New York Daily Photo Analytics

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Subway

New Yorkers love to complain about the subway, but actually, the system is quite remarkable, especially allowing for the fact that it services a city that is not known for efficiency. We are all familiar with the negatives - rats, filth and litter, oppressively hot stations in the summer, no bathrooms, crowding, delays and rerouting etc. After all, the system has to service 1.5 billion riders a year (5 million a day) with the world's largest fleet of subway cars (6400). But look at some of the positives - it is one of the most extensive systems in the world with 660 miles of track and 468 stations in four boroughs. In conjunction with buses, one can get reasonably close to any two locations - and that's an achievement given the area involved. One can travel as far as 31 miles on the A train without a change of trains (207th Street Manhattan to Far Rockaway in Queens). Service is 24/7 - one of the few in the world and a tremendous convenience we take for granted - I remember a trip to Paris and being surprised that their system closed at 1 AM and having to find a taxi. Fares are good for trips of any length with free transfers - many other transit systems charge on the basis of distance traveled. Some stations have amenities such as magazine stands and food. Musical entertainment can be found at some of the larger stations. If you are interested in more details, click here for the transit's official site. I know - I should have written this after being stuck on a train during rush hour or being rerouted on the F :)


John Nez said...

Rats, filth, litter... you left out the incredibly oppresive heat in the summer and the bone chilling deep freeze in the winter.

Of those two, I'd say the winter cold was worse. I remember riding the #6 train without any windows once... on a frigid -10 day!

But at least I understand the graffitti is gone now! That's amazing... as it used to be very oppressive and ugly.

Strangetastes said...

Brings back memories - my neighborhood stop when I was growing up was 40th Street and Queens Boulevard on the 7 line and I commuted on the subway to high school in the Bronx for four years.

Did the city back off on that dumb policy of trying to prohibit photography in the subway?

Brian said...

john - The system conditions have improved over the years, but there are still huge issues like no A/C in the summer (except in the cars).

strangetastes - Yes, I was going to put it in the posting. Apparently the city has backed off from their no photography position. You just can't use auxiliary lights or tripods and such.

susan said...

It's funny that you mention the fact that it is open 24/7. I guess I had always assumed that ALL cities were 24 hours a day because I knew that NY was. So...I once got stuck in downtown Atlanta (university) after midnight because the trains were closed...not a place you would like to be after midnight at that time! A taxi would have cost about $40...not so small sum when you are a student. I stayed on a sofa at a police station until the trains opened again at 5am. What a night!

Anonymous said...

I like the way you handled the topic and the photo. I really like your photograph.

Today I show my wife, of 52 years, and President Bush's jet that is carrying his automobiles.

Abraham Lincoln

An Honest Man said...

There was a science fiction story, my memory fails as to the author, over the increasing complexity of the system leading to a 'perpetual loop' in the system causing a train to disappear never to be seen again, but to exist in non-time/space.

Give me the 'simplicity' of London or, even better, the clockwork orange of the single circuit in Glasgow.

(All right - I'm jealous!)