"...when all of the subway cars are connected, every car is a poop car."
July 18, 2016 1:26 PM   Subscribe

 
In addition to new lighting, Hakim detailed that new station entrances (goodbye green globes) will have "street-level service announcements, so customers will know, before they enter, what the service level is on a particular line."

That's great! What a wonderful development!

Hakim said that the new cars will allow more commuters to fit onto each train, where they'll be able to "freely traverse the length of the subway car."

now, That One Sparsely-Populated Smelly Car will become the whole thing
posted by Greg Nog at 1:30 PM on July 18, 2016


no_escape_poop_car.php
posted by griphus at 1:31 PM on July 18, 2016 [19 favorites]


Ok Toronto Mefites, what's your experience with open ended subway cars been like? On paper they seem unwise. It's been fine when I've been visiting Toronto, but that's a small data set.
posted by LegallyBread at 1:33 PM on July 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


the best part of the article is how someone somewhere believes that the 2nd avenue subway will be finished by this upcoming december, like a christmas miracle
posted by poffin boffin at 1:35 PM on July 18, 2016 [10 favorites]


But what will I do with my (relatively newly discovered) superhuman ability to choose the singular car on any given set of 6 trains without operating air conditioning?
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 1:35 PM on July 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


That is the flip side of the whole train becoming the smelly car, right? its that the formerly sweltering car with failing AC is now supported (however weakly) by the functioning units in the now-connected cars?
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 1:36 PM on July 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Why do they seem unwise on paper? They're great. For like the first two years they were running (when they were being phased in so you might get a new train or an old train), I swear my heart skipped a beat every time a new train pulled into the station. They're big. Roomy. They feel less crowded. If the train comes before you get to the part of the station you want to be at (say the station exit where you're getting off is at the front of the train, but you were at the middle when the train came) you can just get on wherever, and move to the part of the train you want to get off at.

Poop cars must be a NYC thing.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 1:37 PM on July 18, 2016 [23 favorites]


Also, no more getting away from creepy dudes or loud arguments without changing trains
posted by Countess Elena at 1:37 PM on July 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


The renderings are eerily reminiscent of Vancouver's SkyTrain, but hopefully the contracts won't go to Bombardier, because then NYC will never get a new subway.
posted by majuju at 1:38 PM on July 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Based on how those public LINK NYC terminals are being used those subway stop USB ports will be utilized exclusively by guys having a one man K-hole rave wearing nothing but cargo shorts watching the same EDM video on a loop.
posted by The Whelk at 1:38 PM on July 18, 2016 [12 favorites]


But what will I do with my (relatively newly discovered) superhuman ability to choose the singular car on any given set of 6 trains without operating air conditioning?

ONE WEIRD TRICK MY GRANDMOTHER TAUGHT ME: always get in the same car with the conductor. That one will almost always be air conditioned.
posted by griphus at 1:38 PM on July 18, 2016 [16 favorites]


europen here.
connected carts are awsome
posted by thegirlwiththehat at 1:39 PM on July 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


how do they prevent kids in heelies from zooming up and down the full length of the train

also just hypothetically do heelies exist in adult sizes
posted by poffin boffin at 1:41 PM on July 18, 2016 [39 favorites]


One advantage is that open articulated trains look really awesome from the inside when they go around turns. It's like Inception on your morning commute.
posted by teponaztli at 1:42 PM on July 18, 2016 [46 favorites]


From the comments
---
Every time Cuomo opens his mouth I get a rage attack.

This is not a patch job. Patch jobs are a waste of money.

How is this not a patch job? You're just putting lipstick on a pig. The signals and tunnels haven't changed.

My daughters were home for the weekend," Cuomo said on Monday. "They came up to Westchester and I got the lecture about the MTA. I keep telling them 'Call Tom [Prendergast, MTA Chairman], call Tom, leave dad alone


As the author points out the funding comes from Cuomo and doesn't Cuomo also appoint the head of the MTA
Fuck this guy.

---

Wait- hang on Lead Asshole Cuomo - does that mean you've approved a shit-ton of money to rebuild the system? Because some new trains is neither a patch-job nor a complete overhaul. This is just fancier brass for the Titanic.

---

Now every car can be the poop car.

