Sunday, March 02, 2008

Mass Transit

My first ride today on a NJ Transit double decker rail car. I went up to the second level. Lower level windows were nearly flush with the station platform. Seats both sides arranged in twos, eliminating the third middle seat that more often than not was used for baggage storage on crowded trains. Smooth ride until we crossed over some switches approaching Newark Penn Station, the swaying definitely exaggerated. Good reason to sit on the lower level if you're reading. I feel sorry for the conductors, who now have to go up & down two flights of steps after every station stop.

On the same day PATH fares went up 25 cents, Port Authority eliminated the cash fare turnstiles. So occasional PATH riders like myself were stuck in long lines for the ticket machine. I purchased a single fare ticket since I wasn't sure if I would be returning via PATH, & the two hour time limit on single fare prevented me from sticking an extra one in my wallet, as I sometimes do with train tix, & I didn't know if there was time limit on the two ride card. The Hispanic woman in line ahead of me was totally befuddled, kept working through the steps until she punched in $2, at which point the machine wasn't doing what she expected. I tried asking her how many tickets she was trying to buy. Finally, she held up two fingers. I said you can't buy two tickets with $2. Flustered, she kindly stepped aside. Hopefully, some Spanish speaker was able to explain it all to her.

A lesson in courtesy: After stepping into the elevator at Exchange Place, I heard someone running down the hall so I held the door. I never do this during busy hours, as you could be waiting there while 20 people crowd in. An attractive young oriental lady entered, smiled & said thank you very much. She hurried up Montgomery Street, just catching her connecting trolley. She would've missed it had I let the elevator door close.


Watch the movie "Sliding Doors" and you'll see what happens when a woman misses the train.
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