.

The oldest IRT trains are from 1983-84, and they are the R62s made by Kawasaki. Those trains currently run on the 3 service, with the 4 train only having one or two sets of those left. The R62As from 1984-85 are on the 1 and 7 trains. The 2, 5, 6 only has R142/A trains from the years 2000-2005.

I agree, some of the stations can be downright disgusting (such as Jay St-Borough Hall on the F) and dingy (like Hoyt-Schermerhorn station on the A, C and G). However, there's 468 stations in the system, most of them from the earlier half of the 20th century. Their renovation of the Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue terminal is impressive, it's my favorite station in the entire system. I haven't noticed that much of an unpleasant odor at most of the stations I've been to, although some of the underground stations in Brooklyn can be nauseating.

With regards to next train arrival times, I've noticed that some major stations (such as Chambers Street on the 2, 3 or 14th Street-Union Square on the 4, 5, 6) announce that information over the speakers. While that's not as good as having electronic displays, it's better than having nothing (like in Toronto, where I live). Hopefully, they will begin implementing CBTC on the 7, once they manage to get the R142/As onto the Flushing line. Apparently, the R142/As have had some problems contacting the third rail along the Flushing line, although I've also heard from other sources that it's been resolved.

You have to admit though, more often than not, it beats the traffic above. I never look forward to being stuck on a taxicab or on the M104 or M15 when I know there are express trains running swiftly just below. Yes, delays are still bound to happen, but maybe I'm just used to it since the TTC in Toronto is notorious for delays (I've waited for 55 minutes for a streetcar that was supposed to come every 9 minutes). In Toronto, if there's a train that breaks down or someone jumps, you're just stuck there, since you can't divert trains through the express (or local) tracks, since there aren't any!

As for the door holding issue, people will still do it even after hearing a warning bell. The Toronto subway has a 3-5 second warning bell before the door closes, yet people still hold doors. When I am unfortunate enough to have to ride the Bloor-Danforth Line in Toronto, you always hear announcements along the line of "Attention all passengers, we are currently experiencing a delay Westbound blablabla due to a train with door problems".
The biggest mistake made by most human beings: Listening to only half, understanding just a quarter and telling double.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:12 am



Quoting N229NW (Reply 33):
n New York, more of the problems are caused by the inherently poor design of the system rather than the underinvestment in maintenance.

Oh after my sewage experience I disagree with that strenuously.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
columba
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:18 am

I would love the have a model of a NY Subway train or a NJ transit train for my room, do you know where I can buy them online ?
It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
 
comorin
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:07 pm



Quoting Cadet985 (Reply 27):
Quoting Comorin (Reply 26):
They really need to raise the fare - everything in NY is way too cheap

That is the most asinine thing I have ever heard. NYC and cheap are two things that do not go together. Maybe someone who lists their occupation as an entrepreneur can afford to pay higher prices for everything, but most people cannot...especially the large numbers of New Yorkers who live in city-owned housing (aka - projects), college students, and recent college grads.

Marc

I've been a college student, grad, lived on very tight budgets in NYC and I know what it's like. My point is that when you start providing services well below cost, quality suffers. We all have different points of view based on our life experiences, and unless you're Lou Dobbs, I'd hesitate calling anybody 'Asinine'.
 
767Lover
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:46 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 35):
Oh after my sewage experience I disagree with that strenuously.

Are you sure that wasn't the Flushing line?  Smile
 
Mir
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:12 pm



Quoting JFK69 (Reply 3):
Its hot as hell during the summer, its frezing during the winter, You sit next to everything from Stockbrokers to drug dealers.....As a born and bred New Yorker, there is Nothing better!!!!



 checkmark  The subway is a microcosm of the city, and for that I love it.

Quoting Comorin (Reply 26):
I'll defer to your greater knowledge, but the trains run practically back to back for me - #6 train at 77th St Btw, overcrowding also leads to longer gaps as pax hold up trains at platforms.

I've also never had problems with frequency on the Lexington line at rush hour.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 30):
In other places, you actually need to leave the system to change trains (86 st express stop on the Lex Ave. Line).

