5.9 million people on average ride the MTA daily. That’s almost six million pairs of shoes walking up and down the hundreds of platforms that make up our beloved New York City subway, accidentally or purposefully dropping trash and more. Just imagine what is under every single sneaker, sandal, high heel, loafer and boot. It will take more than just a few Swiffer pads to get all of that out. So how does the MTA clean up the subways?
Though not on the MTA website yet, the Second Avenue Subway line has been added to the subway map contained with the May 2016 MTA Board Action Items document released on Wednesday. The line is expected to open in December this year and there would be a few changes as a result, including a resurrection of the W line. Currently, the Q goes from Astoria-Ditmars Blvd to Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue.
Things are certainly moving forward with New York City’s Citywide Ferry, scheduled to open in Summer 2017. First, a new web portal was released last week and today the NYCEDC released renderings for the new ferry landings. Although some of the stops will be familiar to those that know the East River Ferry or Water Taxi services, there will be new stops like Soundview in the Bronx, along the east side of Manhattan at 90th Street, 62nd Street, and Grand Street, in the Rockaways, in Bay Ridge, and two in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Sure, the Chinese community in New York City has their dollar vans that run between neighborhoods like Chinatown, Sunset Park and Flushing. But the Hasidic Jewish neighborhoods take the ethnic-defined bus to a new level – the B-110 bus looks like a municipal bus (though the buses themselves come from the Fairfax Connector in Virginia) and operates under a franchise with the city.
The B-110 bus is operated by Private Transportation Corporation, which doesn’t take any subsidies from the city. The route goes from Williamsburg and Borough Park and by law, anyone can take it, but the buses are wrapped in Yiddish writing. It also costs more than an MTA fare at $3.25.
While most of us complain about the subway commute (too crowded, too slow, you name it), Thomas C. Knox, a business specialist at Apple, has been using it as an opportunity to meet new people and transform the otherwise “monotonous and inhospitable commute.” And, to get people off their smartphones and interacting with each other.
His project, Date While You Wait which began as a Kickstarter campaign, sounds romantic but is more about the serendipitous connections that can be made, just by changing the social architecture of the subway platform. Setting up a round table and two folding chairs on subway platforms all over New York City’ (even in some of the most crowded stations like Penn Station), people sit down to chat, play a game while they wait, even play some music.
In March, we took a deep dive into the Citywide Ferry system that will open (partially) in the summer of 2017, the first citywide ferry in one hundred years. Yesterday, the NYCEDC and Hornblower, the selected operator of the ferry system, launched an official website in advance of the launch. The Citywide Ferry system will have a total of six routes, which will run in addition to the existing East River Ferry. The price however, will be the same as a Metrocard swipe ($2.75). Through the new website, you can explore the routes and see how long segments will take.