Hamptons Subway Newsletter: Week of October 19–25, 2017

Hamptons Subway ticket sellers celebrate Halloween
Hamptons Subway ticket sellers celebrate Halloween, Photo: kampwit, Oleg Doroshenko/123RF

Week of October 19–25, 2017
Riders this past week: 35,745
Rider miles this past week: 96,888

Jay-Z and Beyoncé, holding hands, were seen traveling on the subway Wednesday morning between East Hampton and Amagansett.

As they do every year, our ticket sellers in the token booths dress up as monsters during the week before Halloween. Some of them are particularly gruesome and frightening. This is a longtime tradition on the Hamptons Subway and, though swipe card sales decline dramatically during this period every year because people are afraid to give money to a monster, we continue with it. The program starts Monday, so load up your swipe cards before then.

As a result of a surge in “unwanted touching” complaints on the subway by both men and women, the new law preventing that on crowded subway cars is now in effect. The rule is to keep your body six inches from any other body on the subway. The result is good for Hamptons Subway riders since no touching means no crowding—but bad for us because it means less revenue for the company—at least until the new subway cars we’ve ordered to add to each train arrive. Well, riders (and no lawsuits) come first. And pickpockets—you are on notice too.

The internationally known sculptor Tomlinson will “turn on” his display of colored lights on the interior wall of the tunnels between Wainscott and Sagaponack on Tuesday. The effect to people on the trains will be a sideways waterfall of cheerful moving lights for that full two-mile distance. It’s been pointed out that the motormen might be unable to distinguish between the regular green-red stop-and-go lights that prevent crashes, but art is art, as they say. And it will only be up through Christmas. Happy Holidays. Just hang on tight as the art show goes by.

Hamptons Subway, built in 1927 and never upgraded, had no ability to do research on where the crowds of riders congregate at which hours—a piece of marketing that could help us decide where to add trains and when—until now. Last Thursday, all riders on the subway were asked to turn on their cell phones for the duration of their rides and nearly everyone did. Our Wi-Fi units picked it all up. We intended to crunch all the data and have information on the length of rides and so forth shortly—except that all the data was hacked by the Russians on Friday and so is no longer available. So we have to do this again next Thursday. Yes, they will have your phone number. Lot of good this will do them.

Subway maintenance people, working to clean the tunnels Friday night, unlocked an iron door in the tunnel east of the East Hampton stop to discover a never-used tunnel that extends three miles from there to “Northwest.” This is currently a lightly developed area, but in the 17th and 18th centuries it was an actual town up by the bay that got abandoned around 1730. Apparently Ivan Kratz, the billionaire who built the system in 1927, had it designed with out-of-date maps. So it got built to the abandoned town, but then, when they saw nobody was there, got sealed off. A wise decision.

We are all excited about the “Christmas Train” we will have in operation the day after Thanksgiving. We’re now working on the plans. More next week.


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