All Over……

So the date was August 2nd & the forecast was disgusting! I needed to make a quick deposit at the bank. However I had no patience to ride the subway during normal business hours. You know what this meant, another overnight bank run!

I hopped a ride to the train station & got dropped off at Middletown Rd. As I walk up the stairs, I realized that I shouldn’t have taken  the ride. I needed to cash one of those scratch off tickets as I was a few dollars short for my deposit.

So I decided to get off at Hunts Point Ave. & find a store to cash the ticket. Unfortunately my search was futile as one place was no longer there, & the others did not have their lotto machines open. After getting shot down a third time, it finally dawned on me. I forgot that lotto machines do not open in NY until 6 AM.

I was hot & had no patience to wait until the lotto machines opened. So I decided to walk to Whitlock Ave & hop the 6 train back home. As I was walking, I thought to myself let me see if I run into my dad on his way down. I looked at the bus schedule & figured out which bus would probably be his. I ended up catching his bus & getting the few bucks I was short. I finally ended up making it to the bank to make a deposit at the ATM.

Now only if I asked for a few bucks to begin with, I could have avoided the round about trip! Oh well…..

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Subway Elevator & Escalator Status Available Online

The MTA had an early Christmas present for straphangers, a new feature on their website. As of August 1st, straphangers can get updated subway elevator & escalator status online. The pages are still a work in progress. However at this present time, data is updated three times daily: 6 a.m., 3 p.m., and 10 p.m.

I am curious about something. Does anyone think that many people will take advantage of this service? I’m all for updating our transit system as far as commuting & information is concerned. However this particular update seems geared towards the elderly. I just can’t see them booting up a computer & visiting a website for such information.

I wonder if the MTA will provide usage statistics for this service for the first 6-12 months. I doubt it but I would be interested in the data if it ever sees the light of day.

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Towards the end of July, The Straphangers Campaign released their annual “State of the Subways” report card. Just a quick question, why release a 2007 report when only a little over half the year has gone by? Anyhow, I call bullshit on their report card.

There is no way, the 1 is the best rated line in the system. I’ve ridden that line many times since I was a kid. I also know people who ride it daily. More times than not, I hear a bunch of complaints. Most of the complaints stem from inconsistent service. Now if many people are feeling this way & justifiably so, how did the Straphangers not pick up on this?

One issue I have always noticed with the 1 is that one minor delay anywhere along the line can screw up the entire line. These delays seem to happen more often than not so there is no way this is the best line in the system. I also call bullshit on how the 6 train is #4! The 6 train should be no lower than 2nd, & quite frankly it should be first. I am very impressed with the 6 as a whole & rarely have a complaint about the service it provides.

As far as the worst line goes, I see the C & W tied for the dubious honor. I do not ride the C much so I don’t have a lot of experience. However I did ask others who depend on it & many don’t disagree. The usual complaint I heard is about long droughts in arrivals. This is definitely a complaint I am used to hearing especially from local riders in Brooklyn.

The W in my opinion is getting a bum rap. First off it is not a full time line & it really is nothing more than a little helper to the N. In my opinion the W does its job well providing extra service in key spots especially in Astoria. If any train should be rated the worse, it would be the R! There is a reason why many say the R stands for “Rarely”!

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Express Bus 1 Parking Spots 0

Continuing with the morning of July 19th, I am walking home after dealing with “The Straphanger Singer”. As I’m nearing my building, I notice an express bus in an odd location.

Normally the BxM6 will usually idle in the actual bus stop or somewhere around Metropolitan Oval. However the bus driver of 3441 decided he needed something better. He decided to park his bus in front of one of the condominiums & take up valuable parking space.

Personally I think this quite a shitty thing to do considering how parking spots are premium in Parkchester. If you live around or have ever drove here, you know exactly what I am talking about. I can only imagine how pissed drivers were who were looking for spots & saw a good 2-4 spots taking up by an express bus!

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I Thought My Mom Was Bad!

On July 19th, I had to go to the bank to make a deposit. I had no desire to deal with the normally huge crowds during business hours. Since this was the case, I decided to just make a deposit at the ATM during the overnight hours. For some reason I am really enjoying making trips to the bank anywhere between 3 & 5 AM.

The train ride down was easy & event free. However the same could not be said for my return trip home. I am on the 6 train heading back to Parkchester. I board in one of the last few cars & noticed it was quite empty. I sat across from a man who was enjoying music on his disc-man. He seemed to really be into his tunes which is cool as I was in the same mode listening to my mp3 player.

I was rocking out silently to myself when I started to hear what sounded like singing. It turns out my fellow straphanger felt like singing. The problem is he sounded horrible! My mom is a horrible singer & she will be the first to admit it. I’ll put it to you this way, my mom sounds like Christina Aguilera or Mariah Carey compared to how this guy sounded!

The fellow straphangers tried their best not to look at him. He seemed to be in his own world as he got up & started with the pole as if he was stripping & singing to someone. I wanted to take a picture of him so badly but I couldn’t without it being obvious. However I was able to record him as my mp3 player has a built in microphone.

Thankfully he stopped singing as we were approaching 116th St. I thought the show was mercifully over but I was wrong! We are now at Hunts Point Ave. & a cute older Hispanic woman gets on. She sits right across from me which is where our favorite singer originally sat when I boarded.

We are checking each other out until “The Straphanger Singer” decides to start singing again! She looked at him thinking god knows what… The thoughts must not have been good though. When the train opened its doors at the next stop (Whitlock Ave.) she exited our car & went one car forward! So much for our little flirting session! What makes it worse is “The Straphanger Singer” starts singing Rihanna’s “Umbrella”. I hate that song!

Thankfully “The Straphanger Singer” got off at Morrison-Soundview Aves! Who knows if he made it home though as he did not exit the station when he got off. Instead of going left towards the staircase after exiting the train, he went to the right & stood in the corner at the end of the platform. So thank you “The Straphanger Singer” for making my commute home harsh on the ears!

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