---

Connected cars work fantastic in places like Tokyo where you don't have homeless people building shit/trash igloos at the ends of cars or around benches. Given that NYPD seems to do nothing about this this certainly won't be an improvement.
---
I actually look forward to an emergency braking situation where objects and living objects pile up in the first car after traveling the length of the train.
posted by lalochezia at 1:42 PM on July 18, 2016 [5 favorites]


I don't travel late at night very often these days, but I haven't noticed any problems on the open-ended District Line or London Overground trains in London. People might even be less likely to poop when there's no privacy and anyone else in the train can see you. There's more room overall, you can move down more easily if you see more space further along, you don't have to get trapped in a little cluster if you've run for the nearest door. They're OK, maybe a bit less cosy in those circumstances when you want that.

Not sure if people who feel vulnerable feel any safer with more visibility and an escape route.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 1:42 PM on July 18, 2016


Also, no more getting away from creepy dudes or loud arguments without changing trains

I think you mean, no more waiting for a station to move away from creepy dudes and loud arguments. Don't like where you are? Get up and move. I think you're all imagining that suddenly one becomes aware of and is interacting with the whole train just because it's one car. The train is very very long. If I'm at the front of car A, I don't think I'd be aware of an argument at the end of car B, especially if it's crowded. And I can move way farther than one car away if I want to.

Also, the one car really equalizes the crowd across the length of the train. Like the front of Westbound trains always empties out at Dundas West (cause that's where the Dundas West exit is). But the back empties out later (don't remember where). If they were running the open trains on that line, then the whole train would be equally crowded like the Yonge-University line. How awesome would it be to not have to wait an extra 4 stops for a seat just because your exit is at the back of the train?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 1:43 PM on July 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


Also my big complaint re: SkyTrain is that yes, you can pack the open-ended cars so full of people that if you're near the junction point, you run the real risk of not being able to make it out in time at your stop because of the mass of ignorant jagweeds blocking your way. They need like 30% more doors along the cars. Alternately we can remove the societal stigma on shoving through crowds?
posted by majuju at 1:44 PM on July 18, 2016


this is gonna be one of those threads where everyone thinks people in NYC are obsessed with public defecation and everyone from NYC thinks other people have not encountered nearly enough public defecation to understand why
posted by griphus at 1:46 PM on July 18, 2016 [67 favorites]


I just wish they'd go back to the aesthetic and color scheme of the r46/62/etc orange 70s scifi interior rolling stock.

Ok Toronto Mefites, what's your experience with open ended subway cars been like? On paper they seem unwise. It's been fine when I've been visiting Toronto, but that's a small data set.


Seattle has them, and they're overall totally fine other than the walkways in the linking sections being too freaking narrow. If you're standing, you're always bumping into people. If you're sitting, your knees are always getting rammed.

That is the flip side of the whole train becoming the smelly car, right? its that the formerly sweltering car with failing AC is now supported (however weakly) by the functioning units in the now-connected cars?

From several cities linked light rail/subway systems i've ridden on, it seems more like if one AC unit fails all the AC shuts off for that interconnected section, not just one compressor/fan loop, even if there's several systems across that section. Your only hope is if it isn't truly one long snake, but lets say two multi-car interlinked bits.

I have no idea if there's newer systems that can keep a "zone" running, but i've never seen one.
posted by emptythought at 1:46 PM on July 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


The J trains have a little screen in them that is supposed to show announcements, ads, route information (not the stops ahead, this is a regular monitor), etc. When I first moved here 8.5 years ago, they were using them and it was useful. I don't think I've seen one in operation for over 3 years. So whatever the fancy stuff they put inside the trains, it'll be broken in a few years when maintenance (wisely) chooses to work on tunnel electrical connections instead of maintaining the spiffy electronics.
posted by Hactar at 1:47 PM on July 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


These poop--loud/violent people--litter-smell etc. -based arguments against joined cars seems so strange to me. I mean, you know that having separate cars doesn't solve any of these problems right? Maybe you should do something about thepoop, litter, violent people, smells, etc. rather than just going "Welp, can't hardly tell, from the middle of this particular closet-sized mass of people, so it's all good!"
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 1:49 PM on July 18, 2016 [12 favorites]


Meanwhile, the MTA has an outstanding order for R179 cars that is several years late, and the C trains are still stuck using R32 cars, which were built in the early 1960s, and are probably the oldest rolling stock of any metro system in the world.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 1:50 PM on July 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


We've got them here as well, overall I like them better than the old ones: they are definitely roomier, plus you don't need to guess which car is more crowded before getting on.

