This morning the MTA closed all downtown 4,5,6 trains. During morning rush hour. I decided to (literally) take notes so that I could blog about it for you fine folks. Enjoy.
8:40: On time for work–this is exciting.
8:45: Board Downtown 6 train
8:47: Train stopped for “train traffic ahead”
8:56: Attention ladies and gentleman, the train is being held due to a police investigation up ahead and is just waiting for the train at 86th street to unload.
*Let me pause here and say that is never what you want to hear while you yourself are sitting in a metal train underground. Nor is it something you want to hear on your way to work. Nor after your morning caffeine consumption. Let’s just put it this way, this isn’t really something you’d ever want to hear. Thus…
8:57: Grumbling and sighing ensues.
9:07: Attention ladies and gentleman, the train is being held due to a police investigation up ahead and is just waiting for the train at 86th street to unload. We are still waiting for the train to move out of the station. (What the hell kind of investigation is this?)
9:07:23: “Shit!” “Are you kidding me?” “This is ridiculous…” These and other similar expressions of annoyance are uttered, included eye rolls and the nervous laughter that results from the terrifying thought of being stuck in the subway all morning and the “cool my workday just got shorter” thought of being stuck in the subway all morning.
9:08: The train starts moving. 20 feet later, we pull into 86th street. (Seriously MTA? Seriously?) People shuffle off and then more people shuffle on. Everyone situates themselves and then: “AGAIN, this is the last stop for this train. There will be no more downtown service on the 4,5, or 6 lines.” AGAIN. REALLY MTA? You can only say “again” if you’ve said something to begin with. “For those people traveling downtown, please use the buses. Free bus tokens will be handed out at the booth.”
9:11: The mass exodus from underground makes its way to the surface. The sidewalks are crowded with people dashing for the already-full buses and unaware commuters keep asking what’s going on. Someone makes the mistake of asking a policeman if service has been suspended. He replies “I guess so.”
9:12-10:30: I give up any hope of taking a bus and begin to walk. Everyone I pass is on their phones telling someone about what just happened. Some passersby are panicked (and fairly so) about the throngs of people exiting the subway. I keep walking, realize that I haven’t been added to payroll yet and can’t afford a 60 block cab ride during morning rush hour, and resign myself to walking. Find a bathroom around 51st street. Develop painful blisters around 34th street. Limp the rest of the way and arrive 1.5 hours late to work.
But, all things considered, this was definitely an adventure. I saw parts of the city that I usually don’t and I didn’t even have to battle any annoying crowds to do it. My feet pretty much hate life right now, but otherwise, it wasn’t too terrible a commute. In fact, I know I’ve had worse.