Pur Autre Vie

I'm not wrong, I'm just an asshole

Sunday, November 02, 2014

The Inadequacy of the MTA

I was walking in the park today when a young gentleman approached me with a sad story.  He had lost his wallet and therefore had no cash or Metrocard to get to his home in the Bronx.  Could I perhaps spare a dollar or two?

I asked him what subway he needed to take.  "The Q train," he told me.  This was good news, because we were not very far from a Q station.  I offered to walk him to the station and swipe him in with my Metrocard.

But we had walked only about 5 or 10 steps when he identified a defect in my plan:  the Q train doesn't run to the Bronx.

Chastened, I took a moment to consider our options.  Luckily we were not very far from the 2/3 and the 4/5, both of which run to the Bronx.  (In fact those are the only trains near Prospect Park that go to the Bronx, at least on the weekend.  On a weekday you could take the B.  However, you could also take the Q and then switch to the 2/3 or 4/5 at Atlantic, the 4/5 at 14th Street, or the 2/3 at Times Square.  All of those are free transfers.)

So I offered to swipe him onto the 2/3 or 4/5, but he declined my offer.  I guess neither of those trains could meet his needs.  I wished him luck and went on my way.  I hope he managed to find the train he was looking for.  But to editorialize a little, this really hammers home just how inadequate the MTA is.  Here was a young man, stranded without his wallet, forced to ask strangers for help getting homeā€”and there was no train that could take him where he needed to go.  Shame on you, MTA!  Shame on you!


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