Introducing the Second Avenue Subway. Almost 100 years in the making, New York City's Q train will now leave 57th St. and 7th Avenue and go uptown on the East Side, stopping at Lexington and 63rd and then 2nd Avenue at 72nd, 86th and 96th, as part of Phase One. The new subway stations feature art installations as well, including artist Vik Muniz’s “Perfect Strangers”, which depicts two men, Thor Stockman and Patrick Kellogg, a married couple who are shown holding hands.
"With neighborhoods in Brooklyn along the L line — among the city’s busiest subway routes — in anguish over losing their train to Manhattan for 18 months, New Yorkers living in so-called subway deserts have a message: Welcome to the club." [more inside]
Why New York Subway Lines Are Missing Countdown Clocks. Here is an engaging yet fairly thorough and technical explanation of the signal system(s) used in the NYC Subway (SLAtlantic) [more inside]
But as the city transformed into an exceedingly safe and exceedingly expensive place to live over the past two decades, it’s not only the crime and the pervasive decay that have fallen away, but the close proximity, creating a social commute that echoes and exacerbates a work commute that, at more than six hours a week, is the longest in the nation. People have always traveled to see their friends, of course, but rarely has it been so frequent or far to qualify as a commuteThe Social Commute: How the Big Schlep Is Changing the Way New Yorkers Live
A Guinness World Record Diary: Dr. Strangeline, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying About the Amateur New York Subway Riding Committee and Love the MTA
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NY Magazine picks the 22 Ingenious Ways to Improve the Subway from this tumblr list (some more practical than others).
Darius McCollum was recently arrested in New York for stealing a Trailways bus. Evidently he drove the bus to a Manhattan hotel where he picked up a flight crew and drove them to JFK Airport. On the way back to a New Jersey bus depot, he was pulled over by the cops. This wasn't the first time Mr. McCollum was arrested while (unlawfully) transporting the public. In fact, it was the 29th time. [more inside]
If you've ever wanted to know the history of each of Toronto's streetcar lines, how to identify different TTC subway trains, the chronology of Toronto's Christmas-painted buses, or really anything else you can think of (and more) about Toronto's transit system: Transit Toronto is an unofficial but fantastically detailed site about the TTC. [more inside]
Paris Metro's cheaters say solidarity is the ticket. Scofflaws who jump the turnstiles or enter through the exits of the Paris public transit system have formed mutuelles des fraudeurs — insurance funds that pay the fine if they get caught.
NextBus uses GPS to tell you the predicted time of the next bus. Google maps show buses in real time, and you can get updates on your phone/PDA. The coverage is limited to certain agencies within the US, so these other sites might be useful: Hopstop covers subways and buses in NYC, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, DC, and more. (mobile version) Google Transit has many US metro areas in addition to Canada, Europe, and Japan. (previously) Many more locations inside. [more inside]
The Boys and the Subway A father's artistic account of his sons' love of the NYC subway system.
I know a man who once went to Sioux City, not one of the world’s leading destinations, precisely because he had never been there before. More than a decade later he still talks about the experience, from the Sergeant Floyd obelisk to the dog track of North Sioux and the meat packing plant converted to a shopping mall. The same impulse explains a non-specialist’s reading a history of Byzantine iconography or a survey of Australian wildlife. Both offer a break in daily life and an enlargement of our sense of wonder and possibility. That awareness can provide a sense of transcendence, and connection, or even the spark of divine discontent that leads people to change their lives.Reading as Vacation, an essay by J. D. Smith and Subway Reader, pictures of people who read while using public transportation.
Fabulous images of the Moscow Metro underground, also known as "the people's palaces". Click "M"s on the entry map to view gorgeous (often architecturally surreal) panoramic images, and visit the picture gallery for sweet details. Via Jorgen at Viewropa.
Ping Pong Pang Pong ... (MIDI file). Archives of public transport departure chimes and announcements. From Japan, MIDI files [+] [+] (via Boingboing) and live recordings [+] [+] of various elaborate tunes (no I don't speak Japanese, just keep clicking the blue links until you hit an MP3!). European recordings [+]. The very excellent Shonen Knife used a sample of the Osaka subway chimes in their rockin' cover version of the Carpenter's 'Top of the World.' (WFMU archive here, click "Hear the show", song starts with Osaka chimes at approximately 15:23)
More senseless killing, boys and girls: an Arson in a South Korean subway. "With 135 people injured, many seriously, and at least 90 people listed as missing, officials say they expect the death toll to rise much higher." This will, no doubt, help in stabilizing the region.