How the Subway Has Changed

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How the Subway Has Changed

Taking the Subway used to be the best method for getting around New York City. At times it wasn’t always the safest, but it sure was reliable. Getting from Point A to Point B took a specific amount of time, and you knew exactly how long to plan for in your travels. When smartphones and apps came into being, it suddenly became easier than ever to play your trip properly. I even used to use an app that would tell me where on the train platform to wait so that I would be in the best position when exiting off the train. Such a time saver! But alas, that app closed down (who’s ever even heard of an app closing, anyway?). from what I remember, I think Apple might have bought it and then shut it down so as to not compete with its other features. How rude, Apple. How rude!

So the Subway used to be pretty reliable. But when I went back to visit NYC two summers ago, I was in for the surprise from hell. The train stopped. All. The. Time. And not just for a few seconds. But for at least a few minutes, if not longer. How was I supposed to get to my destination in a timely fashion with this constant disturbance? It became really bad. Plus, traveling via Subway is never the most fun in the hot, humid summer. Typically there is air conditioning involved, but even just waiting for the train in the ventilation-less station is enough to make anyone feel a bit sick. Luckily, by the time I went back this summer the trains seemed to be working much better. However, I’m still nervous and skeptical. Are they reliable? Are they not? The world may never know.

You used to have to pay for trains with tokens, until MetroCards were invented. They’re much easier and more manageable to use. And there have been other improvements to the train system as well. For instance, many stations in Manhattan now have wifi, which means that you can get service much more often now. This is great, since taking the Subway used to mean committing to an hour of being incommunicado. But now, there’s no need to worry about that. You’re reachable all the time. Also, many train platforms will now tell you how many minutes you will need to wait until the next train arrives. This alleviates a lot of anxiety. Plus, typically when you start hearing a train pulling into the station, everyone will peak to see which one it is. Now there’s no need in many stations, since you can know ahead of time when to expect your train. This is especially helpful if you’ve managed to snag a seat in the station and don’t want to be constantly getting up and risking your place. We should all feel thankful for all of the changes.

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