Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Falling in love with the subway

The last time I rode the NYC subway system was probably back in the late 80s. Back then it was a sweaty, stinky, scary place - one that you didn't want to find yourself on late at night.

So, consider my surprise when, over our vacation last week in Manhattan, I totally fell head over heels in love with the subway system. Our hotel was equidistant between two subway stops on the green line (33rd and Grand Central Station), so getting anywhere only required that we walk about 5 blocks. As long as you know which train you need, you really don't need much in the way of a schedule since they come so frequently.

Transferring from one subway line to another is relatively easy, albeit somewhat confusing at some stations. I would imagine it's easy to get lost on occasion since some stations have multiple levels and the signs can be a tad confusing, but for even us idiots who have no idea where we were going, we managed just fine, without any problems.

Some of the announcements can be unclear, but the information about where you are while on the train is really clear - some trains have illuminated maps that tell you exactly where you are on the line and most have reader boards telling you what the next stop is. Far more handy than the bus.

All the trains are air conditioned these days and, if I must admit, they are over air-conditioned. Granted, standing on the platform while waiting for the train may feel like a short stay in Hades, but getting on the train more than makes up for it.

Finally, we always felt extremely safe, even riding the trains after midnight. I got so used to taking the subway that I lamented having to use my car the day after we returned from New York. For those of you interested in how the MTA is looking at mass transit and energy consumption, you can check out their sustainability pages.

Does your area have a rapid transit system similar to New York? If your area did, would you use it?


Marie said...

Nope, rural towns are void of such luxuries. When I move in September, there will be an irritating bus service that I will be forced to use. It there was a subway or train guaranteed I would be using it. I've been on a few in various cities and they are so convenient.

Delora said...

I'm in love with DC's metro rail system. Sadly, I live far enough out in the suburbs that, unless I'm going into town for an event, mass transit isn't practical. My 15min drive to work would get replaced with a 45min bus ride, followed by a 30min metro ride and then a 10min shuttle ride (assuming I can make the last shuttle at 9:30am). And the whole shebang would cost around $5 each way. Definitely not practical.

Oldnovice said...

We don't have anything ANYWHERE similar to NY's transit system, nor do we have anything anywhere similar to Chicago's transit system, BUT we're moving in the right direction.

We must drive to public light rail from where we live here in North Texas. We had to drive to public light rail when we lived in Illinois, as well.

Once inside the city, however, whether NY, Chicago, or Dallas, subways run just as smoothly as they do in Paris or Milan.

LOVE subways.

Amanda said...

In texas we believe in gas guzzling SUVs so no the city I live in doesnt have any public transportation but Texas State University however, has an excellent bus system for students and I plan on using that when school starts.

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

I love how convient the NY subway system is. Did you take the Red line? Not only can you hear the anouncements but they are polite! "Stand clear of the closing doors plese! always creeps my husband the former NYC resident out. He firmly believes that the announcement should be the normal "mumble mumble mumble door"

organicneedle said...

Our subway system does rock Even our very rich mayor uses it. And as far as the stops being confusing...New Yorkers are actually much friendlier than our reputation would lead you to believe. Just ask and someone will help you get off at the right place. If we are in a good mood. :)

Robj98168 said...

NO. You know where I live, so except for the S.L.U.T.(South Lake Union Trolley), Metro and the Sound Transit Light Rail... nope. But we are getting there- so they keep telling me. Be patient. Stay calm and before you know it Light Rail will take you anywhere your little heart desires! Seattle used to have a full trolley system- who was the moron that got rid of it???

Q said...

That sounds really similar to most of the trains in japan.

It's great for getting around.

Sandy said...

No. We have a bus system here but it is not very convenient. It would take 45 minutes to an hour to travel the five miles from my house to work, which takes me 12 minutes. It is ridiculous. I would take the bus if it were like DC or Chicago. I'm from the Chicago area and EVERYBODY takes the train downtown. I took it to work for years! And I love DC's rail system. Amazingly easy to navigate. I also really like Boston's T (I believe it's called.)

I don't understand why the bus system people can't understand if you put in express busses or light rail people will use them. I don't want to spend as much on gas or driving as I do, but really, there aren't many options where I live. Ironically, I have to go on vacation to get a good transit system to use!