Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, April 05, 2021

I’m pretty proud of how quickly I learned my way around New York’s subway system. I’m confident about finding the right train to take to the right spot (at least in Manhattan).

But sadly, that applies largely to the prime-time action of weekdays. The weekend schedules? Different story, and a baffling one as well:

“To reach the West Side of Manhattan from Brooklyn, take the 2 to Franklin or Atlantic Avs and transfer to the 4. Take the 4 to Bowling Green and transfer to the 5 on the opposite platform. The 5 makes uptown 2 stops from Chambers St to 149 St-Grand Concourse.”

You got all that?

It’s bad enough for civilians, and even the subway officials can’t dope it out:

William Henderson is executive director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Even he has had his troubles.

“My son was going to a test prep class on Saturday mornings,” Mr. Henderson said. “I do this stuff for a living, and I’m sitting there on the platform as the train rolls in, trying to read the sign to figure out if this A train will stop where we needed to stop.”

I’ve been lucky in that I haven’t gotten too flummoxed on a weekend ride. Again, intra-Manhattan stops don’t seem to be affected as much as the outer-borough lines. More than anything has been the slower schedules, with waits of 20 minutes or more for trains that run every 5 minutes Monday through Friday. It’s a drag.

Of course, the best alternative is to just walk, or else grab a cab if it’s really too far away. Otherwise, step onto your train and cross your fingers. If you get totally lost, just stay on until Monday rolls around and the normal schedule resumes!

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 04/05/2021 04:27:24 PM
Category: New Yorkin'
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