Earlier this week on the way to work, a Metropolitan Transit Authority worker handed me an official MTA report card to fill out regarding the A train.
They asked all kinds of fun questions about things like delays, cleanliness and security and you rate them from unsatisfactory to excellent.
Apparently you can fill it out online like pictured above, but I filled out my paper one and mailed it (pre-paid postage) to the MTA folks... though the actual mailing address was some contractor/consultant in Maryland, since apparently New York City and state have nobody who can analyze surveys.
I'm sure some school, and we have plenty around here, would love to analyze the info for the MTA at a rock bottom price. I wonder how much they're paying for the surveys to be analyzed in Maryland, especially since the MTA is apparently beyond broke (facing a 2009 budget deficit of around $1.2 billion). It looks like they're going to be raising fares, making a lot of service cuts and adding some new tolls and such in the near future. Awesome...
As for the survey, it conveniently avoided any of the topics that are the biggest issues with the A train, like constant service changes and disruptions on the weekend and unreliability late at night.
Seriously, nearly every weekend the line is always whacked out, especially seemingly always having to take a shuttle bus instead of the train for part of the route (and the buses rarely show up). One time, we had been waiting a good while (and some angry other people had already been waiting a while when we got there) at the stop near my apartment, and the shuttle bus stopped a little before us and the driver got a hot dog from a vendor and just chilled there... 15 minutes later another shuttle bus came and stopped at the same hot dog vendor and had a little pow-wow with the other driver. The second bus eventually came and picked us up. It was a special kind of ridiculous.
The paper version of the survey was obviously not going through a scantron or anything, so I made sure to write my thoughts, in depth, on those issues in any white space I could find on the form... who knows, maybe I'll go ahead and write a letter about them to the MTA folks. Customer letters are always fun.
Also, one of the recent news stories around here is like a little taste of home - a teacher allegedly slept with her student somewhere in Jersey.
I know that teacher-student sex scandals happen everywhere (heck, I covered part of the trial for one that happened in a town of like 2,000), but the Tampa Bay area does seem to have more than its fair share. The Tampa Tribune has a fun little special section on the issue... though sadly I'm sure there are many, many incidents not listed...
We're just proud as punch...
And for the heck of it... some Overheard in New York from the A train:
Chick #1: What is your middle name?
Chick #2: I don't want to tell you.
Chick #1: Why won't you tell me what your middle name is? I showed you a picture of me naked!
Chick #2: That is so not the same. Your naked picture is on the Internet. Anyone can see it!
Mid-30s guy two seats away: I'm sorry, but what's the address of that website?
Conductor: This is West Fourth Street. Transfer is available to the A, C, E, F, and V trains.
Four-year-old girl: Mommy, he doesn't sing his ABCs right.
Mom: That's because he didn't go to college.