Also I bet buskers/people selling pens and stuff love them - they come in at one end, do their thing across the whole train and get off at the other.
posted by Dr Dracator at 1:50 PM on July 18, 2016


There is only one little problem with Toronto's open-ended subway cars, and it's a big one: The only ends no longer open-ended are the front and back, where they have replaced the little window with a mirror.

So, instead of pretending you're flying down the trench of the Death Star, you can check your makeup. Foul trade, I say, foul trade!

Everybody knows the best part of riding the subway is looking out through its mouth or its bum at the rushing tunnels. Now, in Toronto, the experience is irrevocably blighted.

Aside from that the new subways are spacious and efficacious to the maxxx.
posted by Construction Concern at 1:52 PM on July 18, 2016 [10 favorites]


> Ok Toronto Mefites, what's your experience with open ended subway cars been like?

Fine, I guess? It's nice being able to walk the length of the train trying to find somewhere to sit or at least somewhere less crowded. And when the train bends you get kind of a surreal visual effect not unlike two mirrors facing each other. That said, I do everything I can go avoid taking the TTC and as a result haven't spent much time on them.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:55 PM on July 18, 2016


Having been in a car with a knife fight, I'm both looking forward to being able to run away from the next one and not looking forward to getting hit by a bullet shot from five cars away in an argument I can't even hear.
posted by overhauser at 1:55 PM on July 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


Maybe you should do something about thepoop, litter, violent people, smells, etc. rather than just going "Welp, can't hardly tell, from the middle of this particular closet-sized mass of people, so it's all good!"

why do you assume that people complaining about it are also somehow totally okay with poverty and homelessness though
posted by poffin boffin at 1:56 PM on July 18, 2016 [12 favorites]


why do you assume that people complaining about it are also somehow totally okay with poverty and homelessness though

I don't. But I assume that the proposed action (have separate cars) doesn't solve the problem.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 1:58 PM on July 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


Maybe you should do something about thepoop

This is an interesting idea - perhaps a combination of social shaming and a "no pooping on the floor of a public train" law will finally put an end to the public defecation we've all been tolerating.
posted by Greg Nog at 2:00 PM on July 18, 2016 [23 favorites]


In Amsterdam, there are extremely bright scrolling LED marquees at junction between each of the sections of the train. Messages move in sync linearly across the displays, the effect of which is pretty trippy when the train it sitting still, but it gets downright mindbending when it goes around a curve.
posted by ethansr at 2:00 PM on July 18, 2016


I've restrained myself from doing any of those things on the train (except vomiting once [twice - ed.]) so I can honestly say I've done my part.
posted by griphus at 2:01 PM on July 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


Wait, what if they put "no pooping" stickers in the cars! Maybe people just need reminders. Like the stickers about holding the doors! And the stickers about not urinating, seated, in a cup while your girlfriend holds your penis -- I've only seen that once in the past decade or so.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 2:10 PM on July 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


Meanwhile, the MTA has an outstanding order for R179 cars that is several years late, and the C trains are still stuck using R32 cars, which were built in the early 1960s, and are probably the oldest rolling stock of any metro system in the world.

Boston's got you beat by almost 20 years. We've literally been reduced to raiding museums for replacement parts.
posted by firechicago at 2:11 PM on July 18, 2016 [12 favorites]


Hello I live in rural Nebraska and have never seen more than thirty people in one place at one time but let me explain to you exactly what your existence is like in NYC on a daily basis:

• Constant hassles from the postman
• Spend a lot of time shouting at people at street-level from your apartment window
• One boorish neighbor keeps inviting himself over
• The subway is a hellscape except for the buskers (?) who sell food (?) at certain stations
• Sweet bass licks introduce each new experience
• You can get away with sleeping under your desk
• Your days are bookended by standup sets in front of a red brick wall
posted by beerperson at 2:11 PM on July 18, 2016 [58 favorites]


I'm a New Yorker and I've ridden infinite trains in Shenzhen and Amsterdam, and they are a blessing! I can't wait to get them here.

