Tuesday, June 01, 2010

New York Subway Commute

by Dick Mac

It's back-to-work day.

Three-day weekends are fun, and I always enjoy the extra day-off. Generally, I am refreshed enough to embrace the move back to work.

Today, I don't feel so refreshed. Maybe it's the heat. And I am not looking forward to the commute, which usually doesn't bother me.

I have lived in Brooklyn for about six-and-a-half years, and I have always commuted on the F-line (the Culver Local), because it is the only line within reasonable walking distance of my home.

It's a long ride. It's a local. There are 22 stops covering 10 miles from my home to my office. It takes 70 - 90 minutes, depending on . . . well . . . any random event that might transpire; like, good weather, bad weather, illness, debris on the tracks, sunshine, cloudiness, electronic malfunctions, etc.

Some say that public transportation would be more effective if it were better funded. Some say the government shouldn't be subsidizing public transportation at all, that we should take the public funding out altogether and privatize. Please note, however, that those opposed to funding subway systems still expect the government to pave the roads from their homes to their offices; it's just the urban transportation system they want to eliminate (or cutback).

Money is clearly the problem, and money could be the answer.

If the subway fare were to five dollars, or ten dollars, per ride, we could probably better afford it. The majority of the public would be unable to get to work in Manhattan and the streets would fill with the cars of commuters who'll find it cheaper to drive than take the subway; but we might be able to take the subway off the tax rolls and reserve it for the privileged who could afford it.

Does this make sense? Would it be better to charge the real cost of a subway ride to subway riders?

How would the Muppets fare?

I think it is ridiculous to consider such a plan; but I fear this is the direction we are heading.

If the subway cost me $500 per month, would I still use it? Would you?

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