Riders this week: 9,999
Rider miles this week: 86,412
DOWN IN THE TUBE
Basketball star Jason Kidd, who just bought a home in the Hamptons, was seen straphanging in a car heading to Southampton from Water Mill talking to Justin Bieber. We couldn’t hear what they were saying over the clickety clack, but perhaps Kidd was trying to persuade Bieber to buy a house in the Hamptons too. Kidd, by the way, is regular-sized, not giant-sized, which is the usual for a basketball player. They tell us it’s because he plays the position of guard which requires that he be just a regular height—it has something to do with guarding somebody.
The new stop at Georgica, between East Hampton and Sagaponack, has been dripping water coming down from the ceiling onto the tracks and platform ever since it was tunneled out. Finally, now, the cause has been found. Larry Penny, Natural Resources Director of East Hampton Town has discovered that the excavation for this new stop is directly under wetlands just inland from the western shores of Georgica Pond. Discussions are underway about what to do about this. It appears it may be necessary to tunnel out the station 20 feet further into the ground so it is way below the wetlands. This might necessitate the folks who use Georgica Station to take two escalator rides down to get to the platform rather than one. It will also, for those on the trains, be downhill approaching the station from either direction and uphill going the other way.
PLANS FOR PRESIDENT’S DAY
Dead Presidents Day may be a month away but Hampton Subway is hard at work preparing for that holiday, which will involve the public’s participation.
What we plan to do is buy 100 rubber masks of each President this country has had—the total is 44—so that we have 4,400 such masks to give out to subway riders on the morning of Presidents Day. All who participate—we usually have about 10,000 riders a day so if half agree this will work—will be asked to slip this mask over their heads and ride the subway around the system as this President at least once before getting off at their stop. They then get to keep the mask. Thus it will be possible to have all our Presidents mixed up with regular passengers for several hours during the morning rush on our cars, won’t that be fun! After that, Presidents going off to their jobs or places of work, striding proudly, showing themselves off as Calvin Coolidge or William Henry Harrison or Ulysses S. Grant. What better way to celebrate Presidents Day?
This is the brainchild of our new Public Relations Director, Frank Jefferson Ott, who comes to us after an extended vacation from his longtime association as a trader in the offices of Bernie Madoff’s super secret high interest- bearing money management firm.
DELAYS DUE TO BICYCLE RACKS
There was a three-hour delay last Monday beginning at 7 a.m. when the subway system opened for the day. We deeply regret this. After last week’s decision by management to allow bicycles onto the subway as long as they are placed in the racks provided, subcontractors made three dozen racks which, due to a misunderstanding, were not bolted to the platform so riders could lock them up during the day, but bolted to the top of the subway cars as roof racks so the bicycles could accompany the riders to their destinations.
It soon became apparent, however, as bicyclist after bicyclist hauled their bikes up into the racks, that this was not going to work. Most bicycles up there were low enough in the racks to fit under the ceilings of the subway tunnels, at least barely, but sure enough, some of the larger and fancier bikes stuck up just a little too far. Over a 20-minute period, 17 of our beloved subway cars ripped off their racks, destroyed the ceiling light fixtures and mangled all the bicycles, much to the chagrin of our service department, which immediately had to send crews out to deal with these disasters all through the system. Not to worry, though, if you lost your bicycle. We are fully insured for just such problems. Just fill out a form about the value of your bicycle and you will be reimbursed, even jump up the dollar value if you want—consider it pain and suffering—nobody is really going to notice.
COMMISSIONER ASPINALL’S MESSAGE
I recently signed a renewal of our contract with the Subway Restaurant Chain so they will continue to be down there selling their sandwiches on the platforms for another year. I did ask, as many straphangers had asked me to, for them to put on their menu some of the fine soups that they sell, but I was informed that considering the jiggling of the trains as they went around the system, this might make a mess of things. They were quite right about this, keeping soup off their menu. I learn something new every day. But try the turkey and brie sandwich. It’s my favorite and I highly recommend it.