Week of January 5–11, 2017
Riders this past week: 12,412
Rider miles this past week: 88,411
DOWN IN THE TUBE
Barack Obama was seen on the Hamptons Subway this past Monday at midnight. The only person in the car, he stood alone, in silence, in the center of that car holding onto the overhead rail, staring out the window at the passing lights of the tunnel without moving the entire time, as the train hurtled from Southampton to Amagansett.
At 6 a.m. on the morning after New Year’s Eve we found the usual array of people lying on the platforms in their party hats, all asleep and smiling. There were empty beer cans and Champagne bottles everywhere. Budweiser, Miller and Coors seemed to be favorites this year, Coors more than the others. Piper was a favorite among the Champagne empties. There also seemed to be more balloons and glittery confetti than usual, though, and when the trains came into the stations for the first time that morning, you could hear the balloons popping on the tracks as the trains ran them over. No people were down on the tracks, same as last year and the year before, thank goodness.
To conserve electricity, help save the planet and lighten Hamptons Subway’s wallet, Commissioner Aspinall ordered that on/off light switches be installed at each end of the platform walls. When the Subway system shuts for the night at 2 a.m., these switches turn the lights in the tunnels off. To avoid favoritism, the light switches will be at both ends of every station platform, so Southampton won’t say East Hampton gets it and they don’t. Also, the switches at each platform will turn the lights off in every tunnel with just that one flick. Finally, in a bow to the children of the Hamptons, the switches will be low on the walls, about three feet up, so even a six-year-old (with a parent to guide them, of course) can flick the subway tunnel lights off at the appropriate time. So it’s kind of a game. Whichever kid gets there first.
HAMPTONS SUBWAY EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH
Every month for years and years, Hamptons Subway officials honored the Employee of the Month. The practice was discontinued in November of 2014, after that horrific system-wide, four-and-a-half-hour delay with that raccoon family that refused to move. I’m sure you recall that. Anyway, beginning now, for January, we are reviving this practice by honoring Alicia Frankenfactor, the chief turnstile inspector for her years of service. Ms. Frankenfactor is from Shirley and more recently Hampton Bays, after her marriage to Bob Bush, the electrician who lives and works in that town. It’s her second and his third marriage. As a special honor, we declare her Employee of the Months (it’s plural!) bridging the period December 2014 to January 2017 to keep continuity in the trophy room where the plaques honoring each Employee of the Month are hung on the walls there.
COMMISSIONER ASPINALL’S MESSAGE
My pledge to you is that this year will be so much better on the subway than last year, with all its problems. Remember the time last summer when, hearing loud music, we unlocked a storeroom door to discover it was secretly being used as a discotheque? Wasn’t that something!