The NYC Subway
The New York City Subway
Everyone who visits New York just has to take a ride in a yellow cab AND ride on the subway. We of course did both. The New York City Subway is a rapid transit system owned by the City of New York and leased to the New York City Transit Authority, a subsidiary agency of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, also known as MTA New York City Transit and is something of a national institution. A fleet of more than 6,000 cars make up the rolling stock. It is one of the oldest and most extensive public transportation systems in the world, with 468 stations in operation (422, if stations connected by transfers are counted as single stations); 209 miles of routes, translating into 656 miles of revenue track; and a total of 842 miles including non-revenue trackage. In 2010, the subway delivered over 1.604 billion rides, averaging 5,156,913 rides on weekdays, 3,031,289 rides on Saturdays and 2,335,077 rides on Sundays. The busiest day in the history of the New York subway was the 23rd of December 1946 carrying some 8,872,244 people.
The New York City Subway is the fourth busiest rapid transit rail system in the world in annual ridership, after Tokyo's, Moscow's and Seoul's rapid transit systems. However it is still the busiest in the Western Hemisphere. It is one of the four systems in the US, along with portions of the Chicago 'L' system, PATH, and PATCO, to offer service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 48 mph is the fastest speed a subway train travels, with an average speed of 35 mph. Subway cars running on the lettered lines are one foot three inches wider than the cars that run on the numbered lines. A white half-moon is painted on every subway car axle so that transit system authorities observing operations can easily detect that all of the trains wheels are rolling. 10 seconds is the minimum time the doors open after the train stops at a station. The bing bong that signals the closing of subway car doors is, musically speaking, a descending major third the interval is similar to that used in standard issue doorbells, cuckoo clocks and can be heard at the beginning of Beethovens Fifth Symphony.
Lorenzo LaRoc – check him out on youtube – was absolutely fabulous; we often saw him performing in Penn Street Station and Bear bought me his CD.
We bought seven day tickets for $29.95, unlimited travel on the subway and buses. So easy to travel around the city. If you are standing in 42nd Street and want 79th, you get on an uptown local train and vice versa. Crosstown – that is the Avenues - a crosstown train. The trains were always clean and tidy and the longest we ever waited was eight minutes; most of the time just a couple. Some of the stations were works of art with intricate designs and patterns on the tiled walls. Some of the musicians we heard should be worldwide stars, others not, but it makes for a rich tapestry of all kinds of instruments and sounds. The only beggar we saw was a young lad who had lost both hands, he had a sign round his neck saying he was the victim of a IUD bomb, he would like funds to go to college and he would like one dollar. We were happy to poke a dollar in his neck purse. During our many journeys we saw just about everything you could possibly see being taken on a trip; a double bass with one wheel on it’s case bottom for easy maneuvering, a piece of four by two fence post, bikes, prams, wheelchairs, a Black and Decker Workbench, a drum and many other musical instruments, work bags, cases, shopping, laundry, a Toys ‘r’ Us bag so big it only just fitted in the door and most bizarre - a snake in a pet carrier. We went as far on all the compass points and at Flushing Meadow saw the “car park” for trains at night (with the Arthur Ashe Tennis Stadium just visible behind) and during the day.
ALL IN ALL A REAL INSTITUTION
SHOULDN’T BE MISSED