Hamptons Subway Newsletter: Week of August 22–28, 2019

Drone vs. Hamptons Subway
Photo: zych, Mirko Vitali/123RF

Week of August 22–28, 2019
Riders this past week: 49,999
Rider miles this past week: 165,712

Jon Stafford, Executive Director of the New York City Ballet, carrying a baseball mitt, was seen riding the subway eastbound from Water Mill to East Hampton on Saturday for the Artist-Writers softball game. Model and cosmetics entrepreneur Rebecca Underdown was spotted on the Hamptons Subway heading from Sag Harbor to East Hampton also carrying a baseball mitt. Also, New York Post columnist Keith Kelly and President Bill Clinton were seen traveling from Amagansett to East Hampton on Saturday.

Service was halted for half an hour systemwide just after midnight on Wednesday when a train ran full speed into a gaggle of drones in the tunnel between Quiogue and Westhampton Beach, temporarily blinding the motorman’s vision through his windshield and causing his train to veer off the tracks. Forty-five small drones owned by Hamptons Subway provide an inexpensive way to have full video surveillance coverage in all the tunnels. For a year now, the drones, equipped with cameras, are released from their Westhampton hatchery every morning before dawn to attach themselves with their suction cup feet to the underside of the ceilings of all our tunnels—three in every tunnel—for the duration of the subway service between 6 a.m. and 2 a.m. the next day.

At the press of a button at the hatchery at 2 a.m., the drones detach, flock together and return to their Westhampton nest so the Hamptons Subway maintenance people can go out during the night with the subway system shut down and give the system a thorough cleaning. On Wednesday just after midnight, however, the hatchery operator says he accidentally spilled a can of beer on the floor at his console and while bending down to clean it up accidentally pressed the button. Charlie Bratton, the operator, who has been with us for years, has nevertheless been suspended with pay for two weeks as a result.

A temporary re-railing track, kept under the lead car on all our trains, was deployed by our motorman with assistance from the passengers so the train could be put back on the tracks. He then, with others, cleared all the broken drones from his windshield so he could see and thus train continued on to the 2 a.m. closing without further delay.

The Subway restaurant chain, which operates food kiosks on all our platforms, is having a special on meatball heroes this week through Sunday until the 2 a.m. closing time. Parmesan sprinklings are 10 cents extra. Each.

As most people know, senior citizens get half-price subway swipe cards and longtime local residents (after proving their ancestry) do too. Furthermore, children who can fit under the turnstile without stooping, ride free. Now we are adding another category for half-price discounts—our veterans. This new discount goes into effect Monday. In addition, consideration was briefly given to allow all women half price cards, the argument being if it was good enough for them to be treated favorably when the Titanic went down it was good enough for us, but after several women’s organizations objected, insisting that violated their equality with men policy, that plan was abandoned.

The annual parade of horses from their trailers at the Westhampton Subway stop to the horse show at Bridgehampton during the night of Thursday–Friday went off without a hitch.

Those who picked up pieces of drones after the derailment should return them to our office, as we are trying to piece together the busted drones.


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