Week of April 21–27, 2016
Riders this past week: 10,423
Rider miles this past week: 103,844
HAMPTONS SUBWAY WINS AWARD
Last week at the Kennedy Center in Washington, Hamptons Subway was awarded third place in the National Environmental Improvements competition to honor the subway systems that showed the greatest reduction in gas emissions during the past year. Our award came about because our total ridership in 2015 declined by 3% from the year before, the first time that ridership had declined in over a decade. The decline meant less diesel fuel used; less carbon dioxide emitted (the passengers produce it when they breathe out) and less wear and tear on the equipment due to the lower carry loads.
Hamptons Subway Commissioner Bill Aspinall said that this year-to-year decline happened because, in the year before last year, a marketing director for Hamptons Subway, since fired, had arranged to pay one celebrity or another to ride the rails every single day so the crowds came out in 2014 to see them. That did not happen in 2015.
Nevertheless Commissioner Aspinall said he was happy to receive the third place award, a trophy made of biodegradable cardboard, and he held it high over his head and smiled as the audience applauded.
THAT TRAIN CRASH
The end of the line going north from Sag Harbor is the stop at the Shelter Island ferry in North Haven. A brick wall marks the end of the tunnel, but last Friday, after the subway cars emptied at that station, motorman Fred Hannity gunned the engine, put the train in forward gear and slammed the train right into the wall. Although the front car was crushed, no other cars were damaged and since no one else was on the train, except Fred Hannity, he was the only one injured, suffering a small cut on his thumb. According to Hannity, he got confused because of a new mural on that wall. The winner of a competition held this past month recently put it up. Anna Patricka, of Hampton Bays, painted a beautiful trompe l’oeil scene of the empty tracks leading down the tunnel into the far distance. It went up on Thursday, and the next day, Hannity smacked into it. Hamptons Subway has hired an art restorer from the Parrish Art Museum to look at the damage to the painting and give an estimate of what the restoration might cost. Commissioner Aspinall says he will decide whether or not to restore it when he gets the estimate.
Riders might have noticed that trains traveling between Amagansett and East Hampton sometimes drove through minor earth tremors somewhere around Pantigo last week. This was not their imagination. The Hamptons Police on Friday arrested John “Wildcat” Hasselhoffer of Pantigo for secretly running an illegal fracking operation by drilling down in his backyard, then sideways into the bedrock below the Hamptons Subway tunnel and then forcing hot water down pipes and into the rock. He’s been arrested. And the tremors have stopped. We expect to have all the tunnel cracks patched up by next Thursday.
COMMISSIONER ASPINALL’S MESSAGE
The official start of “summer” will be on May 1 when we reopen the subway spurs to Cooper’s Beach in Southampton and Main Beach in East Hampton. Beach Boys music will be played throughout the Hamptons Subway on that day to celebrate. Bring a beach towel.