I'm tiny and female and I've been trapped in cars in NYC with in-your-face aggressive mentally ill people, and with people having fist fights. Being able to walk away, or walk into over to where there's a crowd of people for safety, makes me feel a lot more comfortable on the train.

Trust me. This is a good thing.
posted by antinomia at 2:12 PM on July 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


how do they prevent kids in heelies from zooming up and down the full length of the train

Finally a way to do this...

posted by Confess, Fletch at 2:14 PM on July 18, 2016


This is an interesting idea - perhaps a combination of social shaming and a "no pooping on the floor of a public train" law will finally put an end to the public defecation we've all been tolerating.

Or perhaps more accessible public washrooms (maybe in the stations, if there aren't any already) that can be accessed by homeless people, (especially without having to get out and repay a fare if that could be an issue for some people?) and maybe better mental health care resources? Maybe some sort of system to let people out and back in without repaying if leaving the system is necessary for washroom use. I think the shaming and laws don't work well because some people don't see themselves as having better options.

Sidewalk has a great chapter all about washroom access for the homeless in NYC. Dated, but interesting, including that many businesses won't let the homeless use the washroom even if they ARE customers.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 2:17 PM on July 18, 2016 [8 favorites]


Ok Toronto Mefites, what's your experience with open ended subway cars been like? On paper they seem unwise. It's been fine when I've been visiting Toronto, but that's a small data set.

A net improvement, in my experience, for the reasons If I only had a penguin... cited above.

And not being ending up stuck on a non-AC'd car is a huge bonus in the middle of summer - it's actually a major issue with the older T-series cars right now.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:23 PM on July 18, 2016


maybe better mental health care resources?

It won't be acceptable unless the resources are made sufficiently punitive (i.e., basically prisons or workhouses for the unmoneyed mentally ill), because Moral Hazard.
posted by acb at 2:23 PM on July 18, 2016


I don't live in Toronto, but visit fairly often, and I love the heck out of the open trains. They're super trippy to be on, the first time you get on one and look down the car and it... doesn't stop. Especially when the train is on a gentle bend and then it straightens out and like 120 feet of train just swings into your field of vision.

They're obviously a lot newer than the old-school subway cars, so saying they seem cleaner, more attractive, more airy and overall just more pleasant might be a bit obvious, given that they're so new, but I'm an enthusiastic supporter of them. I think they're great.
posted by Shepherd at 2:34 PM on July 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wait, what if they put "no pooping" stickers in the cars! Maybe people just need reminders. Like the stickers about holding the doors! And the stickers about not urinating, seated, in a cup while your girlfriend holds your penis -- I've only seen that once in the past decade or so.

combine the tokyo metro white gloved shovers with their neighborhood mascots and we could have a costumed poop character who hangs out in the stations reminding people not to poop.
posted by poffin boffin at 2:36 PM on July 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


Is there some law saying you have to feign jaundice if you call yourself a New Yorker?

Sheesh.
posted by ocschwar at 2:37 PM on July 18, 2016


Isn't anyone else worried that it looks like there will be a LOT less seating?
posted by maggiemaggie at 2:41 PM on July 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Just chiming in from Chicago, we got poop cars here too, folks. Tourists, if you want the full experience just ask someone for directions to the Red Line. If you play your cards right you might also luck out and find the guy with his wiener out car and the Cubs fan post game puke car.
posted by phunniemee at 2:43 PM on July 18, 2016 [6 favorites]


Is there some law saying you have to feign jaundice if you call yourself a New Yorker?

Are... the people in the photos too yellow-looking? I'm having a hard time getting this comment.
posted by Greg Nog at 2:49 PM on July 18, 2016 [7 favorites]


the Cubs fan post game puke car.

This is all of them, at the right time of year.
posted by PMdixon at 2:50 PM on July 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Also I bet buskers/people selling pens and stuff love them - they come in at one end, do their thing across the whole train and get off at the other.

