New York City Subway: The Best And Worst Of New York


The New York City Subway is unquestionably one of the most important parts of the city.  According to 5.5.million people ride the subway everyday.  That’s impressive.  But the Subway has many drawbacks as well.  The following is a list of the best and worst of the New York City Subway System.

What’s best?  1) In a city of extreme wealth and poverty, the Subway is the only place where there is absolutely no distinction between rich and poor.  It’s the most democratic part of New York.  It’s completely equal for everyone, for better or worse.  2) It’s often faster than any other means of transportation between points in the city.  3) Given the system’s size, there’s almost no destination that a person can’t travel.  The expansion of the 2nd avenue line will only improve on that.  Staten Island is of course excluded as the Subway doesn’t service its most outer borough.  But between Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx, a lot of ground is covered.  4)  It’s very Inexpensive.  A person can ride from the very southern part of the Boroughs, Rockaway Queens to Van Cortland Park in the northern Bronx for $2.50.  You can’t beat that deal.  5) The subway cars are well maintained.  No longer is there graffiti inside or outside the cars.  The 70’s and 80’s were the low point for the MTA as the cars were not only graffiti laden but also dirty.  6) New technology allows riders to keep better track of when they can expect a train to arrive at the station.

What’s worst?  1)Trains are often overcrowded, particularly during rush hour and most riders must stand for up to an hour, riding as a vertical sardine.  2) Still too many issues causing delays.  The entire system is completely unreliable.  3)  What makes the subway the best is also what makes it worst, the people.  Too often, you stand in cars with beggars, some of whom are down on their luck bust most of whom are mentally unstable.  There are groups of kids who believe they’re acrobats who travel on the subways but really they’re not and simply attempting to intimidate people into giving them money.  4) Even with system improvements, too many of the stations are dark, dreary, filthy and generally a lousy place to wait for a train at the end of a long, tiring day. 5) Unlike the Long Island Railroad, Metro North or New Jersey Transit, there’s no place to park when taking the subway.  Either you live close enough to the subway to walk or you must take a bus or have someone drop you off.  That’s a huge disadvantage and adds time to an already long commute. 6) Rats….Rats….Rats….

I suppose one must accept the bad with the good but there are still too many negatives for the MTA to receive any great accolades.  So much more needs to be done before the subway will be a place worthy of the city that exists above.

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