Riders this week: 8,412
Rider miles this week: 88,400
DOWN IN THE TUBE
Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna were both spotted on the subway going between Bridgehampton and Sag Harbor at 3 p.m. Wednesday—Madonna heading toward Sag Harbor and Paltrow, in a different subway, heading toward Bridgehampton. Their paths must have crossed underground going in those opposite directions.
SUBWAY HOLDS GRAND RE-OPENING
Last Friday, Hampton Subway Commissioner Aspinall announced an end to the fare increase, which had been in effect for 11 days with only one person paying the increase in fare and riding, a Harold Benson of Southampton, who said that he loved the subway and didn’t want to see it fail and if that meant a single ride would have to cost $20,412 which it did, he would pay it and did pay it that one time in spite of protests from his wife and family.
As you know, the fare increase from $2 a ride to that other amount was not followed up with any stampede by anybody else. The subway remained open, but without any further riders, for 11 days. And so, to save the subway, our Commissioner Bill Aspinall, did order it brought back to $2 on Friday saying he would find some other way to pay for the purchase of the New York City Subway system, and regretted trying to put it on the backs of the Hampton Subway riders although he did refuse a request by the Benson family to return the money they spent. The subway system, by the middle of the next day, returned to normal.
Over the weekend, it was decided that the two brand new “Rocket Trains” made in Arkansas by the Yakitumi Corporation in Japan should be returned to their factory for repairs. We’ve never been able to get their engines to start —they just keep “flaming out”—so we could not get them up to their full 140 miles an hour or even close for our express line and there must be a reason. Yakitumi is sending us a tow train with flashing lights on top and a crane on the back.
ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE PRANK
Sunday was the day of the big parade in Montauk and, as expected, we had many folks driving out to Westhampton early in the morning and then taking the subway to the Montauk stop in the center of that town. With the parade over, we closed at 2 a.m. Monday morning as we always do for maintenance for a few hours. And then boy were we surprised when we re-opened for business at 7 a.m. All the trains, instead of being in the Montauk yards behind all the barbed wire where they are kept overnight at the end of the night, were found to be at the Westhampton station, all jammed in there. Worse, all the trains, all the platforms and all the tunnels between all the stops were painted bright green. Even the interiors of the subway cars were green. Also, the eight German Shepherd dogs that guard the trains in Montauk behind the barbed wire were found painted bright green too, and staggering around drunk.
Who could have done this heinous act we do not know. We do know it was done between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. Monday morning. If whoever did this thought it was funny, it wasn’t.
COMMISSIONER ASPINALL’S MESSAGE
At an emergency Hampton Subway Board meeting that I called to consider the situation on Monday morning at 6 a.m., it was decided by telephone that regardless of the vandalism, we should re-open for business to let in the morning commuters clamoring at the stairways so they could see this despicable thing that had been done to their beloved subway system as they went on their way. We will find and punish these dastardly perpetrators, you may be sure of that. Bit by bit, over the next two weeks, the green paint will be scrubbed clean and it will be as if this never happened.