The MTA is the STD of NYC. No cure but we must live with it!

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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.

strange people in subway1
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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.

21 thoughts on “The MTA is the STD of NYC. No cure but we must live with it!”

  1. Right on! Where would everyone be without that MTA? Good for you for singing the praises it deserves. We have a great subway system in Toronto but it is not nearly as extensive as yours.
    You do raise an issue that keeps crossing my mind when I see public places that need some cleaning and maintenance. Hellooooo welfare recipients! Why can’t there be a little reciprocity here and get the able-bodied in this group out there cleaning up, painting, patching ?????

    1. Hey Patricia!

      You bring up a good point but the politics involved would be a nightmare to actually push something like that through.

      The MTA overall does a good job, and after the hurricane it was amazing they got it up and running pretty quickly. I actually love riding the rails every day but just how many more fare hikes can they dump on the public? Where is the accountability? Record ridership with increased fares and yet they still claim they are losing money. Ugh!

  2. Well said. They’re the worst and the best. I don’t consider a city to be a real city unless they have a real public transit system. By my measure, the only real cities in the US are New York, Chicago, and maybe Boston.

    1. Hey Jill!

      Mass transit is a must! Especially in NYC. We just wish it would be run better. They overall do a good job, the people in the trenches, but too much bullshit going on with the money and upper level mismanagement. There will be another fare hike coming. It’s ridiculous.

      Best and worst indeed.

  3. I don’t mind NYC subways. I do wish they had more police around and that some weren’t so sketch. But you see such weird things on the train that it’s like a cheap show. I remember two friends telling me how they witnessed a guy in a cat in the hat hat do a whole performing arts bit. They thought he was nuts until he said something to the affect that “this concludes my scene. Please donate.” You know, it’s crap like that that makes New York City that ish!

    1. Hey Holly!

      Oh yes, the things you see on the train! Some crazies.

      Yet, I take the subways every day and tire of all the people harassing us for money while we are trapped in a subway car!

  4. The worst and the best–I get it. Having driven in the city, I’d never recommend it. Insane! I’m laughing at your photos, but at the same time wishing you had some cupcake and unicorn MTA photos. My daughter is heading up to NYC this week to hang out with friends, she’s a pro at traveling but still…ack! 🙂

    1. Hey Coleen!

      I still can’t believe people actually drive here. I have done it and want to kill someone trying to just get across town! 🙂

      Hope your daughter has fun as this is a great place to party. The weather is looking good too for the rest of the week!

  5. Ray – I enjoy reading your posts and appreciate your point of view. Keep it up! I also wanted to let you know I have nominated you for the Liebster Award. I hope you have a great day, thanks!

    1. Hey Clay!

      Thanks so much! I am pleased that you like my posts. Coming from a teacher that is high praise.

      Also, I appreciate the nomination for the Liebster, and it will be my second one. I need to think a bit on how to reply to it and who to nominate.

      Enjoy your week in the Keys!

  6. Hey Phil,

    Public transport systems sure can be pricey to maintain. I do love them though, as you highlighted there are great benefits. I love it when going to London or Paris and zooming around on the tube (metro). I just try to avoid rush hours, it is horrible then.

    1. Hey Guy!

      We have no choice but to use them during rush hour here. It still is the best way to get around for sure, but in NYC most stations are incredibly dirty, they have eliminated station clerks, cut back on services, and raised fares. Something is not right.

  7. Our state really has no transit options whatsoever. Our cities are pretty spaced out so most people have to drive to get to work. I wish there was a better bus system, but with only 1.9 million people in the whole state that isn’t going to happen 🙂 Growing up in Seattle I wish that they had a mass transit, of course when I move they finally start to build one which is ironic! Sorry I have been horrible about commenting, between strep and then a nasty stomach virus my comments have been sparse 🙂

    1. Hi Frugal!

      I know, as in many areas you are stuck driving no matter what. You have no choice.

      Hey don’t worry about the commenting, just get better. Sorry to hear you were so sick.

  8. The subway is so fast, it’s like using a secret tunnel while the rest of New York lumbers along static. But that speed is kind of a deal with the devil. It’s loud, sometimes hot, and filled with sketchy types. Sometimes at night it is peaceful and fun to ride as a group.

    1. Hey Astro!

      That’s a good way to put it. Easy to get around on, fast, and goes everywhere. It’s a love / hate thing. Kind of like an ex that you keep going back to for a booty call. You like to ride it but it comes with it’s drama!

  9. Word, the MTA cries broke so they can raise prices but, they are always there when I need them. Does it really cost a $100 Million a week to maintain the VZ bridge, NO! That $ is going in someone’s pocket. Although the system is the best around the service could be better for the money they take in. I’m gratefully for it and I take it every day but it could and should be way better than it is! #Corruption what can you do?

  10. stop apologizing to the MTA they completely suck! Two hour commutes have happened to me at least twice a month now where it should be only a 1 hour commute tops.

  11. My biggest complaint about the MTA are the buses, none of them take dollar bills if you do not have a Metro Card. The only place you can get Metro Card or refill one is a subway station, if you live in an area that does not have a subway station you are out of luck. Many other cities have buses that are fitted with machines that accept dollar bills. It makes perfect sense given that bus fare is $2.75, nearly 3 dollars, who has that much in quarters??!!
    Another problem are the condition of the buses, many of them are garbage cans with four wheels, they are uncomfortable, and the ride is often bumpy. The drivers are often careless and negligent.
    Also many passengers do not seem to care about their fellow passengers, particularly young teens, talking loudly on their cell phones or behaving like buffoons. I often see people littering and eating as well even though there are signs posted that you are not supposed to eat on the buses.
    For an organization that has a revenue and profit margin rivaling that of a Fortune 500 company, the MTA could do a lot better, but no its run like a corrupt third world junta, then again NYC is a third world country within New York. Joe Biden, our Vice President called LGA a third world airport, he should have seen our buses and subways.

Feel free to comment! We all have opinions!