I totally understand all the hate directed at the MTA. There are times I want to scream at the top of my lungs and times when I want to go postal on their greedy asses. I mean, how can they always boast record ridership yet always report that they are deeply in debt and need to cut services? It’s very shady that they never fully open their real books for all to see. The mismanagement is rampant, and they are too top heavy with higher level execs and not enough workers in the trenches. The MTA are the keystone cops of transportation. (this is all just my personal opinion, but also the same as many others in NYC I’m sure)
That all being said I must admit that I love riding this subway system. Sure, there are delays at times, and the trains during rush hours can be very crowded (especially along the 4,5,6 lines), and many of the stations are dirty and now unmanned. Still, it is the largest subway system in the world that runs 24/7 and can basically take you anywhere with the swipe of a Metrocard. I have taken these trains everywhere and there are just a ridiculous amount of stops throughout the boroughs to explore. As it’s over 100 years old constant maintenance has to be performed and there is no way around that. At least many of the subway cars are newer and I love the cold AC that many provide during the hot summer. These newer cars are also brighter and cleaner. Damn, I remember the old “red-bird” cars and those were sweaty hunks of junk.
Still, why can’t they keep the stations cleaner? Why can’t we understand the announcements half the time? How come most all the stations are not handicap friendly? Where is the customer service? Why are the service change signs inaccurate or not posted? Why do many stations now have no station agents in them? Why do some of the riders have to be d-bags and stand in the doorway when we are trying to get in or out? Why do I have to listen to those stupid mariachi guys in my subway car? These are the questions of the universe.
I have not owned a car in over a decade and don’t miss it. If you want to live in the quiet suburbs you have no choice but to own a car. I don’t miss paying the overpriced car insurance, gas, maintenance, and hassle of car ownership. Plus, you can’t go out drinking and driving! I can’t even count the amount of times I have been out late at night totally inebriated and plopped my ass into a subway to take me home safely within minutes. I also laugh and shake my head at those that still refuse to take mass transit and sit in mind numbing traffic for hours back and forth each day to drive into the city for work. Add in a rainy day and it becomes a totally horrendous crawl.
I have traveled to many cities in the U.S. and most of their mass transit systems are just ok at best when compared to the NYC subway system. Sure, they are decent but travel only a fraction of the miles the NYC system goes, and they normally don’t run 24/7. Yes, I know that compared to the rail lines overseas the NYC MTA can’t compare with their efficiency and cleanliness, but I don’t live there or use it so that is a non-factor to me.
We all have a love/hate relationship with the MTA, but choosing to live in the NYC area we are stuck with them. It’s like having an STD that you can’t cure and flares up at times. You tolerate it and live with it.