Oh, man, I hadn't even thought about this--it means we will be listening to the freaking drumming for basically
the entire ride, rather than for a stop or two.
posted by praemunire at 2:54 PM on July 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


"Just moving away" from creepy guys Does.Not.Work.
posted by brujita at 2:55 PM on July 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Showtime!
posted by AJaffe at 2:56 PM on July 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


Just chiming in from Chicago, we got poop cars here too, folks.

i have never been to chicago but you're wrong and here are my thoughts on some other chicago issues as well

1. pizza, it's bad
2. you call the lake shore a beach but it's not a beach it's just some dirt leading down to a lake

this concludes my important chicago thoughts
posted by poffin boffin at 3:00 PM on July 18, 2016 [10 favorites]


"Just moving away" from creepy guys Does.Not.Work.

Have you tried pooping on them?
posted by phunniemee at 3:02 PM on July 18, 2016 [9 favorites]


Aren't we all, in our own way, just some dirt leading down to a lake
posted by beerperson at 3:06 PM on July 18, 2016 [16 favorites]


here in the bay area we have poop cars and also dudes getting arrested for having sex with the bart seats. so that's fun
posted by burgerrr at 3:07 PM on July 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


This is an interesting idea - perhaps a combination of social shaming and a "no pooping on the floor of a public train" law will finally put an end to the public defecation we've all been tolerating.

Think bigger! Genetically-engineered poop-eating rat-remora hybrids! I ask you, sir, is this the work of a madman!!!!?
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:15 PM on July 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


My family tells me DC Metro cars have finally gotten rid of the carpeting that grossed me out all my childhood. I used to hear people marveling at how clean Metro was, and I'd just remember the times I saw people putting things into, or releasing things from, their bodies over that carpet.
posted by teponaztli at 3:18 PM on July 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


I personally am a lake with a dirt border.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:20 PM on July 18, 2016


Based on my shockingly brief time on public transit in Chicago, I am pretty sure that most train cars are for that guy with his penis out.

On the other hand, I've only ever seen recreational drug use on the St. Louis metro. No feces, though!
posted by ChuraChura at 3:26 PM on July 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Aren't we all, in our own way, just some dirt leading down to a lake

the real lake dirt was the friends we made along the way
posted by poffin boffin at 3:31 PM on July 18, 2016 [9 favorites]


My first experience with long trains was on the Yamanote line in Tokyo and I liked them because it seemed to improve ventilation but they didn't seem like anything too special. The other benefit of being able to move between cars wasn't as big of a thing as you can do that on most other subways and trains in Japan as well. This isn't the case in Toronto so they are a much bigger improvement here.

Can you walk between the cars in New York? If so then it will be a mild improvement, but if you can't then it will be a pretty big one.

Even if you can already move between cars, having he entire car being open makes it possible for people with lots of bags, wheelchairs or strollers go between cars as well.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 3:35 PM on July 18, 2016


Today is "every one use the words 'rolling stock' on Metafilter day". Tomorrow is "luthier" again.
posted by bleep at 3:36 PM on July 18, 2016 [12 favorites]


Can you walk between the cars in New York?

yes on all the numbered lines, no on some of the lettered lines.
posted by poffin boffin at 3:37 PM on July 18, 2016


Subway centipede?
posted by Thorzdad at 3:43 PM on July 18, 2016


Today is "every one use the words 'rolling stock' on Metafilter day". Tomorrow is "luthier" again.

I'm holding out for 'rolling luthier' day.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:47 PM on July 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm holding out for 'rolling luthier' day.
posted by Greg_Ace
"So now just tune your lute to M-D-M-A. Good job! You're pretty great."
posted by TheNewWazoo at 3:53 PM on July 18, 2016 [11 favorites]


Don't forget the lollipop for being a good customer.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:56 PM on July 18, 2016


Vancouver's received the next generation of SkyTrain cars, which will be put into service any day now. All of its cars will be connected, too. I'm certainly curious how it'd both facilitate and hinder escape from barf and drunks. Not looking forward to the spilled drink puddles sloshing back and forth along all four or six train cars, though.
posted by spreadsheetzu at 3:58 PM on July 18, 2016


the C trains are still stuck using R32 cars, which were built in the early 1960s, and are probably the oldest rolling stock of any metro system in the world.

