Thursday, August 31, 2006

Commuting and Sports

I don't usually commute at the normal rush hours in NYC. Don't get me wrong, my lines are usually always busy but at least at non-normal rush hours they are not packed like sardine cans. So even while standing I often can get some simple knitting done.

To get a seat going home on the final subway line I use to get to Queens I can take the 7 train from Grand Central on the east side of Manhattan to the last stop at Times Square on the west side. That also indicates if the train is a local or express depending on the track it is on at Times Square. Since the signs on the trains are not changed at each end of the line to indicate whether the train will be traveling as a LOCAL or EXPRESS. So to those who travel that line all the time, you can tell what track you are arriving on by the location of the station wall. Sometimes the stationmaster decides to keep everyone on their toes by sending the train on the usually LOCAL track out as an EXPRESS.
The conductor does announce whether the train is LOCAL or EXPRESS but that is after the mandatory liteny of connections that can be made at the stop and if the speakers are working. Often when the doors open at a stop while the conductor may be going over the connections, the incoming passengers will be asking "Local or Express?" to those already on the train.

This is as you may know, Tennis season at the US Open. Where do the matches take place? In Queens in a stadium located at the same stop on the 7 train as Shea Stadium where the Mets play. Needless to say the favorite time of year for 7 train commuters is when Baseball season is on and there is a home game AND it is US Open season.

The transit authority will run "special" trains to end at that stop which is only a few stops from the normal end of the line in Flushing at Main Street.
So that makse it worse for normal commuters that they may not hear the announcement. Then there are all the new travelers on the 7 train. Who of course have not bothered to check on what stop they need or anything. Even if they know what stop they may naively think that the train signs mean something. So you feel sorry for them and explain that the signs don't mean anything and to listen for the announcement. Some of them are nice but some of them just whine about the train line, etc. Gets your hackles up since it is your line and you deal with the issues all the time. These people complain and they even get special treatment from the MTA with the special trains. Grrrrr!

Just imagine a subway car full of normal commuters, Mets fans in team shirts,etc. and tennis fans. An extremely odd combination.

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