Week of November 22–28, 2013
Riders this past week: 7,462
Rider miles this past week: 77,711
DOWN IN THE TUBE
Pia Lindstrom was seen on the subway heading eastbound from Westhampton Beach to Quogue. Eli Manning was also on that train, heading from Westhampton Beach to Quogue, but in a different car.
Work has begun on a subway shuttle between Gabreski Airport and Westhampton Beach. The distance is only four miles, and few people have complained about the drive by car between the airport and town. Nevertheless, when federal money became available, we quickly had our architects whomp up a set of plans, based on the new subway train that goes to Kennedy Airport, and bingo, the money got allocated. That was four years ago. After that, it took years to convince the local authorities that it would not require any land acquisition or home displacement since it was all underground. It should be completed by the spring.
Many people were inconvenienced last Thursday at 4:32 p.m. when the entire subway system was suddenly shut down and everyone was herded by subway employees up the escalators (which were shut off) and out onto the street. It was just a drill and after 40 minutes out on the sidewalks, everyone was allowed back down and onto the trains to get to where they were going again.
This was the first test of our emergency evacuation drill. In the event of a hurricane, flooding, high winds, a nuclear attack or a tornado, our job is to get everybody out of the subway system and up on the streets for the duration where they can run around and fend for themselves, as per an order from (FEMA). We have to hold such a drill once a year.
It didn’t go well with the customers, however. Some women were particularly stressed from having to walk out of a subway car in mid-tunnel, being careful not to step on the third rail (which because this was a test had been disabled so it wouldn’t have hurt them anyway.) Others had places to go and meetings to attend, which they missed. The worst of these was one older Wall Street “Master of the Universe” as he called himself, who had missed out on a $14 billion deal because he could not get to the auction on time. He is suing. Which we will vigorously oppose.
A birthday party was held for Hamptons Subway flagman John Mackalacky in the company cafeteria last Thursday. Mackalacky turned 44. Also on that day, a separate birthday party took place at the other end of the room for Hamptons Subway bookkeeper Gladys Kaplin-Mackalacky, who turned 38 on the same day. These two used to be married to each other. But no more. And what a divorce that was. The parties were both relatively quiet affairs.
COMMISSIONER ASPINALL’S MESSAGE
Our gussied-up subway car “The Internationale” is a big success. Set out as a private and secure meeting room for international diplomatic negotiations which can and does go around the system at five miles an hour between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. when the regular system is shut down, it had its third and fourth conferences this past week. Early in the week, we had officials from Iran and the United States discussing one of the clauses in the proposed agreement to swap nuclear weapons for an end to sanctions against Iran. At the end of the week, we had officials from Macedonia meeting across the table with officials from Albania over a dispute involving goats.