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Subway Environment Experience


Trainmaster5

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I've just returned from a family gathering where the talk turned into a free-flowing critique of the subway system of today, compared to the "good old days". The ages of the responders ranged from 14 to 87 years old. The youngest members were most impressed by the shiny NTT, and the countdown clocks. These were all residents of Brooklyn, Queens, and Nassau and were from 14 to 24 years old. The next group, 25-55 years old, weren't as impressed by the NTT or clocks. They were more concerned with the loss of "token clerks" and the general safety of the system in general, especially those who rode back in the '70's and '80's. These were residents of Brooklyn, Nassau and Suffolk and North Jersey. The oldest members were the hardest to figure out. Their criticisms were all over the place, as well as their praise. Number 1 was, "where is the 2nd Avenue subway" ? The TA was always full of s..t. "They lied to us and took our money". Number 2 was "when did New Yorkers become so nasty", refering to the dirty cars, not rudeness. Number 3 was " we like the shiny new trains ...but why are there so many announcements and flashing signs"?" Can't these people read signs"? I tried to play the " passenger convenience" angle but these 70 and 80 year olds weren't buying it at all. The question boiled down to " are all New Yorkers that dumb", and "don't the schools teach reading any more" ? The general consensus with this group, which I agree with, is they want service that's clean, safe, and reliable first and foremost. Everything else was OK. NTT and AC were all good but getting from home to point B and back trumped all else. I ask you out here, were they representative of most riders or what? I'll see most of them, God willing, Labor day and I promised to bring them some responses. Thanks ladies and gents for your time.

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*First Priority: Service (Getting from Point A to Point B)

*Second Priority: Safety (Bad things can happen anywhere at any time, but you can help minimize the chance to a point)

*Third Priority: Cleanliness

*Fourth Priority: Information

*Fifth Priority: Attractiveness

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You can't have a safe system if you don't have a system.

 

Who said anything about there not being a system?

When it comes to service, information and gimmicks as you had listed, what good is any of that if the system is not safe. People will not ride a system that has alot of crime, trains that breakdown, or any other unsafe conditions. The question was about a critique of the system, so there is already a system in place. I was just saying that of anything you or the others had said, it is my opinion that safety is paramount.

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Safety is #1, everything else is secondary.

 

Basically that's what the older generation focused on. That and reliability were their main points. Some of the older folks are not even residents of New York any more but they worry more about the system's, and my personal, safety more than anything else. By safety they talked about crime in the '70's AND today's specter of terrorism and all wondered about the removal of token clerks (S/As). Some of them are retired law enforcement people and they don't believe the (MTA)s view of safety. From two of them I heard the same question about "if you see something say something". It boiled down to whom are you going to tell. I said PD or train crew but they were adamant about not entering the system at all if they don't see a clerk before they pay their money. My uncle flat out said " this is NY we're talking about, not DC", and that he didn't make it to 87 years of age by screwing his head on in the morning like the (MTA) thinks most New Yorker do. Thanks for the replies and please keep them coming. From what I've gathered from this thread and some of the others it appears to be a generational thing when it comes to what riders want most in their subways. BTW to the surface buffs out there my older family members were extremely pissed at the Brooklyn surface cuts, even the ones who've moved out of the city.

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