Tweeting the NYC Subway

Quick little post for everyone. I just started following the NYC subway today. Check out@NYCTSubwayScoop for the latest via Twitter. I don’t get in to the city as much as I used to, but having this in my feed in case i end up in town will be super helpful, so I thought Johnny Transit should share…

DC and Crystal City

So it sure has been a while since I’ve posted. I was recently in the DC area attending the Spring Internet2 Members Meeting, which was great. The meeting and the hotel were in Crystal City, which is on the VA side of the river, and very convenient to the DC metro stop by the same name. My dad and I went together, and both spent quite a bit of time on the metro. While I find it clean, quite, and efficient, their fare structure still bewilders me. It may be because I’m used to the MTA in NYC and the one-fare-fits-all model they use. Regardless, the DC metro remains in my view one of the most appropriately sized and located metro systems in the country.

Johnny Transit on the road in LA

OK, so it has been a while. But give me a break, I have twins.  Anyway, next week (June 15-18) I’ll be in LA for the annual CLAC conference. I’m planning on riding the LA metro just so I can visit LA and NOT DRIVE somewhere. I’ll have a full report later, but one friend who now lives there tells me that “its like the NYC subway, except cleaner and empty.” Weird.

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Where have you gone, Miss Subway

subwaysslide02The American Studies in me loves stuff like this:  a beauty contest held by the MTA to promote the subway.  Running from 1941 to 1976, the annual contest is now long since past.  However, it was revived in 2004 for a one-time event promoting the 100 years of the subway.  The NY Times ran a nice photo spread of past winners and photos of them now.  And while we’re on the subject, who could forget those NJ Turnpike “Pikettes?”

The maze at Fulton Street Station

On the plane to Tempe this Saturday, i saw a great article in the Times about the ongoing renovations of the Fulton Street Station.31fulton01-600 The author, who opens by claiming the station is something inspired by M.C. Escher, describes the craziness of this stop and the challenges in renovating it.  Many people forget that before June of 1940 the Subway system of NYC was owned and operated by 3 different authorities, the IRT, the BMT, and the IND.  Wherever there are stops in which these lines intersected, the stations are similarly a mess.  Train lenghts, platform standards, fare collection, and transfer rules differed from line to line.  This legacy has lead to many of the problems at this station and others in the system.

South Ferry, a look into the past

The MTA has been working on reconstruciton of the South Ferry stop at the southern terminus of the 1 for some time. historicmap1The station was in pretty bad shape, and since it had been built in 1905 when trains were shorter, was unable to accommodate current train lenghts.  While not uncommon for the MTA to reconstruct or remodel a subway stop, this project uncovered artifacts of Lower Manhattan’s past.  It has slowed completion of the project (set to reopen in Feb 2009) but produced some interesting peices of the city’s origins.

Redbirds, How I Miss Thee

Not too long ago, the old Redbird fleet of subway cars was retired.  This YouTube video shows the last Redbird in public service arriving at 42nd Street (a 7 train from Willets Point).  Once retired, the MTA built a fish habitat off the Jersey and Delaware coasts.  Only in Jersey…

Second Ave Subway

Congestion on the 4/5/6 feeding the Upper East Side has been a problem for as long as I can remember. First proposed in 1929, the Second Ave Subway (SAS) was designed to supply another major subway line to this always popular neighborhood.  However, the project has been a joke for a long time:  always discussed, never built.    Finally in 2007, this first major addition to the NYC subway since the 1940s began.  The project started and stopped several times over the years, so the current design includes digging new tunnels as well as reclaiming old tunnels and sections of track that were partially built.  Information about construction and the progress is available on the MTA’s website for the SAS.  There’s also a decent wikipedia entry on the subject that gives the sorted history of the project that almost was for 80 years.