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Monday
Feb152010

Subway Dramz: 'When People Stop Being Polite and Start Getting Real'

While ever changing and expanding, the current order of shit I hate around here currently shakes out like this:

  1. Time Warner Cable
  2. The Chip Shop
  3. The MTA

Unfortunately for an outraged, anon FIPS reader, I'm guessing she's got the MTA chillin in spot #1. She sent along a copy of a letter that she forwarded to the new British MTA CEO Jay Walder (sidenote: this dude is the only tiny glimmer of hope that the MTA *may not* spend a bazillion of our dollars and self-implode, though who knows) about a harrowing incident that went down last week.

And who can blame her, really? For me, the MTA has become this quasi-embodiement of...well...the Atlantic Terminal Mall. No one cares, everyone knows it, and so we've all just totally given up. Like when you are in Target and you can't find something, you don't bother asking anyone where it is, b/c you know that they won't know. And when they don't know (and sneer at you for asking), you don't bother going to their manager because you know that they won't give a shit either. Same thing with the MTA: its every man/woman/child for themselves. If you need something, good fucking luck finding someone who cares. It's kill or be killed down in the subway...literally.

The grainy vid above is mostly useful b/c of the audio, but check this shit out:

"I’m writing to you about an altercation that occurred on the Manhattan-bound D Train this morning, February 12, 2010 between 8:45 am and 9:20 am.  Upon entering the train at the 9th Avenue stop in Brooklyn I noticed a group of 5 high school girls acting rowdy and being very loud and disrespectful to other passengers.  A few minutes later, there was an altercation between an older gentleman and the ring leader of the group.  There was screaming and some hitting and pushing involved. The man’s glasses were broken. While this was going on, someone foolishly pulled the emergency break.  We were stopped between 9th Street.  Avenue and 36

Absolute mayhem broke out.

One woman got involved and told them to leave the man alone. She was threatened.  I attempted to video record what was going on (see above).  One of the girls threatened to break my phone. These teenagers were terrorizing every passenger on the train. There was not a moment that went by that didn’t involve screaming, profanity or threats.

An MTA worker finally came to our car and he was made aware of the situation.  He asked if we needed the police. Many people sang in unison, “YES.”  The MTA worker moved the man to another car.  We were left alone with the belligerent thugs. Yes, they were high school girls, but they were THUGS.  They continued to threaten us. They were unhappy that we asked for the police. One said that they were going to shoot all of us. “Just watch.”  The train finally proceeded to 36th Street where the police were waiting. Two of the most aggressive of the girls got away once the doors opened. 

Steps need to be taken to ensure the safety of your passengers.  The MTA workers should have stayed in the car until the train reached the next station. We were all at risk. They could have maintained order with their authority and presence alone. They also could have helped make sure that all girls were apprehended by the police.  It really saddened me that this situation occurred. The MTA can’t control how ignorant and disrespectful people are, but you can bring about change in order to protect your passengers.  Please consider the safety of your passengers when training your employees."

Here's the thing: my MTA anger is much more of a love/hate sitch, only because I feel like it doesn't HAVE to be this way.

I get that we are all totally fucking lucky to have a public transportation system that carries our asses all the hell all over this amazing city, day and night. And I also get that its not the easiest thing in the world to run, maintain and service a system this big. But here's the thing MTA: as evidenced by this very incident: we're all at the point where we feel like you don't have our back anymore.

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