Hamptons Subway Newsletter: Week of April 28—May 4, 2017

Two available Hamptons Subway umbrella designs
Two available Hamptons Subway umbrella designs, Photo: storyimage/123RF

Week of April 28 – May 4, 2017
Riders this past week: 23,411
Rider miles this past week: 124,324

Dick Cavett and Roberta Gosman were seen traveling on the subway between Napeague and Montauk last Wednesday afternoon.

Last week it rained a lot and, as usual, the ridership on Hamptons Subway went through the roof. People just don’t like walking through the puddles on rainy days and much prefer going by subway, even if it doesn’t take them where they are going. Of course people track the water and mud down the escalators to get to the platforms. But everybody’s happy and we get big, damp crowds.

Another aspect of rainy days on the subway is the Hamptons Subway promise to keep hundreds of company umbrellas available in umbrella stands on every platform. They get wheeled out from the storage rooms when the rains come. The initial idea was that people would borrow an umbrella on a platform, then go off to their destination platform and put them back in the umbrella stands on the destination platforms. This was extremely stupid, since there’s no rain underground, and Commissioner Aspinall soon realized that people were taking umbrellas up the escalators and out into the streets and how could he blame them? He found a wholesaler who’d sell him umbrellas for $2.75, which is, of course, the same price as the $2.75 cost of a subway ride, so the Commissioner declared it a wash. As a result, we’ve given out tens of thousands of free green umbrellas with our name in white on them. The Commissioner has declared this the most powerful marketing effort the service has done. And he thought it up himself. Anyway, maybe it’s the free umbrellas that get our ridership up on rainy days.

Still another thing happening on rainy days is all the people who go to gamble on the platform in Hampton Bays. When there’s a strong easterly rain the ceiling sometimes drips onto the western corner of the platform. And sometimes it doesn’t. The gamblers bet it won’t drip at all. Or it will drip before 30 minutes pass. Or it will drip before 60 minutes pass. Money changes hands. This activity crowds the platform, and makes it hard for the straphangers to get on and off the trains. We put up police barriers but the bettors remove them. We don’t know what to do. By the way, the leak didn’t leak at all during the rains of last week. So too bad for those who thought it would.

Hamptons Subway now has its own app. Down on any platform, click on the app, enter your location, enter your destination and tap “hail a train,” and the app will show you a map indicating the train on the system coming to your platform the soonest, indicate the name of the motorman and tell you how many minutes it will take him to get to you.

How much does it cost? It only adds $1 to your subway ride fare. Although it doesn’t get the train to you any sooner than it would have anyway, it has already become a favorite for high anxiety people who just need to know when the next train is coming. Children love it too. We’re very proud of this.

At the suggestion of a subway rider, I went down to the Hampton Bays platform with a workman every single rainy day last week to patch up the leak there. But damn it, the leak never leaked so we couldn’t find it. This is a big waste of my valuable time.


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