Hamptons Subway Newsletter: Week of September 7–13, 2018

Hamptons Subway debuts its new slogan: "Better Than Most"
Hamptons Subway debuts its new slogan: "Better Than Most," Photo: littleny/iStock/Thinkstock

Week of September 7–13, 2018
Riders this past week: 37,411
Rider miles this past week: 100,999

Horseman McLain Ward, in full riding garb, was seen sitting on the Subway very proudly as it bumped along from Bridgehampton toward Westhampton last Sunday evening. He had seven blue ribbons on his chest. Some people say he won the Hampton Classic Grand Prix a few times. Also seen on Hamptons Subway this week were Madonna, Mayor Bloomberg and fellow billionaire John Catsimatidis, all going hither and thither.

Our new marketing director Phyllis Applewatch has declared her first order of business to be the creation of a slogan for Hamptons Subway. She says every business should have one. So from now on it’s “Hamptons Subway: Better Than Most.” This beat out her earlier suggestion “Hamptons Subway: Now a Good Subway System.” Commissioner Aspinall rejected that, saying it suggested the subway system was at one time not good.

A transportation expert we hired to tell us ways to improve Hamptons Subway has said the biggest problem is our flagmen, who wave red, orange and green flags in the tunnels to instruct the motorman to stop, go slow or go fast. He thinks it should be replaced by the automated red, orange and green light systems found in all other subways.

This expert is apparently not familiar with the strength of the flagmen union, which has negotiated 10-year contracts since the founding of the Subway System in 1925. The new contract is now in its third year with seven more to go, and yes, it’s true that flagmen have fallen asleep or just gone off for a cup of coffee and that has caused near collisions, especially this summer, but we signed the agreement and we are stuck with it. Automation is not always better anyway, the Commissioner says, and he ought to know.

With the horse show over, the 210 participating horses were trotted back Sunday night through the tunnels from Bridgehampton to their trailers at the Westhampton stop. Cleaning up after the horses after their annual “walk” did cause Hamptons Subway to reopen at 7 a.m. instead of 6 a.m. Monday, because the manure left on the tracks was greater than usual. Something new in the feed, we were told. We regret the delay.

People have asked why we don’t offer tours through the historic Hamptons Subway Building on Ponquogue Avenue in Hampton Bays. It is after all the only building in the United States designed in the Fascist manner by Hitler’s architect Albert Speer—in 1935, before the war, of course. The reason is complicated and I will get to that, but I can tell you briefly what’s on each floor.

The ground floor is reception and secretarial, the second floor is for bookkeeping, junior executives and the tech department, the third floor is the company cafeteria and senior executives. The top floor is off limits. It includes Commissioner Aspinall’s private suite and also a courtroom with a judge who decides on subway-related legal cases, which includes people who get arrested and charged with malingering or stealing. The courtroom’s been up there since the beginning and we think it works well, but we fear the American government might close it down if it knew about it, so don’t tell anybody. As for the basement, it is filled to the brim with old no-longer-used subway tokens.

September is our take-it-easy month after the rush of the summer. Everything’s relaxed and the subway employees are much friendlier to the customers, so enjoy it.


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