North Korea's got America beat (again!). Pyongyang rolling stock dates to at least 1957.
posted by Cosine at 4:03 PM on July 18, 2016


Charging stations?! In the train cars? I think they have forgotten that they admonish me not to "display" my cell phone or other electronic devices.
posted by bilabial at 4:05 PM on July 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm holding out for 'rolling luthier' day.
You are thinking of "rolling Luther," and that only happens on Idris Elba Day.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:10 PM on July 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


I spat on him after he blew smoke in my face. It was at my stop and he didn't follow me out.

I see that showtime breakdancing has gone national..... >:-(
posted by brujita at 4:18 PM on July 18, 2016


Charging stations?! In the train cars?

Don't worry, they'll all be irreparably stuffed with gum 30 seconds after the first car rolls out.
posted by griphus at 4:26 PM on July 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


30 seconds? Someone's an optimist...
posted by fragmede at 4:31 PM on July 18, 2016


This is going to be one of those things that Americans claim will never work, despite literal decades of success elsewhere, isn't it?
posted by schmod at 4:52 PM on July 18, 2016 [15 favorites]


I ... don't hate the old C stock? I dunno: it is functional; it has a lot of seating; sometimes I take the C to have a seat instead of cramming into an A.

But, ugh, I hate all these plans. It looks like there are no seats in the articulated trains and it ruins my skill of knowing which cars are less empty. We don't need to get rid of the green globes and we don't need to waste money on street-level displays when everyone has a transit app on their phone. (Like, sure, in a land of infinite money it might help people without phones but in this land there are a million better things.) We don't need to replace paper maps with screens that spend all their time showing ads or being useful for the one person touching them at any given time. We don't need more surveillance cameras, wifi to track your browsing like those Google kiosks already do, or usb charging stations. We don't need "leaning benches" that are even less human friendly than the already anti-homeless-sleepers divided benches we already have.

Even updating turnstiles over swapping out signals from the 30s seems pointless. Metrocards are fine. (Could they be better? Sure. Are the functional? Yep!)

We need signal improvements, new lines, and more service. (Seriously, living on the one line with trains every 3 to 5 is glorious and people on the Q deserve that, too.)
posted by dame at 4:55 PM on July 18, 2016 [14 favorites]


Its a little weird to me how New Yorkers are usually very excited to live in New York (which is presumably why they pay so much to do so) and yet, for example, think this can't possibly work because obviously every train will be full of poop. What the hell is going on with your trains and/or poop. In SF poop was mostly on the sidewalk as God intended.

It is, however, possible that LA subways are also full of poop. But like most people I avoid that by not using them (largely because they don't go anywhere I need to go).

In Japan the only problem is usually just that at the wrong time of day you can be packed in so tight you're only standing because you're jammed so tight against everyone else. Thankfully I am 6 feet so I'm in like the top few percentile for height and so my head is not crushed into someone's chest/back/face.
posted by thefoxgod at 5:00 PM on July 18, 2016


As an NYC taxpayer, I say don't spend my money on new trains. I want electrical systems that work, tubes that can withstand hurricanes, and stations that are clean and don't drip gross runwater or flood every time it rains. When I first moved here, the stations weren't so clean, but they weren't flooding!

It feels like since ~2006, we've had issues in New York with leaky stations. It's disgusting. If the trains themselves are still operational, then leave them be for now and overhaul the stations. As in fully overhaul the stations!
posted by droplet at 5:09 PM on July 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


What the hell is going on with your trains and/or poop

a) America being a Free Country, unlike Singapore/Germany/some similarly quasi-totalitarian hellhole where the government tells you what you can and can't do, and thus, if the transit authority told Americans that they are not to poop in train carriages/stick gum in the USB charging slots/whatever, the instinctive response would be some variant on “fuck you, man, this is a free country, not the fuckin' Soviet Union!”

b) Neoliberalism/laissez-faire economics/Moral Hazard; why should we tax the hard-working taxpayers to build homeless shelters and provide free mental health care when it would just reward bad life choices. Also, if you just let all the ones you can't put in jail go onto the street, somehow they take care of themselves and things turn out alright. (Except that now your subway trains are full of poop, but public transport doesn't work in a free society because it's a decadent socialist idea anyway.)
posted by acb at 5:16 PM on July 18, 2016 [6 favorites]


As an NYC taxpayer, I say don't spend my money on new trains.

