The New York City Subway System has gone retro. At least, it has if you ride the V line on any of the rest of the Sundays in this month, including today.
NYC Transit is running a 1930s’ train as a holiday treat for New Yorkers. It comes complete with wicker seats and ceiling fans.
But wait–there’s more! A tour company is kicking the event up a notch by offering a “Vintage Tea Party” starting at 2:00 pm each Sunday, departing from the Second Avenue Subway Station.
The Unique New York Tour Group is offering the requisite finger sandwiches, cookies and teacups to complete the experience.
Although riders to pay the normal fare, the party itself is free.
Guest are encouraged to come in period costume and to bring their favorite delicacies to nibble on. The family (Matt Levy, two younger brothers, and their father) that runs the tours offered a similar moving tea party in 2004. (They also offer tours that focus on city culture, neighborhoods and history, including gang culture of the 1850s.)
Be forewarned, though: passengers are not allowed to have open containers on the subway, even if it’s a porcelain cup filled with English Breakfast tea, light on the lemon.
So far, however, no one has been arrested for eating a jam sandwich.
And if wondering what the group will come up with next, mark your calendars for sometime in February–and a game of Freeze Tag on Wall Street.
In the never-ending annals of the never-ending plans for New York’s vastly complicated transportation system comes some (potentially) good news: Countdown clocks will be arriving at several subway stations by the end of next month, with others to follow.
An announcement was made Monday that subway riders on the number 6 train will be the first to utilize the countdown clocks. Three stations in the Bronx will lead off, followed by the rest of the 6 line and all other lines by the end of 2010 or beginning of 2011. Nearly 150 other stations along the 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 lines will be rolled out in addition to the 6 line.
Wondering about the 7 line? It was supposed to get the clocks as part of a separate project that was due to be completed in 2006. It’s now (obviously) many years overdue, and the original price tag of $170 million is now projected at closer to $200 million–just for that line.
The separate $200 million project for the other lines has encountered a number of snafus, including a serious flaw in the software that was discovered a year into the project.
At the moment, countdown clocks can be found only on the L and the 34th Street bus corridor.
Bus riders, take heart–clocks are due to be installed at the 50th Street route as well—but no launch date (surprise, surprise) has been set.
If you’re used to seeing ads for community colleges, lurid best bestsellers, and video game systems on the New York City subway system, get ready for something completely different: Ads for a coalition of eight atheist organizations start running today, October 26.
About a dozen subway stations across the city will start running the ads, which bear the tagline: “A million New Yorkers are good without God. Are you?” The words appear over a blue sky with fluffy white clouds.
The Big Apple Coalition for Reason decided that putting up the ads in the subway provided the most potential viewership—and since the New York City subway system serves more than 5 million riders per day, they’re probably right. The groups in the coalition include the Secular Humanist Society of New York and the New York Center for Inquiry.
The campaign came about when The United Coalition of Reason, a national organization, approached the New York atheist associations over the summer. An anonymous source had offered to help pay for the subway campaign, and thus were the ads born.
Will we see a backlash? In a city that regularly sees ads for strip clubs and escort services splashed across public areas, is religion the last taboo?
Well, an American Religious Identification Survey released earlier this year showed a shift in religious identity in this country: Those checking “none” for religion rose from 8 percent in 1990 to 15 percent in 2008.
We’ll see if atheist-themed blue skies or bedroom-eyed blondes cause more of a ruckus.
Officials are scrambling to fix where a huge part of the ceiling collapsed in the 181st Street subway station in Washington Heights where the No. 1 train runs. Upper Manhattan is expected to not have No. 1 train service through this weekend and possibly into next week, with service suspended from 168 Street to Dyckman Street stations. Both tracks and the edges of the platforms were covered with rubble when the incident occurred Sunday at 10:30 p.m. No one was injured.
While the debris is being removed and a protective barrier is built where the ceiling gave way, free shuttle buses are running between 168th Street and Dyckman Street stations. Although this will somewhat ease the problem, it takes the equivalent of 20 shuttle buses to make up one full train of passengers.
The 181st Street subway station is 103 years old and complaints about crumbling tiles and water leaks poured in from local residents, but transit officials did too little too late. Local officials believe water seepage was the main reason for the collapse, a regular complaint at many of the deep No. 1 line stations that are not well kept or well lit. At three stories below, the 181st Street station is one of the deepest and dampest subways in New York City, with the elevators often under repair. A contract for construction is expected to be set in early 2010.
Subway riders will soon have a watchful eye looking over them as they travel. By the end of the year, a single New York City subway train will have CCTV security cameras in every one of its cars as an experimental program by the MTA. It is a groundbreaking security initiative used to determine if similar systems should be installed on every train as a way to deter criminal activity and to aid officials in emergencies. The footage could also assist in determining the facts in incidents, as the MTA has had to shell out millions in damages to injured passengers who have sued.
The train will be outfitted with a digital surveillance system in the corner of every car. The system creates a computer-based log that can be viewed after a crime. The images will not be watched live because of financial constraints, but authorities are hoping that would-be criminals will think twice. Authorities also hope it will act as a weapon against terrorism. MTA officials won’t reveal which subway line will get the camera-equipped train, though it will likely be on one of the newest “letter” trains with the proper computer wiring.
To install surveillance cameras in all subway cars would be an expensive endeavor for New York City. The MTA currently has no money in its capital plan to pay for the installation of cameras in all trains, and it’s unclear if money could be allocated in the next capital program.