The Gee Whiz Train


The thin, fragile, and (oft unfairly) maligned conduit between Brooklyn and Queens is shutting down for five weeks so that the MTA can repair lingering damage from Hurriance Sandy. This has provided occasion to air out moldering anxieties about the G train and the area it serves, one too ripe for Uber to resist exploiting:

While the MTA does their thing, we’re here to bridge the gap with one free transfer between the Nassau Av and Court Sq G train stops.

The MTA’s “thing” is maintaining vital physical infrastructure. Uber is beloved by its investors precisely because it does not perform that kind of costly work, but capitalizes on making what someone has already built more efficient through software — putting bodies in empty seats — then collects the freshly excreted capital from that process. Of course, this is no reason not to enjoy that free ride! It’s already been paid for, and we can’t leave all those poor UberX drivers, whose rates were recently cut, with empty seats. It would be so terribly inefficient.

Photo by Ed Yourdon