Hamptons Subway Newsletter: Week of September 26–October 2, 2014

Hamptons Subway riders decided to walk instead this week
Hamptons Subway riders decided to walk instead this week, Photo: Oliver Peterson, iStock/Thinkstock

Week of September 26–October 2, 2014
Riders this past week: 13,812
Rider miles this past week: 73,464

The entire Southampton High School Mariners football team rode the subway in full uniform to their game with the East Hampton Bonackers on Saturday around noon.

The Hamptons Subway, as you know, was built in 1932 with stolen subway material from the New York Subway system buried underground here. We found it in 2007. There are many doors in the tunnels that are frozen shut. We blowtorch them open as we get the chance. Last week, behind a locked door east of East Hampton, we found an unused subway spur that went up to the Northwest section of that town. There was once a village up there in the woods. Foundations can be found. Most people thought it was abandoned around 1820. Apparently not. We have boarded up the spur, at both where it begins and up in Northwest, where there’s a platform and a stairway that leads up to under a tall oak tree.

As promised, Commissioner Aspinall has abided by the decision made by the riders on whether he should raise subway fares from $2.25 to $2.50. By a narrow margin, 1,342 ballots to 1,312, the riders on voting day last week chose NOT to have the fare raised. But why the low voter turnout? Considering our weekly ridership this is less than 1 out of 30 people voting. What a shame.

Charles Arbuthnot, longtime janitor in our Hampton Bays Subway Office Building in Hampton Bays, turns 51 on Thursday. He has always claimed to be descended from the Dusenberg-Hotchkiss branch of the Austro-Hungarian Empire royal family, which, of course, everybody knows not to be true. But if you want to have a piece of cake and see him blow out candles, be at the cafeteria on the 4th floor at 1 p.m. Friday. Happy Birthday Sir Charles!

Commissioner Aspinall has insisted that on every subway train there be a “shelter” car which riders could go to in case of an emergency. Subway Manager Black has therefore designated every third car on every train a “shelter” car, since this would be about halfway back our typical six-car subway train length. In case of an emergency while on board the subway, go quickly but quietly without panicking to the third car from the front—which can be counted on to be the third back from the direction in which the subway is headed. Signs reading SHELTER CAR will be found inside that car, the third from the front of every train.

There were far fewer riders than expected on the system this past week when compared to the same time last year. Since the ridership was up more than 10 percent during the month of August, we believe the reason is that September has been a month when everyone preferred to be outdoors, so that when people headed toward the subway in the morning, they just took a deep breath, said “oh hell,” and walked the few miles to work. 

We are in the process of producing a roof café on our building in Hampton Bays. We are going to have an outdoor company exercise area up there, also a coffee bar, tennis court and small track, and on nice days we’ll hold meetings up there. We expect to have it open in time for Christmas.

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