Tuesday, February 17, 2009

New York and Washington: A Tale of Two Subways

We were in NYC this weekend for a get-away weekend. Our travels from our Upper Westside Hotel (Hotel Beacon -- strongly recommend) to Brooklyn and in between reminded me how terrific -- and getting better -- the NY subway system is. People may grouse about the crowds, but at $2 a trip and frequent trains running all day it's a real bargain. And someone has been sprucing up the stations, so a trip downtown becomes a feast of preserved classical subway style and whimsical new art. I compare this experience to Washington's Metro -- cold in style, and charging by the mile. Of course, at least DC has a Metro. We in the outer suburbs of Laurel can only mourn the shadow of what was once an hourly train service between Baltimore and Washington. On Inauguration day my "special" train was at Union Station in 25 minutes -- a good 20 minutes shorter than a car would have taken. NJ and Pennsylvania also benefit from frequent train service-but DC's suburbs haven't figured out that lots of service that people could actually use conveniently would bring ridership -- and use existing rail lines (surely this might be the time for CSX to yield a little). Anyway: that's my thought for today.
And PS: Special thanks to husband who arranged for flowers to be delivered to our hotel room. You romantic guy!