This may have been a tad bit extreme. (Photo courtesy of Reuters.)
New Yorkers often like to gripe about traveling around the city with a common refrain. “I coulda walked faster,” we’ll say about slow subway trips and sluggish cab rides through the congestion Big Apple. Tonight, I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said that.
In an effort to get myself home from law school tonight, I had to travel from W. 4th St. back to Park Slope in Brooklyn. It was after midnight, and that spells trouble in the subways. My first mistake was getting on an F train. Those are running on the A. I tried to switch to a 4 at Fulton St., and while the train came pretty quickly, we pulled into Wall St. and sat and sat and sat and sat. Eventually, the conductor told us about some single-tracking through the Joralemon St. tunnel due to track work.
When we finally made it to Atlantic Ave., the train ran express instead of local and, thus, would have bypassed my stop. I switched to a 2, and ninety minutes after swiping through, I made it home. According to Google Maps’ handy new walking directions, I almost could have walked faster.
I was pretty irate when I got home. A lack of communication on the part of the MTA — surprise! — had me and the other disgruntled passengers guessing about which train was heading where. The conductor on the F didn’t know if the train would go to Coney Island or travel along the A. The conductor on the 4 couldn’t tell us much of anything for nearly 15 minutes. But, hey, at least we’re not in Argentina.
Yesterday, a group of Argentinian commuters set fire to a delayed train. Reuters reports:
Furious rail commuters in Argentina set fire to a train on Thursday in anger over delays during the morning rush hour. Television images showed black smoke and flames engulfing the train at the station of Merlo, in the western suburbs of the capital, Buenos Aires. At nearby Castelar, passengers hurled stones at the ticket office and blocked the rails.
“We understand that people get angry when the service is delayed or canceled, but they absolutely can’t attack a public service in this way,” Gustavo Gago, a spokesman for rail company TBA, told local television.
Many passengers said the delays, caused by a broken down train, had cost them a day’s work.
I’m sure New Yorkers on many occasions felt the urge to burn their delayed trains. But that doesn’t solve the problem; it just causes more delays.