Sunday, January 26, 2014

An ode to public transit

An open letter to the MTA,

I have a story to convey.
Due to the train that I live near, I am in constant fear.
The closest to train to me is the G.
How do I hate thee? Let me list the ways:

1. The G train follows no schedule. It shows up when it wants to. Which means I am often late, despite how well I have planned my travel and allowed time for in my schedule.
2. The G train has been nicknamed the "ghost" train, for it often does not appear. At all*.
3. G train, when you are late (by 5 minutes) or early (by 7 minutes) it does, in fact effect my connecting train. Which was on time. Now I have to wait for the next one. Punctuality matters.
4. And by the way, G train, you're awkward looking. Why are you so much shorter than all the other trains?
6. Oh hateful G train, when you only run every 8-10 minutes during morning rush hour, people get antsy. And angry. We pack into cars and squish other humans because we cannot afford to wait for the next train. Just run more frequently. Like every 4-5 minutes.
5. MTA. You cannot simply stop running a line for "construction" and give no notice prior to my train arriving for its connection. This is panic-inducing and often requires backtracking in order to get the correct line. Which again, makes me late.
6. MTA, perhaps providing better service on the G train would make people hate you less.
7. MTA, I also propose extending train service from a better line to my neighborhood. Like the 4. Or the A/C. I have never been angry at these train lines.

Thank you for your consideration,

A spoiled girl from the suburbs who used to hate driving more than anchovies and now misses the freedom and flexibility of it more than she ever would have imagined.

*Now I have true story that I would like to share.
On Thursday, after dinner with a friend, I left Soho and had to take the F train to connect to the G to get home in Brooklyn. All seemed to be going well. Until one station before the one where I had to connect, the train just stopped in the station. Extensive delays were announced. But I did not know where I was nor how to get to the G. So I waited. And waited. Until again, extensive delays were announced. Around 10:47 I finally got off the train, connected to the A, went back a station and waited for the G. Which was scheduled to come at 10:55. 11:02 came and went. The G train did not. 11:15 was the second scheduled train going to Court Square. No train. No announcement. I approached a couple nearby and asked if they knew what was happening. We all griped and complained about the G (whew, I'm not alone in thinking the G train is horrid) and how late we constantly are because of the inconsistency of it. 11:29 was the next scheduled time of arrival. No train. By now I was just so tired. So this couple and I decided to cab share home, as they live near me.
I have never cab shared with strangers before, and it was delightful. If they had not been there, I wouldn't have done it- I'm far too stubborn and cheap to spend money. We exited the frigid tunnel onto the dirty, snow-lined streets and found a green cab (or borough taxi, as they're calling them) and gave the cabbie directions. He drove like a maniac, and turned up 80's pop music to a deafening level. The couple I shared with just laughed along with me. It was like a scene from a sitcom. My portion of that cab cost me over $12 and I didn't get home until midnight; but I suppose it was worth it to not have to walk home on the icy streets. I may still be waiting for the G train. Who knows?

I am compiling a list of ways to make commuting a less stress-inducing ordeal in my life.  Here is what I have thus far:


That's it. I have heard this is normal NYC anxiety. It never ends.... nooooo!

Ways to survive the necessary evil of public transit:

1. Use the restroom before you get on the train. Always. You never know which trip to the bathroom could be your last. If the train gets stuck, you're done for.
2. Get lost in a good book. Seriously, you'll be commuting for the next 3 hours-10 years.
3. Always have snacks. For yourself and the child next to you that is crying.
4. Headphones, a rich playlist and a fully charged phone battery.
5. If all else fails, you can sleep on the train. Everyone else does. They've probably been trapped longer than you have.


  1. Aww! The G really is the worst. I'm sorry!!

    I spend a good 3 hrs daily on the train. It's why I read so much. :)

  2. You are turning into quite the comedian! You'll be doing stand-up if you live there much longer. Hey, it made me laugh!