This time someone was killed by a train while pooping. So now I have to be worried about taking a poop between train cars, as well as just standing around on the platform? What has this world come to?
I just got back from Hong Kong and I have to say NYC’s subways are just an embarrasement. I’ve heard the same excuse that NY’s subways are just old. That’s part of it, but the bigger piece I think is just the blatant corruption, misuse of funds and union stranglehold on the MTA. Frankly, as the second richest city in the world by GDP (on PPP basis) and certainly one of the highest taxed, the state of our subways versus other comparable cities --even those with older subways (London, Paris, etc…)-- really just isn’t acceptable. No private company would ever be able to get away with shit like this.
^ Respect. The HK subway is mad modern.
I’m gonna holla at my man Barack to see an end to these subway deaths. Enough is enough! I feel an outright ban on all subway travel is the only solution!
Well, US government just approved $50 billion in aid for Sandy. Maybe some of this will go to subway renovations…
And yeah, probably the main issue is that whenever funding is approved for NY transportation, many parties want a cut of the money. Unlike in HK or Singapore where the government can just make autocratic spending decisions. Furthermore, HK retiring government workers tend to just move in with their kids, instead of relying on pensions and SS.
LOL, great post…
Part of the reason is tiered pricing. Japan, Europe, HK, even Washington DC, what you pay is determined by how far you go. On the whole, people end up paying more. $2.50 is really dirt cheap considering the huge distance you can travel on the NY subway system. But that means a lot less revenue and no money to keep up with modernizing.
The problem with changing it now is that once people get used to something, making it more expensive causes backlash. Greeks got used to fat cushy pensions for doing very little work, now they are rioting. People got used to 99 weeks of unemployment paychecks… And then complain that after sitting on their ass for almost 2 yrs… people don’t want to employ them and they can’t get work and they want more govt money…
I bring you Kazakhstan:
I heard that it’s the greatest country in the world. All other countries are run by little girls.
The positive side of the crumbling state of the NYC subway is that it brings memories of that movie of the 70s or 80s, “The Warriors”. For some reason I love that weird movie.
Yeah…I never understood this about the US either…modern cities in the center of the first world with crappy public amenities.
I’m not sure how one would modernize the transit system in NYC without massive disruptions (and simultaneous fare increases). How did London do it?
Many of the stations have been revamped and now look much nicer than they used to. Reforming the stations is probalby not a huge problem, though it is still expensive.
The bigger problem is the cars. One of the reasons that BART and DC’s Metro and other metros are quieter is that they run on rubber wheels, rather than steel ones, so they don’t squeak as much. But the way the electrics work on these cars requires metal contact with the ground rail. The newer cars run on a different gauge, in part to improve their balance. I suspect upgrading those cars would also involve upgrading the tracks themselves, which would require taking taking trains out of service for long periods of time as 600-900 miles of track are replaced.
One of the reasons that the stations are so wierd sometimes is that the initial subways were private enterprises. The 1/2/3 line (IRT) was built by one company, and the A/C/E line (IND) was built by another. They had separate stations where you had to buy a separate ticket. Then the city bought the lines and drilled to connect pre-existing stations. So that’s why some of the stations are all crazy and mishmashed… they were not originally intended to be connected.
We are great because we are cheap. Private enterprise will build great ammenities, but, like medieval Europe, we’ll throw our crap in the street.
Warriors, come out to play-i-ay!
/Baseball Furies ftw
The scenes where they’re skating through the subway system are worth the price of admission by themselves.
“Can you Dig it!!!” the W72nd St Station still has the same Facade from that movie, when they are getting chased by the baseball bats…
At least kind of on topic - do any rail systems in the US make money? I just looked up the BART and they run at about a $240mm deficit per year. They would have to charge about 63% more per passenger to breakeven. The maximum fare for a one-way trip would have to go from $10.60 to about $17.30.
I believe freight rail is still a money maker - Buffet bought Burlington Northern, for example - but passenger rail is almost never profitable, at least in the US.
Yeah, I was talking about passenger rail. Freight seems to be doing well.