The MTA. A necessary evil in every New Yorker’s life. There are days we celebrate it, and there are days we despise it.
If you grew up in the NY Metro area, then you grew up technically using and abusing the MTA to get from point A to point B. You may have had a student pass when you were going to high school. If you were here prior to the MetroCard, then you also remember tokens. Oh, how I miss tokens. I love my MetroCard, too don’t get me wrong. But there was something about tokens. I kept one of the last tokens I had before the card switch and put it on a chain. Crazy? Yeah.
So why do we all complain left and right about the MTA? For starters, the fare hikes. They claim to have no money yet the pensions they give their employees are outrageous (and I am NOT dissing MTA employees, I actually have a ton of respect for….Most of them). They will also spend tons of money on new trashcans. I get the whole “going green” deal but that money could be put to much better use. Second most common complaint is probably the delays. Really? A train is stuck one station away for no good reason? Oh, and good luck understanding what they’re announcing while you impatiently wait on the hot platform. If you can translate that, then you, yes you, are awesome. I’ve waited for a LIRR train for a ridiculous amount of time due to “overcrowding” on a train. Yet when that train finally did arrive, there were tons of empty seats.
Every year, New Yorkers shell out tons and tons of money for a service that should be a lot more reliable. This is the mode of transportation for millions of people every single day. People use it for work, school, doctors appointments, etc. If you’re not downstairs waiting for a subway, you’re above ground waiting for a bus.
A friend of mine and I recently had a discussion regarding the inconveniences that only New Yorkers would complain about and get away with. Recently, an “unauthorized passenger” (MTA speak) was struck by a train. Anywhere else in the country, a commuter would go “Oh my gosh! What happened?” but in New York, we mostly say, “What the f***! I have to be at work in 15 minutes!”. In a way, this is amusing even though it really shouldn’t be. We should feel bad, but we kind of don’t because we have places to be and people to see. I have been on a train that has struck someone. It is not a pleasant experience. This has happened to me more than once, and it almost always seems to occur around 1 AM. Is it a terrible thing that happened? Oh, absolutely. But New Yorkers still have places to be and in turn, we blame the MTA for not making the train move quicker. Not ALL New Yorkers are like this, btw. Some of us do have hearts and are rather compassionate. We also give great directions, even if your friend in Alaska told you otherwise.
The great thing about the MTA? Nearly everything else. We are lucky enough to have an extensive subway and bus line system. Go to other states and try to get that same service. Most cities do not have an advanced mode of transportation like we do. I’ve waited a half hour for a subway in LA. I’ve been left a mile from my destination in Phoenix. The subway in Atlanta is ridiculous and has barely any lines. I could go on and on! That is why every time I visit another city, I come back home and go, “Why did I complain before?”. Well, I say that until the next time the MTA gives me a reason to bitch.
Do I expect every New Yorker to agree? Hell no. That would be silly, on my part. This was mostly a bunch of feelings that have been expressed to me regarding the MTA.