86th and Lex is an IRT only stop. Local trains on the upper level, express trains on the lower level, with stairs in between. You can't change between uptown and downtown without leaving the system, which may be what you were thinking of, but that's certainly not unique to that station.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
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STT757
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Wed Oct 29, 2008 3:07 pm

The Washington Metro is a great system, the stations are huge. The access to DCA is how all transit - airport links should be designed, hopefully the extension to Dulles airport will get underway soon.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
TylerDurden
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Wed Oct 29, 2008 3:36 pm



Quoting HOONS90 (Thread starter):
and would you consider it to be your most preferred method of getting around in NYC?

I get a hire car with a driver.
Taxis are nasty...subway is too crowded...and I'd rather not walk unless it's a few blocks away.
At least if you're sitting in traffic, you're air conditioned or heated...and can do some work..
 
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n229nw
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Wed Oct 29, 2008 4:26 pm



Quoting 767Lover (Reply 38):
Are you sure that wasn't the Flushing line? Smile

Yeah, maybe it is just theme decor!!!
All Glory to the Hypnotoad!
 
tommy767
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Wed Oct 29, 2008 5:36 pm



Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 20):
On Saturday January 12th, 2008 nearly 2,000 people took off their pants on subways in 10 cities around the world. In New York’s 7th Annual No Pants! Subway Ride we had around 900 participants, spread out over three subway lines. Enjoy the videos first and then go behind the scenes with our mission report and photos.

Based on the picture, it looks like its a bunch of manhattan/brooklyn hipsters who are trying to create a new holiday -- YAWN.

Quoting STT757 (Reply 40):
The Washington Metro is a great system, the stations are huge. The access to DCA is how all transit - airport links should be designed, hopefully the extension to Dulles airport will get underway soon.

I was just riding this system yesterday. What a breath of fresh air compared to the NYC subway system. The ride to DCA airport was a breeze from Union station, and as always it was super clean and quiet. It's rather interesting how they have garbage cans inside the staions, because of the laws against bringing food or drink on the trains.

I'm going to have to disagree with you about the PATH. There have been too many times in my life where I've said that it was one of the worst systems I have ever been on. During the 9-5 hours its tolerable, but too crowded and really doesn't compensate enough for all the businessgoers between NY/NJ. And then there is the 'limited schedule' -- Forget about it! After 11pm trains only run on the :30, and are usually late. The stations are either very cold or very hot depending on season. Then once your on, you have to then deal with all the drunk party people and the cars are ridiculously packed! We're talking worse than the Tokyo subway system. Plus if your trying to go between Hoboken and WTC on the weekend it can take up to 1.5 hours because of making you connect in Pavonia/Newport.

PATH has the potential to be good. If they get new and additional train cars with better schedules. Right now, its a system that just doesn't properly encompass the number of people between NY/NJ which are thousands during peak times.

NYC subway system is better than the path, but it is gross. Yet it's an appropriate system for NYC.
"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
 
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n229nw
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Wed Oct 29, 2008 7:09 pm



Quoting HOONS90 (Reply 34):
The R40s from 1969-70 are almost all extinct-- they are only seen on the B service, and even that is rare.

Not that rare. They are still pretty common on the B. I really like those trains. They had some style, and they bring back memories of riding the IND lines with my grandfather when I was little. On the other hand, it's kid of sad to see the amount of rust and duct tape on them these days...they'll all be gone soon, though, as you say.
All Glory to the Hypnotoad!
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Wed Oct 29, 2008 7:18 pm

On our visit to new York, we found the following comparisons to the London Underground

Access:
In London we are used to a distinctive illuminated sign above station entrances, and a fairly wide set of entrance steps
New York seems to depend upon green railings with a small coloured ball on the railings, not easy to find if you are visiting

Platforms etc:
London all escalators & walking routes have ceilings and tiled walls, and are generally reasonably cool, fairly large ticket halls, apart from a few stations which have connections between lines walking distances are fairly short.
New York grotty exposed girders for ceilings everything seems to be encrusted in filth. Ticket barriers seem to resemble prison gates, stifling temperatures, seemingly endless walks from street access to platforms, but few escalators, as most lines seem to run just beneath the surface.

Routes
London has a very clear tube map, which is very easy to use, apart from the fact that it is not true to scale, there are some places where it is quicker to walk than use the tube, despite what the tube map may suggest
New Yorks map didn't seem to have the clarity of London's

Trains
London has old rolling stock which gets very hot in summer as there is no air conditioning, all trains however will stop at every station on their route, you just have to be careful if your line is one which has two or more branches, to take the correct train.
New York has air conditioned trains, but you have to be careful as some trains are express, and miss out the majority of stops.

