Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, November 20, 2021

The worst-kept secret this month (and earlier) around here has been the expected draconian actions that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority would take to address its looming billion-dollar deficit.

The official axe fell today, and it’s as ugly as feared:

For New York City Transit, the biggest component of the authority, the deficit-closing plan would eliminate the W and Z subway lines; eliminate service on the M line to Bay Parkway in Brooklyn; shorten the route of the G line, which will permanently stop at Court Square in Long Island City, Queens, instead of 71st and Continental Avenues in Forest Hills, Queens; lower the frequency of most letter-line trains to every 10 minutes from every 8 minutes on weekends; lower the frequency of all trains to every 30 minutes from every 20 minutes from 2 to 5 a.m.; eliminate overnight bus service on 25 routes; and eliminate the X27 and X28 express-bus lines.

Mr. Sander said the route alterations “will result in extra transfers, longer travel times, longer wait times and longer walking time.” Trains would be more crowded. Subway cars would be cleaned less frequently. Station booths would be closed. Bus service would be cut back on weekends and at nights. The express-bus fare would rise to $7.50 from $5. The cost of the Access-a-Ride paratransit service for disabled riders would rise.

The Long Island Rail Road would cut 173 positions, cancel and combine some train lines, reduce service on weekends and off-peak hours and cut train crews. The Metro-North Railroad would cut 88 positions, shorten trains, increase the loading guidelines, slow down the restoration of Grand Central Terminal and cut cleaning and maintenance at the terminal. Fares would rise by 43 percent on the Long Island Bus.

Killing off two entire train lines is no small potatoes. Neighborhoods and commercial districts rotate around walking-distance access to the subway. If this actually happens, it’s going to impact those routes immeasurably.

From my perspective: I don’t think I’ve ever ridden on either the W or Z, nor on the other to-be-truncated lines. As usual, the outer boroughs get the shaft, while Manhattan’s system stays intact. The lag times during weekends and late-nights might be more of a pain, simply because those estimates are official low-balls: That current eight minutes is, in practice, already more like 10+ minutes of weekend wait. So figure that in the near future, I’ll be waiting on the platforms for a good quarter-hour for a dirty, under-crewed train to clamber by. Add to that the expected fare hike up to $3 or so, and some of the luster of City public transit definitely wears off.

I guess it could have been worse. And again, if I were being more impacted personally via service eliminations (I never take the bus, so that doesn’t factor in for me), doubtless I’d be more pissed. As is, it’ll be one more thing to bear.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 11/20/2008 01:15:33 PM
Category: New Yorkin'
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Just as some expect paradigm-shifting sociopolitical change from Barack Obama and his presidency, others expect paradigm-shifting sociocultural change from Michelle Obama and her, um, butt:

In modern times, the butt has demarcated class and stature among black society itself. Emphasizing it or not separates dignified black women from ho’s, party girls from professionals, hip-hop from serious…

But Michelle is bringing those two falsely divided minds together in a single presentation — finally, unity for the real world! Talk about a power base. Thanks to Michelle, looking professional and provocative in a distinctly black way will become not only acceptable but also part of a whole presidential look that’s more, well, inclusive. Now we’ll all be able to wear leggings to board meetings; we’ll sport pencil skirts sans the long jackets meant to cover the offending rear at big conferences where we have to make a good impression. It turns out that Sir Mix-A-Lot, he of “Baby Got Back” fame, was not a novelty but a prophet. Who knew? Give that guy a Cabinet post.

What began at the source, should resume at the source. Mr. A-Lot, get to work on some new Obama-era lyrics for your signature song. Let’s start it off with the obvious chorus hook for “First Lady Got Back”: DC face with a Chi-town booty. Yes, a dignified affair, all around.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 11/20/2008 12:46:05 PM
Category: Politics, Pop Culture, Women
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