The New York City Subway and Bus Systems are apart of the New York City Transit Authority, which is a division of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York (MTA), which handles just about all of the public transportation responsibilities in the state of New York in over twelve counties plus two additional ones in southwestern Connecticut. Transporting an average of over ten million passengers per day, the MTA employs over 70,000 workers to keep everything up and running 24/7.
Actually, 24/7 is somewhat of an understatement as you will find that (quite often) the MTA’s trains and buses are either extremely late, very dirty, or not running due to some reason. One thing you can definitely bet your money on is that you will be riding alongside some people, not all but some, who prove to be the worst scum of the Earth. I find it hard to believe that other divisions of the MTA such as Long Island Rail Road and the Bee-Line Bus systems are somewhat more organized and cleaner. When it comes down to attendance, the buses can actually arrive later than the trains. I recall one time when three buses came together all at once after about an hour of waiting. I guess the drivers were too busy discussing what vacation they should spend their precious MTA paychecks on next.
Certain trains, buses, and subway stations have seen impressive improvement over the years in terms of cleanliness and technological advancements. For instance, the Roosevelt Island F Train Station is a sight to see, I’d rather wake up in the morning and take that station to go to work than say 14th Street-Union Square or anything on 125th Street. Many of the E, F, J, and Shuttle trains to name a few have seen technological updates from programmed voices that will tell you what stop you’re at and which is next to computerized screens that tell you how many more stops there are until the last stop.
As much as all of this sounds good, all the technology, mops, brooms and dust pans in the world can’t save this system from the idiots who ride it. These people will just dirty everything up all over again, and sometimes the lazy overpriced employees won’t do a thing about it. Bums and perverts invade the trains, nasty old people will put their lives on the line when it comes to fighting over a seat. Most of the time, you won’t be able to get a seat. Even if you do get the last seat available, some narrow-minded Jabba The Hut will try to squeeze him or herself in there regardless. Or you just might get some average-sized mean old lady who will make her way in there, despite how much damage she will be causing to a male’s genitals by forcing his legs to close even tighter.
The buses are even worse as you’re more likely to not get a seat. And most of the time, it is on the buses where you will find many old people getting into a dispute over a seat. This is because the MTA’s buses have those handicapped/elderly stickers on some of the seats (mostly in the front of the bus). Some of these people riding the bus actually have a problem minding their own business as well, like when one seated passenger on a crowded bus suggests to a standing elderly passenger to kick one of the younger-looking people out of his/her seat. I guess being a “model citizen” will get you pretty far… like pretty far into an argument with the wrong person who just might be carrying a weapon. Maybe everyone should get into each other’s business.
The upside is that these trains and buses house many characters which can be rather entertaining to watch. The further away from Manhattan you get, the more special the subway becomes. Weirdos talk to people who don’t exist, little kids with no matters and uncontrollable hormones make a ruckus, guys who can’t afford to buy a belt show off their drawers and (sometimes) their rhyming skills, then you’ve got scantily clad attractive women who don the tightest jeans or spandex without a care in the world. And the list goes on. Don’t be surprised if you find a clown on there or maybe a mime. Heck I could have sworn I saw the Grandpa from the Madea movies on the subway one time, hopping in his seat, chatting to himself, reading a book in one hand and eating some jumbo-sized grapes from his pocket with the other.
Worst of all, there’s the prices. Over the past couple of decades, the subway and bus fares have increased dramatically, especially within the past ten years. With all the people who ride the train and bus every day, how much more money does the MTA really need? At this time, the monthly unlimited MetroCard is about $89 and a single ride is $2.25. To make matters worse, the MTA has been recently discussing raising these prices even further along with the toll booths. Maybe the MTA should fire some of its higher-ups who don’t really do anything. Or maybe some assistants and secretaries. For every corporation, you are bound to find several secretaries and assistants who move slower than a 1930s Beatle and type at the speed of a snail. I guess all those young people who unemployed, looking for work, and can type like super-humans are pretty worthless, eh?
Now with all that I’ve just mentioned, you might be asking yourself… Well, if it’s so bad, why ride on their trains and buses then? Why don’t you just get a car? I will list the reasons here: 1) Some people don’t have a car; 2) It’s safer than driving a car, you lessen your chances of getting into a collision with another vehicle, and even if you did, like if some psychotic driver decided he was going to drive his caddy into a bus full of people, it wouldn’t be your fault at least; 3) Last but not least, some people just don’t want a stupid car period. Yes, cars can do in half an hour or less what trains can do in an hour or more, but honestly? Cars are expensive, it’s like having an extra house.
Unless, you’re Rockefeller or someone who makes like more than $50,000 per year, you’re really pigeon-holing your financial situation by getting a car in New York City. With the gas, tolls, possible collisions, insurance, and so on, you’ll find that your car is costing you more than the subway and bus. You might as well give up your house or apartment and live inside your car. Your savings as a result will make jaws drop. Otherwise, having a car is a luxury, not a necessity, but a luxury which you probably can’t afford right now, at least not until you move out of New Yuck, I mean New York City. Since the fares are bound to go up again (instead of minimum wage), you might as well move out.