Don't worry. They won't be spending your money as a taxpayer. They'll be spending your money as a citizen. Spread the word, it's not taxpayers' money.

[Yes, I am obsessive on this point, and it's especially relevant here, since the money also belongs to people who don't pay taxes because they're so poor they don't have anything to tax and so poor they don't have anywhere else to poop. Also fitting that that comment comes from the Bombardier post, since Bombardier will probably make your trains, eventually.]


And to those worried about little seating, I think the article says there's no design yet, so those drawings aren't a proposed seating set-up, they're just drawings. Toronto's trains probably have less seating than the previous trains but a lot more than those drawings.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:19 PM on July 18, 2016 [6 favorites]


To me, personally, any seating loss is not acceptable. It is privileging those who live closer in over those who live farther out, which in New York is generally the richer over the poorer. I care more that someone doesn't have to stand from Broadway Junction than that someone at Bedford has to wait for one more train to come.
posted by dame at 5:30 PM on July 18, 2016


So poop on trains. Americans have a thing about homeless people using anything, like bathrooms. It
Restrooms are for paying customers or dinner other random restrictions. Restrooms get shut down and never reopened in public places for reasons. Shelters are awful, overcrowded and unsafe, and then homeless people have a high rate of violence against them. Homeless choose longer trains because conductors kick off homeless at the end of the line, and they get better uninterrupted sleep. Pooping and peeing is a side effect. The is no where else to go and people don't bother them if they lay a big one in the corner anyway, so more sleep in relative safty.
posted by AlexiaSky at 5:45 PM on July 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


also just hypothetically do heelies exist in adult sizes

Yes. My high school bio teacher wore them extensively.
posted by Itaxpica at 5:54 PM on July 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


A/C doesn't always work in every car, does this mean they can guarantee it will work in one gigantic car? Also, besides the poop car effect, what about bombs or Ricin? I don't really dwell on the T word living here, but i do occasionally think: what if? That scenario usually involves assurance that i might be on the lucky car. Also, snubbing people you once slept with or have current beef with with will be a lot harder in an open car.

@AlexiaSky: it's not about toilet access so much as it is about the person who's been stewing in their own waste for a few days sleeping in the train, or has a gangrenous foot that they decide they need to air out on the train. They're free to do whatever, but I should be free to escape from them by fleeing to an adjacent, enclosed car.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 5:54 PM on July 18, 2016


This is going to be one of those things that Americans claim will never work, despite literal decades of success elsewhere, isn't it?

But the Americans will be right, because Americans.
posted by ctmf at 5:56 PM on July 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


iow, what acb said.
posted by ctmf at 5:56 PM on July 18, 2016


1960s isn't particularly old for a railcar, particularly if they've been periodically refurbished.

It's not exactly like they're driving around the technological equivalent of your grandpa's old Chevy. It's more like a B-52, where the basic design proved to be incredibly resilient, maintainable, and upgradable.

The real problem comes when the cars reach their end of life, and are no longer economical or practical to maintain, or there are major technological upgrades that would be impractical to integrate into older trains (and there are a few -- open gangways, CBTC, modular A/C units, and crash energy management are all compelling new features, and impractical to add to older stock). MTA, MBTA, BART, and WMATA are all struggling with this. WMATA have decided to forego refurbishment of two series of rolling stock (one of which is relatively new) because it was cheaper to put in one huge order for a batch of new trains than it was to do 3 separate contracts for replacing the 1000-series, and refurbishing the 4000-series and 5000-series.

The MTA's new design is ambitious, and I only hope that they don't try to introduce too many new technologies at once.
posted by schmod at 5:58 PM on July 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


I mean calling it a "human centipede train" is going to make people think about the negative aspects, no matter how many positive aspects there are
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 6:14 PM on July 18, 2016


Ok Toronto Mefites, what's your experience with open ended subway cars been like?
they are great and also there is milk in bags on them
posted by chococat at 6:32 PM on July 18, 2016 [9 favorites]


schmod 1960s isn't particularly old for a railcar, particularly if they've been periodically refurbished.

