Week of January 15–21, 2016
Riders this past week: 17,312
Rider miles this past week: 189,444
DOWN IN THE TUBE
Sean Penn was seen riding the Subway between East Hampton and Wainscott last Thursday with a disheveled and very hairy foreign man in an undershirt. They were involved in animated conversation.
The prisoner exchange with Iran took place on Hamptons Subway last Tuesday between Bridgehampton and Sag Harbor as it temporarily came to a halt at Long Pond. Only a few people know this, though.
BUMP IN RIDERSHIP
The sudden increase in ridership this past Saturday was apparently due to the first annual Nudist Parade and Polar Bear Plunge held on Job’s Lane and at Cooper’s Beach in Southampton. Most of the increased ridership was logged at the Southampton Station. Riding the Hamptons Subway nude, of course, is not allowed.
IVAN KRATZ ANNIVERSARY
Last Friday was the 100th anniversary of our founder getting the contract to build the Lexington Avenue Subway in New York City. A new plaque, honoring that accomplishment now hangs in the lobby of our Hampton Bays office. This was before he built Hamptons Subway. The story of how all this came about, together with his subsequent arrest, is the stuff of legend, and too complicated to tell here. But if you are interested you could Google it.
NEW MARKETING DIRECTOR COMES AND GOES
Pierre Bladaux, until recently the marketing director at a subway system in Belgium, arrived last week to take over the marketing here and take over he did. An enthusiastic and persuasive man, his campaign about new grab bars on the back walls of all platforms to keep subway riders safely aside when a train came in, so as not to fall onto the tracks, came, after calls from the public, for them to be installed. In that campaign he also called for all riders to “make a new friend” when a train started to arrive at the station by grabbing whoever was next to you around the waist. His other advertising campaign which had the loud speakers in each car explain the grab bars and other safety measures on the trains—spoken at every stop just before the sliding doors opened—drove our passengers crazy and after their frantic calls to us the messages were silenced. Monsieur Bladaux was soon silenced after that. Although the grab bars remain up for now, we’ve learned that because of a teenage prank involving Gorilla Glue, one customer—apparently just before closing at 2 a.m. last night—grabbed one of the bars as the train came into the Hampton Bays station and became stuck to it. As he had used both hands, he could not access his cell phone and call for help and so remained attached until morning.
SUBWAY SNOWPLOW STOLEN
Last year, a wealthy resident of East Hampton made a gift to us of a track snowplow, a car on wheels that can push up to nine feet of snow aside with its huge blades. The donor was apparently unaware that snow almost never gets onto the tracks. Nevertheless we happily accepted this well-intentioned gift and parked it in our Montauk Yards. Tuesday, the snowplow went missing. We don’t know where it went. Since it’s never been used, we are filing an insurance claim for its full value of $498,000.
COMMISSIONER ASPINALL’S MESSAGE
My message for you this week is to not be taken in by fast-talking marketing directors from Belgium in either your professional or personal life no matter what they say. It’s not worth it.