Monday, February 4, 2008

Open Letter to NY MTA

To My Representatives at the New York Metro Transit Authority (MTA) :

I recognize that your service is used by tremendous numbers of people daily. And I recognize that, although my tax dollars subsidise your service, you are above all a business that must generate a profit margin. As a result, I am willing to look the other way at the bumping/jarring/lurching ride, frequent delays, unreliable schedules, too hot (summer)/too cold (winter) stations, and lack of personnel to assist me when I require help. However, since I am paying $4 for a return trip, which is far beyond anything I have ever paid in all my years of using public transportation, could you somehow manage to clean your trains/buses/stations more frequently? I am tired when I get home after a long day of work, and exhausted after arriving at my doorstep subsequent to using your service. So I would appreciate it if I did not have to wash my attire every other day once home due to the lack of cleanliness in your facilities. In fact, while I am asking, could I humbly request that when
  1. the metrocard reader deducts too much money from my card, you provide me with a refund at the given station versus requiring me to mail the card in to you? After all, since you are costing me a substantial amount of money already, must you add insult to injury by costing me more time and a stamp as well?
  2. the train conductors make announcements, they do so clearly and at a level that is neither ear-shattering nor audible only to dogs?

To My Fellow Transit Riders:

Like you, I am tired, hungry, and quite possibly in a bad mood. I understand therefore your general demeanour. However, we are all required to share the same little train car/bus and narrow train platform. To that end, could you please avoid:
  • Banging others in the head/arms/chest/legs with your bag
  • Playing your music at a volume that prevents others from enjoying their own iTunes collection
  • Sloshing others with your coffee/tea/breakfast/lunch/dinner
  • Spreading your legs so that you occupy part of another person's seat
  • Sneezing/coughing directly in someone's face (it is flu season!)
  • Stamping on people's feet in an attempt to garner more space
  • Letting your child run amok (swinging around/from poles, banging into adults without an apology, climbing over other passengers, etc.)
  • Keeping your knapsack/packages on a chair when all other seats are taken
  • Refusing to acknowledge an elderly, pregnant or physically incapacitated passenger who needs a seat
  • Having a deafening conversation on your cell phone (we are only a few inches from you, and value our hearing!)
  • Acting like the train/bus is your apartment (stretching out across several chairs, cutting your nails, combing your hair and then cleaning the hair off the brush, etc.)
A favourite phrase of mine is "We're all sharing the planet, people". And I am a firm believer in public transportation being a viable alternative to driving everywhere. But please, let us all just remember that in order to help the environment by taking transit, we need to first help each other have a pleasant ride.

1 comment:

  1. It’s sure hard NOT to notice all the trash everywhere: It’s amazing to see how much trash people would just leave in the seats at the stations and on the cars. And not just newspapers and empty shopping bags either. There are wrappers, food waste, cans or bottles all over the floors and seats on both the trains and the stations. Kind of strange, since there are trash cans to be found---do people really just not bother taking their stuff a few feet to the trash cans?