Week of November 2–8, 2017
Riders this past week: 28,513
Rider miles this past week: 187,888
DOWN IN THE TUBE
Andrew Cuomo and Blanche Wiesen Cook were seen riding the subway between Westhampton Beach and Quogue last Saturday night talking animatedly. The topic was Eleanor Roosevelt. Ina Garten of East Hampton was seen riding the subway while reading a cookbook (not her own) between Amagansett and Napeague on Thursday morning. Former first daughter Malia Obama rode the subway heading from Sag Harbor toward East Hampton on Monday. She got off at the new Ross School stop.
NOT SO EASY PASS
The new “Easy Pass” turnstiles were put in place at the Hampton Bays stop last Wednesday, but they had to be removed by Friday. The idea was to replace the subway swipe cards with a Bluetooth system that worked off facial recognition. The system worked great for those heading to the trains on Wednesday, but when the Hampton Bays riders got off at whatever station they were going to, the system charged them again as they left through the turnstiles for the escalators—even though no other station has this system. Then, on Friday, an athletic young man jumped the turnstile in Hampton Bays and the system shorted in sparks and blue smoke and died. Techies are working 24 hours a day to repair this and we hope to have it back up and running next week. It’s such a good idea, if it would only work.
THE HALLOWEEN GHOST PAGEANT
For the eighth year in a row, Hamptons Subway celebrated the disappearance of Clarence and Rita Redbone who got on a Hamptons Subway at the Southampton stop in 1927 and were never seen again, although their ghosts came back to haunt the subway system on Halloween night for the next 40 years. This year, the role of Clarence—in bowler hat and suspenders—was played by Andrew Feffenhaffer of Quogue while the role of Rita was played by his wife Kelly wearing flapper clothing. There was supposed to be a party for them at the Hamptons Subway building in Hampton Bays, but they never showed up. And nobody’s seen them since.
Commissioner Aspinall, bowing to pressure from riders, is lowering subway fares for certain groups beginning January 1. People with annual family incomes under $20,000 will pay $2.73 instead of $2.75. People with family incomes under $100,000 will pay $2.72 instead of $2.75. And people with incomes over $1 million will pay 75 cents instead of $2.75. Enjoy the savings.
THE WORLD SERIES
Placing television screens at each end of every subway car for the two weeks of the World Series has been a big hit. The ridership has not gone up, but the average number of miles traveled by each rider has tripled during this time. Though this does not increase revenue, the subway system is crowded to such a degree that the place looks almost as if it were the height of summer instead of lowly October. The subway staff loves it, because the ridership is very docile and happy, but when it is over, with either the Oilers or the Trolly Dodgers the winner, they’re expecting a big let down. We’ve already decided to do this again next year, and we’ll have workers walking through selling hot dogs.
COMMISSIONER ASPINALL’S MESSAGE
I am off to Stockholm this week to attend a Subway Commissioners’ conference there. It’s supposed to be only for the EU, but I wangled a ticket. See you when it’s over.