Public Transportation

Commute Interrupted

Do you remember where you were this morning, starting at 9:36? Are you sure? Think carefully. Put yourself back there, and try to interact with your environment. Is it just you, or does something not add up? You can remember the people, certainly. But can you remember their faces? The ride passed, it must have, but did it happen?

You got to work—you can recall closing the door to your home, and opening the door to your office—but what happened on the way? Your memory is like a hard dial that refuses to sit in the middle notch. Before, click, fine. After, snap, ok. But the middle is [...]


Creeping Subway Despair Confirmed By Data

New Yorkers are as entitled to complain about the subway to one another as they are obligated to defend it to everyone else. Both activities sustain us sufficiently to endure the reality of the subway, which is not very good at all: The NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign today released its third annual analysis of thousands of MTA “electronic alerts.” It showed that the number of alerts of delay-generating incidents had increased by 35% in two years ­– from 2,967 alerts in 2011 to 3,998 in 2013.

“The increase in alerts is a troubling sign that subway service is deteriorating," said Gene Russianoff, staff attorney for the NYPIRG…

The [...]


Will Mayor Ed Lee Fix San Francisco's "Cute" (Terrible) Muni System?

"The Municipal Transportation Agency—and residents' love-hate relationship with the notoriously late and overcrowded public transit system—has been the bane of many mayors, with current Chronicle columnist and former Mayor Willie Brown once famously saying he would fix Muni in 100 days. That was in 1995." —Even though San Francisco has the only real public-transit system of the Western United States, it's still kind of a mess. It's also what New Yorkers talk about during the three months they spend shivering in the frozen dark of winter: "Oh but that Muni system, that's why I could never live in a beautiful coastal city where it never gets cold but ladies can [...]