Week of August 4-10, 2012

Riders this past week: 18,411

Rider miles this past week: 176,415



Ralph Lauren and his daughter Dylan were seen on the subway eating jellybeans as they headed from East Hampton to Sag Harbor. Meanwhile, an actor who looked an awful lot like Steve Martin was seen heading from Quogue to Westhampton Beach, but then, a lot of people look like Steve Martin.



This coming Saturday, Hampton Subway will open its turnstiles at 7 a.m. rather than the usual 6 a.m. so that the workmen can finish the job of replacing all the ceiling light bulbs in all the tunnels. Hampton Subway decided a few years ago to replace them every two years on August 1 whether they needed to be replaced or not. It was an economy measure. Before that, light bulbs were replaced when they burned out, and it meant that we had to employ three people year-round to keep up with things, what with the ladder and the handcar and the guy that screwed in light bulbs. It also caused occasional delays in the service Now, we were able to fire these full time people and instead, to do the job, we have outsourced it to a firm, Hata Ho, from Bangladesh. They charge just $8 a day for the three men who do this. The men are acrobats who run around and jump up to stand on each others’ shoulders. They are super fast, get it all done in one night, and the only added expenses is the 1,412 light bulbs that we put in brand new. All the old ones are for sale on eBay by the way, with the auction starting Sunday and ending Friday. And we’ve been told by replacing them, we save electricity, because the older ones require more of it to make the same illumination as they age.



Subway police have arrested six pre-teens for putting pennies on the tracks in the tunnel between Water Mill and Southampton and having the train wheels squash them as the cars come through. None of the names of those arrested is being made public because of their age.

The Squashed Penny Ring was broken because, after it came to the attention of the authorities that there was a little bump about halfway along this stretch that was not caused by any malfunction in the tracks or the trains, an around-the-clock police stakeout was put into place.

On day 15, one of the ringleaders came out from a storeroom on the side of the subway tunnel with a penny, placed it on the tracks and, before he could do anything else, was pounced upon and taken away.

In the storeroom, the authorities later found on a shelf nearly 200 old glass milk bottles filled with squashed pennies. With an estimated 300 squashed pennies in each bottle, this was quite a haul.



Motorman’s Union #54, which represents our employees who drive the train, say they will strike in 10 days if no new agreement is reached on their recently expired old contract. Negotiators are working furiously to meet the deadline, but the Commissioner says that even if they strike, the trains will still be in service. Many executives know how to drive the trains, he said. How hard can it be? And you can’t swerve off the tracks.



This coming Sunday August 5 at 5:30 p.m., the annual Dan’s Papers Kite Fly takes place at Sagg Main Beach in Sagaponack. Kids fly all sorts of kites there. And it’s free. To express our solidarity with the kite fly, all trains on that day will have the caboose doors unlocked so kids can lean out and fly kites out the back as the trains go along their appointed rounds.


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