Thursday, May 29, 2008

Test of Stremf or More MTA Madness?

A graffitti-bombed train rumbles over the tracks...."There aint nothin out here for you!" "Oh yes there is; this..."

Mets fans citywide rejoiced last summer, when, after only 43 years of Shea Stadium's existence, the MTA began running #7 express trains back towards Manhattan. This was particularly momentous for (b)east-siders, like myself, who could now clock back into Grand Central within 15 minutes, rivaling the time west-siders make it back to the glazed-popcorn scented cavern of Penn Station on the LIRR.

Word to the Wize, tho, they only run express trains at the end of the game. And by end of the game, they mean end of the game. Wait all you'd like, train personnel will hold that 7 express on the middle platform until, using advanced walkie-talkie technology, they receive word that the game is 'in the books.' Should the game go to extras then the 7 express will wait. So either the MTA is rewarding the hardcore fan who sits it out, sending a big Fukudome to fans who leave early, which is a nice thought in the abstract world of fandom, or completely oblivious to its role as efficient people-mover. Because, like it or not, many fans leave after the 7th or so and many more fans don't stick it out for extras.

Those hoping for a change in this policy shouldn't hold their breath. Took only 43 years to figure out that they should run the express in the first place. Somewhat relatedly, straphangers shouldn't hold their breath for the 7 express stopping at 74th-Broadway, a major hub where they could transfer to the E,V, F, R, G and numerous bus lines. That would require inserting a middle platform. Considering it took only took five (5) years and at least $150 million (originally budgeted amount, you'll have to use your imagination for what the actual final cost was) just to add new tiles, 7 train platform overhands and some new staircases to that station and you start to catch the drift...but not the train. Get it? Catch the drift/train? Sorry about that.

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