Week of May 29–June 4, 2020
Riders last week 35,912
Rider Miles last week 115,832
DOWN IN THE TUBE
In order to abide by current rules involving COVID-19, all people using the subway are required to wear masks and stay more than six feet from one another inside the subway cars. Because of this, our celebrity spotters riding the trains every day were not certain if they were seeing a famous Hamptonite or just somebody who looked like one. There was a sighting of Renée Zellweger riding from Sag Harbor to Noyac last Thursday afternoon. But maybe not. Another sighting seemed to be of Alec Baldwin, but on the other hand it might have been Donald Trump, who he sometimes resembles. Whoever it was, he was heading from Amagansett to East Hampton. This was also on Thursday afternoon.
To help everyone maintain the minimum six-foot distancing, Hamptons Subway last week began handing out free six-foot-long wooden rulers to everyone coming through the turnstiles, which read HAMPTONS SUBWAY RULES in green on both sides. This idea came from our new Marketing Director, Janet McMillan-Harrison, the former marketing director at Hertz. Because these rulers are subsequently carried not only on the platforms and in the trains but also on the street, yes, this is very good advertising.
To use, place one end of it next to the person beside you, hold it horizontal and walk yourself to the other end and then maintain that distance. The ruler giveaway has been so successful that we’ve had a second printing. On this new batch after HAMPTONS SUBWAY RULES we’ve added NO SWORD FIGHTING, this in response to a request from police who say they’ve had to break up bands of teenagers engaging in that activity, not only on the platforms but also up on the sidewalks.
Riders will also notice that our subway trains now are 12 cars long instead of 6. Because of social distancing, we’ve had to double the number of cars on each train. We owe this to Subway Commissioner Bill Aspinall, who thought it up. Aware that the shut-down would soon be partially lifted, he, ahead of time, negotiated to lease 36 subway cars from the Toronto Subway System to add to the 36 Hamptons Subway cars. They arrived by barge from Land o’ Lakes, Canada just days before the six-foot rule was announced by Governor Cuomo, and so were ready to go at the Montauk Yards when we got the go-ahead. Trains that are 12 cars long instead of 6, of course, do not fit into our stations. So as we’ve been telling everybody over and over, the train pulls into a station and stops with the first six green-and-white Hamptons Subway cars for people to get on and off, then starts up and moves forward so the last six cars—which say ‘Toronto Subway System’ on the sides in pink and purple—can stop at the station, at which time the doors open a second time for the second group to get on and off. Then finally the train departs for good.
COMMISSIONER ASPINALL’S MESSAGE
We’ve done everything we can to keep this double-stopping situation as simple as possible. The mechanical voice that used to say “Watch out for the closing doors” now says “This is the first stop at this station. Watch out for the closing doors.” And then a minute later it says “This is the second stop at this station. Watch out for the closing doors.” We hope this helps. And please don’t be upset about getting on or off a car that says Toronto Subway System in pink and purple. It’s really all okay.