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How to Be a New Yorker: Surviving the MTA

via NY Daily News

For most people, the MTA has g2g. Delays, inconvenient service, and lingering construction, are only a few of the multitude of problems New Yorkers have to deal with on a daily basis. Subway and bus schedules have been messed up for a long time, and it seems that the problems are getting worse really quick.

The MTA is also expecting everyone to be okay with hikes in fares, but it’s truly the opposite. If we are paying more to ride the MTA, the service and experience should be much better. There is absolutely nothing positive about riding the MTA. None of the workers make an outward effort that shows they even care. I have seen MTA workers straight up ignore people asking them questions, or giving vague answers before walking away.

We need to demand a change. Something has to happen for the MTA to get their shit together and figure out a plan that works. Being late to everything because of the train, and having train rides last double the time than they normally should, is not okay. The MTA is just one of the problems that New Yorkers have to deal with on a daily basis, and eventually, we’re going to get tired of just “dealing” with it. Here are some ways to handle the increasing problems of the stressful MTA:

Sigh a lot and often

Nothing lets people know you’re frustrated better than audibly sighing out. Like George Costanza faking exasperation so he always looks busy, you can get your message across by sighing. Rolling your eyes and shaking your head are good accompaniments. There is no better time to sign than being on a crowded train car. Having to stand on the train is bad enough, but it all escalates when you’re met by a stranger’s armpit if you turn your head to the right. And if you find someone who will also sigh with you, the more the better.

Don’t get on the empty car

When the train comes barreling past and your hair gets blown in the dry, heated exhaust from the belly of the beast, it’s natural to start scanning the train cars. As they pass, and you see people packed in, pressed against complete strangers and leaning on the doors we always get warned not to lean against, an empty car looks out of the ordinary and kind of like a blessing. DON’T get on this one. And for good reason. Most of the time, the smell when you step on will let you know why it’s empty.

Perfect your head tilt 

When you’re on the subway, and it’s moving right along, you might be feeling great and thinking, “wow, I’m actually going to be on time.” But you’re wrong. As quickly as the train might be moving, it could slow down and come to a stop just the same. And when the train stops and the engine momentarily shuts off, that’s the cue that an announcement is about to be made. But the problem is, nobody has told the train conductors that they need to stop rustling papers into the microphone as they speak. They also don’t know the meaning of annunciation, so we should help them out. I’ve found that directing my ear at a certain angle towards the speaker will help me pick up at least two keywords. Then I could piece in the rest to string together the announcement. The right head tilt will give you a chance to somewhat hear sounds that should be words.

Avoid that sticky looking puddle

Yes, that’s urine. Or maybe vomit. Or another bodily fluid we don’t need to know about. The MTA graciously allows people to use the floor as their own personal bathroom. Talk about convenience. So do yourself a favor, and watch where you step. The suction sounds of your shoes on the subway floor is unmistakable, and you don’t want to be that guy.

Set your clocks back an hour 

Everyone knows you have to give yourself time to take public transportation. If your destination is half an hour away, it would make sense to give yourself at least an hour traveling time. But if you leave an EXTRA hour early, you might make it to your destination on time. You will experience delays on the MTA 11/10 times. And don’t forget to sigh at the announcements they play, urging you to give yourself ample travel time. Sure, we’ll adjust our schedules because the MTA can’t get theirs together.

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