Week of October 13-19, 2011
Riders this week: 11,001
Rider miles this week: 93,824
DOWN IN THE TUBE
Bob Balaban was seen standing in a full, wall-to-wall-people subway car in Amagansett heading for Montauk last Saturday. He was editing a script on the back of an obliging passenger next to him. Susan Sarandon was seen, also on Saturday, on a subway between Bridgehampton heading for Sag Harbor, reading a script. Was this the same script? Alec Baldwin was seen four times in six days on the subway system. He is simply everywhere.
NEW SUBWAY CARS NOT USEABLE
Seven new solar-panel-powered, fully air-conditioned, state-of-the-art subway cars arrived here from the Coach Werks Carriage Coach Company in Des Moines, Iowa, last Thursday. All the employees from the main office in Hampton Bays were given half a day off to go out to the Montauk Yards to admire them. They really are state-of-the-art.
The original order called for the solar panels to come separately, so they could be mounted on poles at quarter mile intervals 15 feet above the tunnels, some on public, some on private property. Whatever. We had applied to the towns for permission to do this. However, as cafeteria lunch lady Agnes Voluminous pointed out, the solar panels all seemed to be riveted to the roofs of the subway cars where they would do no good. It’s all underground. Management is looking into this discrepancy. Meanwhile the cars now sit out in the barbed wire enclosed Montauk Yards, taking in the sunshine, and some of the mechanics there periodically turn them on to run the engines and get rid of the stored-up solar energy. Too bad they are not in service as they run fine.
GAP PROBLEM TO BE FIXED
As you probably know, the State Transportation System requires that when there is a gap of more than 10 inches between the doors of a subway car and a platform, work has to be done to reduce the size of it. Hampton Subway was built in 1932 to rigid specifications and has no large gaps of that order. But last week, an incident occurred at our Southampton Station that convinces us to build out any platform to no more than three inches.
Mrs. Marjorie “Pops” Bartholomew, a well-known character in Southampton, uses the subway every day and rides it carrying her little toy poodle, Muffie, in a canvas bag. The token booth clerks tell all the riders to look out for Muffie. They even post signs in the windows of their booths about the dog. She bites.
On Monday, Muffie jumped out of her bag just as Pops was boarding an eastbound local at the Southampton Station, ran around and around on the platform biting people, and then while trying to return to her master fell in the five-inch gap between the subway door and the platform. You could hear her barking and growling down there for awhile, and then she appeared out front—the motorman was not moving the train until this was resolved—where she saw the third rail gleaming silver, ran over to it, and before anybody could help her (not that anyone could without being bitten), growled and then chomped on the rail and exploded in a shower of sparks and fur.
We are saddened by Pop’s loss and a collection is being taken up by the subway system at each token booth to buy her a new biting toy poodle. Give what you can.
COMMISSIONER ASPINALL’S MESSAGE
Hampton Subway has been served papers by the Coach Werks Carriage Coach Company of Des Moines, Iowa, demanding payment of the $4.2 million they say we owe them for delivering seven new solar-paneled subway cars. We fully deny the allegations of all these outrageous charges and will see them in court. You can’t charge for something that you deliver with solar panels when you know that this something operates underground in the dark. What is the matter with these people?