I typically avoid writing about things that New York is well-known for, but I’ve decided to write about the subway, just not in the way most people would expect. This is just going to be a message to all the MTA, Port Authority of NY & NJ, and NJ Transit employees. For all the problems with the transit systems, all the complaining us riders do, all the delays and whatnot, thank you. The city simply wouldn’t function without your work. We live in by far the most transit-driven city in the U.S. with 56% of commuters using public transportation. I’ve tried to think of what would happen without the MTA. I can’t imagine a New York where everyone drove to work instead of using the train and bus, as the parking situation is bad enough already. Most people can’t walk to work really, since they have to come into Manhattan from the outer boroughs or neighboring counties to get to work and it’s always raining in this city.
Most of the system’s daily problems aren’t the fault of common MTA workers either. Delays due to suicide-by-train are pretty common, and they’re not the MTA’s fault; the only one to blame is the guy who killed himself. Bus drivers can’t do anything to prevent heavy traffic, road closures, protests, or anything else causing delays, and they actually have to be alert during the delays while we’re perfectly free to read or stare at our phones.
Additionally, despite these all but unpreventable incidents, we still have the best transit system in the entire country. Philadelphia’s SEPTA still uses easy-to lose coins instead of MetroCards, the D.C. metro doesn’t even run at night, and don’t get me started on the transit in Southern and Western cities. New York’s public transportation exceeds that of all of these cities, despite our ridership being much higher, at 2.5 billion people per year.
For my friends reading this letter, don’t worry. I still belong to the relatively small group of psychopaths in the tristate area known as drivers. I simply know the reality of public transportation in the U.S., that New York is the best at it, and that it currently would be impossible without so many MTA workers working 2 A.M. shifts and hectic rush hour shifts. So thank you.
New York State and MTA management, don’t take this the wrong way, you still suck. This letter is for the day-to-day workers.