the adventures of yoshi

Planning your ultimate MTA subway ride and exit strategy…

Posted in Food for Thought by yoshi on October 12, 2011

I’m sure many of you New Yorkers (and subway/train riders around the world in general) are like me when about to board the train. One MUST be tactful in choosing their “travel” spot for the duration of their trip.

For example, here are a few things that come into my mind before and after entering the train car, in order of thought process:

  1. Approximate where the train will stop so you can be right in front of the sliding doors when they open, this way you can be the first to enter and claim your seat and or pole position (please view Figure 1.0 below)

    Figure 1.0 - notice how these individuals have placed themselves in anticipation of the train =P

  2. Upon entry, if there are no seats available, scan quickly for other options. Since I do not like holding on to any hand of those germified poles, I try to lean up against the sliding door (without my backside on the actual door since the warning sticker forbids it) and wedge myself against the seat and the door. HOWEVER, you should always lean up against the door that will rarely open during your trip because you don’t want to always have to move aside to let new passengers in, plus it’s just rude to stand in the way. (please view Figure 2.0)

    Figure 2.0 - I actually angle my body in the corner

  3. If I am unable to secure a spot by the door, I will then reach for one of those vertical poles… with 2 fingers (I figure its more sanitary with less appendages holding on?)
  4. If I’m stuck reaching for one of the horizontal poles right above the seats, I try to scout who might be getting off at the next stop or two so I can take their seat when they get off. So, does that mean I “profile” who to stand in front of based on attire and perhaps race? Well yea, I’m not gonna lie! Usually that old Asian woman will be getting off at Canal or Grand St… just sayin’. Case in point: I was on the Q train riding from Manhattan to Brooklyn when two non-Asian girls came on. I had my headphones on (however, my iPod had just died, I just put my earphones on as a safety to ignore all the crazy people that try to talk to me on the street and/or train), and I overheard one girl tell the other, “Yo, stay in front of this Asian chick, she’s gonna get off at Canal St.,” to which my head shot up thinking “Oh are they really talking about me right now?!” I politely replied, I’m not getting off until Parkside Ave. and they both looked mortified that I heard them. I couldn’t really be mad at them because, hell, I would have done the SAME thing (I just wouldn’t have been so freakin’ loud about it!)
  5. Now, I have a pickle to pick (wait, is that the right term? I don’t think it is) with the MTA for those absurdly high poles in the middle of some of these trains. When the train is packed, and someone short like me is trying to hold on for dear life, how do you expect me to reach that high one? Not only that, but tall people don’t even use these! What gives?! (please view Figure 3.0)

    Figure 3.0 - I CANNOT reach that, and no one even uses those rails! WTH! #waste

  6. Exit strategy. The key is getting out of the train where less people are leaving, know where the nearest exit gate is and see if you can exit out through the next door over, chances are, more people will want to exit out the door nearest the subway exit, so you’ll be better off getting out through the next door over and bypassing the traffic =)

Now, if you need something to help guide your ultimate subway riding experience, you can actually download an iPhone app called “Exit Strategy NYC” (which I stumbled upon googling images for this post lmao!). Pretty awesome and on point, but it’s $4.99 – no thanks. **I STAND CORRECTED, MY OLD BOSS SAID IT’S A LIFESAVER. BECAUSE I LISTEN TO HER ALL THE TIME, I WILL GO AHEAD AND PUT MY 2 THUMBS UP BEHIND THIS APP AND WILL INSTALL IT. HOPEFULLY IT WILL SAVE ME TIME WHEN I’M RUNNING LATE FOR AN APPT =)**


Happy riding!

Tried looking at old photos to find some pics of me on a damn train... this was the only one I found! Holy old school!

2 Responses

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  1. angeerah said, on October 12, 2011 at 9:06 PM

    hilarious. It’s only $3.99 and yes talk to me a few weeks after you’ve used the app.

  2. Celine said, on October 28, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    I love love love that you wrote #5. When a taller person hogs that middle pole while I have to stand on tippy toes to reach the high bar, I have to restrain myself from tapping them on the shoulder and yelling, “Are you serious?!?” MTA subway rides — always an adventure!

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