Week of August 31–September 6, 2018
Riders this past week: 55,312
Rider miles this past week: 143,812
DOWN IN THE TUBE
Jimmy Buffett was seen traveling from North Haven to Sag Harbor last Thursday morning with a multi-colored macaw on his shoulder. Pets are welcome on the subway but must be in zippered bags or cases. We make an exception for Mr. Buffett—“Jimmy” as we call him—even though macaws, because they bite, are also on the banned list with snakes and tarantulas. But, well, he’s Jimmy Buffett.
Last Tuesday at 2 a.m. with the subway closed for maintenance during the night, the thoroughbred horses who compete in the Hampton Classic Horse Show in Bridgehampton for nine days take their historic and traditional walk through the subway tunnels from the Westhampton Beach stop where they are walked from their trailers down the escalators (a tricky business) to the platform to start on the two-hour walk down the tracks. Crowds cheer them along the way from the platforms. It’s quite a show. This year a horse called Tom Fool broke into a trot—there is always one horse who gets ahead and leads the others—and he whinnied and stomped for the crowds as he passed along one platform and then another.
In July, our new Subway PR man Joe Peckiawa was fired by the Commissioner for selling black T-shirts that read I SURVIVED HAMPTONS SUBWAY with the 44 dates and times of the 2018 breakdowns so far taking up both the front and back in white letters. The Commissioner ordered no more of them sold. As a result, they’ve become a collector’s item selling for $110 each. So the Commissioner is releasing the remaining 4,000 T-shirts at the rate of 10 a month—so as not to flood the market.
Ordinarily, trains come through the system at six-minute intervals. For the rest of this summer, however, the interval will be eight minutes. The problem came about when a maintenance person at the Montauk Yards noticed that two screws had come loose on the giant steel couplings of one of the cars. These couplings, with a little bit of leeway, keep cars from bumping into one another as a train slows into a station.
As this was the last car on a particular six subway car train when it came into Montauk for its nightly scrubbing, he arranged for a seventh subway car to be deliberately bumped into that last car to see if it would hold up. Unfortunately, the bump not only broke the steel couplings on the last car, but also broke the steel couplings on all of the other five cars resulting in an unexpected mini-pile-up.
Nobody was on these trains at this time, of course, but all six cars have to be repaired, which is expected to take from three to six months, and so we will have to do without them until then. Because this temporarily reduces our operable subway cars from 32 to 26, we’ve had to space out the subway trains to keep everything rolling along, with an eight-minute interval instead of six.
COMMISSIONER ASPINALL’S MESSAGE
To celebrate the end of summer, Hamptons Subway is giving out free red balloons to everyone passing through the turnstiles everywhere on the system. To avoid a crowding problem, they will be only partially inflated when given. You can inflate them the rest of the way by blowing into them after you arrive at your destination. When inflated, they say “Happy Fall from Hamptons Subway” in green ink. They’re green to indicate our commitment to saving the environment.