Features NY Life — 25 November 2010
Smithee Gripes! MTA Edition

Ladies and Gentleman, I am Alan Smithee and it’s fair to say that I like to gripe. Most said gripes center around my beloved city of New York and its fine five boroughs. Yes, it is true that there are a multitude of amazing aspects about Manhattan but there is most certainly a ton of annoying garbage that we have to deal with on a daily basis as well.

I will bet my parking space, of which I don’t own, that today’s gripe is one shared by most “New Yawkers.” The MTA, and its state of the art subway system help get you from point A to B. Well, most of the time. If you live here or are just visiting you are at its mercy for most of your travel needs. The only other option is a cab which can be pricey. Oh yeah you can walk too, but come on. It’s getting cold outside.

The MTA is directly connected to the city government. And being part of a government body there is plenty of red tape involved, which is then passed onto you, the consumer. The subway has several ways of getting under my skin. But, for you loyal LocalBozo readers, here is the cream of the crap.

“Weekend Closures, Sorry Dawg”

People like myself who reside in Brooklyn get treated like the red headed step child to the MTA’s drunk step dad. When you walk to the train on, say a Saturday morning, you are greeted by a sign not so friendly sign in big bold black lettering: “CLOSURE.” This means that the F train is down for the entire weekend. The entrance to the station is closed off with hot pink tape. (Very close to red tape, right?) But wait, they have an alternative mode of transportation for you. Its a free shuttle bus. Sounds good right?

Wrong. This free bus stops along the exact route as the train. But since it’s above ground, it needs to stop at red lights and sit in traffic. This causes you to be late for anything you had planned that day. You will also be overwhelmed by the BO of the cretin you are standing next to, as he drinks down a Four Loko at ten in the morning. These closures usually last until very late on Sunday evening. So they are screwing you all weekend. Well worth the 89 bucks right?

“Yo We’re Switching Tracks On You….mid train ride!”

It could be a busy work day. You are on a packed train, standing up. The train stops at a station as usual. But something is up. First, it will just sit there and then a few minutes later you will hear that dreaded bell sound. The bell as you know is never a good thing.

A train operator with a muffled voice will inform all the tired riders that for some reason the train is switching over to a different line. They will provide you no explanation at all. It’s like some train lord from above is pulling the strings like a puppet master. Your first reaction, (and this is cleaned up) will be, “Ah why are they doing this to me”, you scream to yourself. First thing- they don’t care. Since the train will most likely not be traveling to your final destination, you will have to exit the train with the hoard of morning zombies. You will then wait longer for yet another train which will be twice as packed. Happy Monday, moron!

Yes, it is true that the subway can be annoying most of the time. But, it does get you there, eventually. And at least security is better so the chances of you getting knifed have gone down substantially. But hey, right now I am also writing this blog, standing on a packed train. I am not hanging onto the pole, and am continuously stepping on peoples feet and their children. But what other choice do I have? I’m not walking- screw that.

- Alan Smithee

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