Riders this week: 11,412
Rider miles this week: 107,412
DOWN IN THE TUBE
Sarah Palin was seen again getting on the subway at the Hampton Bays platform. Our spotter asked her where she was going and she waved and smiled.
All subway trains will be brought to a halt for one minute wherever they are in the subway system at exactly 11 a.m. on Monday, May 28 as a sign of respect and appreciation for the sacrifices being made by our troops overseas. Passengers are asked to stand in silence during this time. And remove your hats.
This Memorial Day weekend, straphangers will notice that two of our subway cars will say TORONTO SUBWAY on the side and will have maps inside the cars not of the Hamptons but of the City of Toronto.
It’s not very well known, in fact we don’t like to mention it except on occasions like this when something requires an explanation, but for each of the last three years, the Hamptons Subway has “borrowed” six subway cars from the Toronto Subway System for the 16 weeks of summer to beef up our fleet. The cars come down in mid-May and are repainted with our subway colors (sand and navy blue) and their interiors are changed over in our Montauk Yards before they are put into service. Then they are repainted with the Toronto logos etc. etc. in September and sent back up there. Toronto does this for us for a fee, but they are able to do it because in the summertime, ridership in Toronto drops off, as people like being outside during the summer months because from October to April their town is buried under 10 feet of snow.
In any case, this year we ordered six, but at the last minute learned they had only sent down four and the people in the Montauk yards working on them did not think to report this to headquarters in Hampton Bays. And so it is that at the last minute and just in time the remaining two subway cars have come down from Canada and immediately are being put into service. So, no, you are not in Toronto. Just brush off the snow, if any remains.
Beloved motorman Bobo Winterbottom will be 65 next Thursday. A birthday party will be held at the Hampton Bays HQ beginning at 1 p.m. that day. What a happy occasion. Four days later he retires. Happy Birthday, Bobo. Glad we could get that in.
SUBWAY CARDS WINDFALL
A strange thing has happened since we converted from tokens to swipe cards last year. Apparently, people buy the cards, then don’t use them much. In conversations with straphangers, we’ve learned that the cards are being purchased by tourists who, instead of using them, take them home as souvenirs as a reminder of their time in the Hamptons. Can you imagine? They come down to the platforms, buy the cards, then immediately go back up to the street. This is an unexpected windfall of cash for the subway. The old tokens did not have this cachet.
COMMISSIONER ASPINALL’S MESSAGE
The Hampton Bays Chamber of Commerce is honoring me on Tuesday, May 29 at 5 p.m. to present me with a plaque as “Subway Commissioner of the Year.” I will be delighted to see you all there.