Information systems
London has information signs on every platform which list the destination and arrival time of the next two or three trains
New York has a board on the front of the train !

Frequency
London generally has trains every 4 minutes or so during day time on each line.
New York didn't seem to offer as many trains

Overall
London needs to cool the trains down
New York needs to sort everything else out !!
 
Superfly
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Wed Oct 29, 2008 7:34 pm

You haven't really experienced New York unless you ride the subways.  Cool
Bring back the Concorde
 
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DocLightning
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:00 pm



Quoting HOONS90 (Reply 34):

The oldest trains in the system are the R32s from 1964 (Rebuilt in the late 80's). They currently run on the E service, but they should all be retired by early 2009 when MTA gets their R160A and R160B option trains delivered. When I rode the E on Saturday, I only saw two R32 sets.

There was a delay of about a year to get the first R-160's delivered. They were JUST getting to a point where you actually had some chance of riding one when I left in July. At that point, I'd stopped riding the subway after my sewage experience except for a few rare occasions when there was no practical alternative.

Quoting HOONS90 (Reply 34):

I agree, some of the stations can be downright disgusting (such as Jay St-Borough Hall on the F) and dingy (like Hoyt-Schermerhorn station on the A, C and G). However, there's 468 stations in the system, most of them from the earlier half of the 20th century.

Again, London has a comparable number and their system is older. Yet theirs are clean.

Quoting HOONS90 (Reply 34):

As for the door holding issue, people will still do it even after hearing a warning bell. The Toronto subway has a 3-5 second warning bell before the door closes, yet people still hold doors.

Back in 2005 just after I'd moved to NYC, I was on an uptown 1 train at Times Square coming back from the Bar at like 2AM. And some ass decided that he would just stand in the door to hold the train while his friends weren't even in the station yet (getting food aboveground). After about five minutes of repeated angry announcements from the overhead, a very large, African-American gentleman (fellow pax) asked the little punk to step in or out so the rest of us could go where we needed to. The little punk gave him the finger. So the large gentleman simply gave the little punk a firm shove that landed him ass-first on the platform. The T/O took this opportunity to slam the doors shut and left the punk sitting on his ass on the platform looking furious while the train pulled out.

One of the best subway experiences I've ever had.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
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STT757
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:03 pm



Quoting Tommy767 (Reply 43):
PATH has the potential to be good. If they get new and additional train cars with better schedules.

The Port Authority is spending $3 Billion on the new PA-5 cars, they are in testing and should start to be introduced next year.

http://photos.nj.com/photogallery/2008/10/new_path_train_2.html
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
hoons90
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RE: The New York City Subway - Impressions?

Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:50 pm



Quoting N229NW (Reply 44):
Not that rare. They are still pretty common on the B. I really like those trains. They had some style, and they bring back memories of riding the IND lines with my grandfather when I was little. On the other hand, it's kid of sad to see the amount of rust and duct tape on them these days...they'll all be gone soon, though, as you say.

I'm also fond of those trains. I was quite disappointed that all of the trains that I saw on the B service on Friday were R68s.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 46):
You haven't really experienced New York unless you ride the subways. Cool

Agreed.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 47):
Again, London has a comparable number and their system is older. Yet theirs are clean.

Maybe London maintains their system when it's closed at night.
New York runs both local and express trains 24 hours (now even the 3 train runs express 24h as of July 29), so maybe it's trickier for them to keep it fresh and clean. I do agree that the "reachable" parts of the system should be cleaned more thoroughly, though.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 47):
Back in 2005 just after I'd moved to NYC, I was on an uptown 1 train at Times Square coming back from the Bar at like 2AM. And some ass decided that he would just stand in the door to hold the train while his friends weren't even in the station yet (getting food aboveground). After about five minutes of repeated angry announcements from the overhead, a very large, African-American gentleman (fellow pax) asked the little punk to step in or out so the rest of us could go where we needed to. The little punk gave him the finger. So the large gentleman simply gave the little punk a firm shove that landed him ass-first on the platform. The T/O took this opportunity to slam the doors shut and left the punk sitting on his ass on the platform looking furious while the train pulled out.

One of the best subway experiences I've ever had.

Great story!
The biggest mistake made by most human beings: Listening to only half, understanding just a quarter and telling double.

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