Life in New York: Snarky Letter to New York City Transit

NOTE:  This is a real letter that I actually wrote and mailed to the New York City MTA.  Yes, I had the nerve to do this!

Rear End of Standing New York Subway Rider Facing Sitting
Passenger Taking This Picture
May 21, 2016

MTA New York City Transit
2 Broadway
New York, NY 10004


First, let me say that I have been riding the New York City subways for many years, and I usually manage to get from one place to another without anything more than the usual aggravations, such as no available seats, squealy brakes and baby carriages in the doorways.

This afternoon was another story.  Trying to get around the city on a weekend can be an adventure.  My trip this afternoon was a prime example.  Unfortunately, this was one transportation adventure that I would have preferred not to have on a Saturday afternoon or any other time.

Under ordinary circumstances, a trip from the AMC Loews theater on 68th Street to my home in The Bronx involves nothing more than getting on an IRT No. 1 train and staying on it until I get to 231st Street.  This afternoon, the last stop on that train was 137th Street, and we all had to get off and wait for a shuttle bus.

When the shuttle buses came – two of them, one right after another – I found out that they only went as far as 168th Street.  I asked one of the TA employees who were there how to get to 231st Street, and was told that I would have to get off the bus at 168th Street, take an A train to 207th Street, then take another bus the rest of the way.

If you have been following this, you realize that this meant taking two (2) trains and two (2) really slow buses for a trip that should only be a short jaunt on the IRT No. 1.

The thought of going through all that just to take what should be an easy trip made this senior citizen go, “ACK!”  I decided, instead, to take the shuttle bus to 168th Street, then take an Uber car home from there.  I have attached the receipt that Uber emailed to me.  Taking the Uber increased the cost of my trip by $17.25 plus the tip I gave to the driver.  (Insert angry emoticon here.)

I realize that it is necessary to do repair work on our train tracks and in the stations, and that it is better to do as much of that as possible on weekends, to avoid causing problems for people who ride the trains to work.  I also realize that this means occasional disruptions in weekend service.

Today’s situation, however, was ridiculous.

I suggest that the next time the TA has to do extensive track work on the IRT No. 1 on a weekend, that you at least provide shuttle bus service all the way to the Van Cortlandt Park stop at 242nd Street, which is the last stop on the No. 1 train.  That is not ideal, but it’s better than having to take 2 trains and 2 buses to get from Lincoln Center to The Bronx.

Thank you.


Kathy Minicozzi


Ummm . . . yikes! Makes me happy for my little one-horse village! No trains. No buses. and you can walk across it in twenty minutes! Of course we have nothing like AMC Loews Theatre . . .
Kathy's World said…
I grew up in a small town like yours. We were only a couple of miles, though, from a city. The city wasn't big, but it did have a large shopping district and a couple of movie theaters. There were no trains, but the city did have buses.

It seems that back in the days of the Old West our small town was the center of things. Then the railroad came along, bypassed our town and established a stop, instead, in a nearby town, which then grew into the city I mentioned above. The older residents of our little town must have gotten an earful of that story when they were kids, because they never forgot it and never really forgave the railroad!

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