Home LIRR If you see an armrest, say something

If you see an armrest, say something

by Benjamin Kabak

Today’s ridiculous MTA story comes to us courtesy of The New York Times. Armrests on LIRR’s and Metro-North’s M7 lines are destroying people’s pants!

Any way you cut it, $102,009.17 buys an awful lot of pants.

That is how much the Long Island Rail Road and the Metro-North Railroad have paid over the last four years to customers who have torn clothing on the notoriously fabric-snagging armrests in a line of cars known as the M7.

The payments range from $1,405.61 for the new Paul Stuart suit that a man ripped on Metro-North last year, to $10 or $20 for minor damage fixed by a tailor.

That’s right: armrests. These armrests, you see, are “are longer and narrower than those on older cars and can slide unobtrusively into a trouser pocket as a passenger sits down — and then snag as he settles into his seat or when he stands up to leave,” reports William Neuman.

This problem, The Times notes, is fairly widespread. Train riders nod knowingly when the tell-tale sound of a tear rings out amid the silence of the morning commute, and the MTA hasn’t been too quick to reimburse the full price of lost clothing. The officials opt instead for the sale price or a depreciated assessment of older pairs of pants and skirts.

So to solve this rather amusing problem that should have been focus-grouped out of existence before the M7s came on the tracks a few years ago, the MTA may invest $1-$2 million in an armrest replacement program. Ah, the luxury of a commuter rail.

For fun, what could we buy with the $102,009.17 that the MTA has given out so far:

  • 1342 30-day unlimited MetroCards.
  • 4250 7-day unlimited MetroCards.
  • 61,083 swipes with a pay-per-ride card (counting the free rides).
  • One fourth of a new bus.

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MTA to cut $40 million from back-end projects :: Second Ave. Sagas April 9, 2010 - 12:51 pm

[…] be deferred another year. The news of armrests snagging pants first came to my attention during the early days of Second Ave. Sagas, and in 2007, the authority vowed to fix it. Now, in order to save $3 million, the pants-ripping […]


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