The Hamptons Subway

Hamptons Subway Newsletter: Week of July 4–10, 2014

Week of July 4–10, 2014
Riders this past week: 16,832
Rider miles this past week: 187,141

Sting and Jon Bon Jovi were on the subway together heading from Amagansett to East Hampton last Thursday afternoon, talking shop, apparently.

This year, under the stewardship of our new marketing director, Hans Solo—the former marketing director for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and before that FEMA—the program for the Fourth of July is much expanded, although because of the tight rein on the budget, there will be only one fireworks display rather than two. New this year will be a re-enactment of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence in full costume, with Thomas Jefferson played by Southampton Mayor Mark Epley and John Hancock played by East Hampton Town Crier Hugh King. After much discussion, some of it heated, about whether this re-enactment should take place on the Southampton or East Hampton Platform since it can no longer be both, it was finally decided on a compromise. It will take place on the Bridgehampton platform at 2 p.m. on July 4.

To budget for the considerable costs involved in its production, the parade in the subway, going from Montauk to Westhampton Beach through the tunnels, will consist of only a flagbearer, a snare drum player and a flute player with a bandage around his head. Many bands and baton twirlers from last year will be disappointed but that is the way it is.

Finally, at 9:30 p.m., just after the sun sets (this is ridiculous, this is underground), the fireworks go off, instead of in the two places as before, on the tracks at the Southampton and East Hampton platforms, on the tracks at Bridgehampton, the compromise location. They won’t be visible in East or Southampton, and in order for them to be heard they will have to be extremely loud, which will mean that during the display the Bridgehampton platform will be closed to the public, so unfortunately, they will not be seen.

The subway car with the superchargers and the 16-cylinder auxiliary engine built in the Montauk yards to allow the subway train it pulls to go nearly 105 miles an hour is to be sold at auction next Thursday on the front steps of our Hampton Bays office building. Some other subway company might want it, but we can’t use it here since there are six trains on the tracks at any one time and all must go 38 miles an hour.

Painters are putting horizontal lines up one wall of each platform to indicate the number of feet above sea level there. In case of flood, you will know how deep the water is.

The wedding that had been scheduled for the Fourth of July weekend throughout the subway system, resulting in its closure for four days, has been cancelled. A great debate between customers and management took place about this, but because of the income that would accrue to Subway coffers—this would have been the wedding of the daughter of a very rich Southampton man—management gave it the green light. Now it has been cancelled. The prospective bride has eloped with the pool boy. We are keeping the deposit.

The jobs of many people are on the line because of the cancellation of this wedding. The fact is, the young man earlier worked as a flagman here. We can’t run a subway system, with all its finances and everything, when this sort of thing happens.

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