Yeah, the problem is that second clause...
posted by SansPoint at 6:37 PM on July 18, 2016


As lifelong New Yorker, there's nothing worse than poop on the train when you're trying to masturbate.

Some people are just sickos.
posted by dr_dank at 6:46 PM on July 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


Hey here in DC we have 7000-series trains that have AC problems...already. And there for a stretch I was getting onto the car the conduction was on for the AC/Heat. 0/11 on that.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 7:10 PM on July 18, 2016


There is an implied class conflict being played out through the Mayor's agenda: when these upgraded cars roll out, the homeless and poor will not be allowed to board these trains because their uncleanliness would "interfere" with the operation of the system. There will be increased surveillance and patrolling of the subway systems to maintain this.

The problem of the underclass is solved, and most problematically, there is to be no public discourse over the methods.

This kind of announcement effects a subtle social shift, one that the majority can turn a blind eye to because the shiny new future--more like, playing catch-up with the rest of the world's "modern" transit systems--is so attractive and convenient, and look at those nice new designs and that person could be you holding that iPhone. Out of sight, out of mind.
posted by polymodus at 7:21 PM on July 18, 2016


@AlexiaSky: it's not about toilet access so much as it is about the person who's been stewing in their own waste for a few days sleeping in the train, or has a gangrenous foot that they decide they need to air out on the train. They're free to do whatever, but I should be free to escape from them by fleeing to an adjacent, enclosed car.

They're not "free to do whatever" which is the point. Most people would prefer to poop in toilets and not have gangrene. It would be better if there were some other place they could go to.
posted by bleep at 7:23 PM on July 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


probably the oldest rolling stock of any metro system in the world.

I was going to mention the circa 1913 subway cars on Buenos Aires line A, but it looks like they were retired in 2013 :(

I had the pleasure of riding in one in 2006. Wooden interior, with incandescent light bulbs and wire caged fans. To open a window you needed to pull a leather strap.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 7:34 PM on July 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


The NYC MTA occasionally runs nostalgia cars that are from the 1930s. I'm always amazed at systems that can upgrade and yet retain compatability over so many decades.

Also, the New Orleans street cars are really old:
Most of the streetcars running on this line are Perley Thomas cars dating from the 1920s. The one exception is an 1890s vintage streetcar that is still in running condition; it is used for maintenance and special purposes.
posted by autopilot at 7:54 PM on July 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


To be fair, using the subway as a de facto homeless shelter is good for nobody.

Of course, if we aren't providing better options, that's also a huge problem. Pervasive homelessness and poverty on the subway for 30+ years has done little to inspire the people of New York to take homelessness seriously.
posted by schmod at 7:59 PM on July 18, 2016


I have never encountered poop in any Toronto subway - not even after they closed the bathrooms at Islington (which were my salvation as a teen with poor planning skills).

Our open subways are awesome: less crowded, more accessible, and when it's not crowded you can see the subway curl around turns (which is so cool!)
posted by jb at 8:05 PM on July 18, 2016


The only way to solve the pooping problem is to adopt a London style system. If you want to go from Gowanus to the Bronx it's not the same $2.50 as my three stop Manhattan jaunt. Then you might also get more money for improvements.

I think this is a huge improvement, but I'd rather see notifications brightly lit before entering and things less dingy.

To be fair this is my typical experience with native New Yorkers using the train:

Me, "pretty sure that line is closed this weekend I saw a poster."

NYC, "NO NO YOU TAKE THE C TO THE 7 THEN THERES A MAGIC WAY TO GET TO THE L, TRUST ME IVE BEEN HERE SINCE THE DUTCH."

After getting on the train and realize we can't make the transfer,

"FUCKING CUOMO SUBWAYS SUCK WHY DIDN'T ANYONE TELL ME"

Anyway same thing with my friends in my hometown when it comes to highway construction.
posted by geoff. at 9:09 PM on July 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


The only way to solve the pooping problem is to adopt a London style system. If you want to go from Gowanus to the Bronx it's not the same $2.50 as my three stop Manhattan jaunt.

(1) Since you aren't compelled to exit the system at the end of the line, a "long-term" rider can just stay on until they return to a station near the original one and thus pay a minimal fare.

(2) Determined poopers aside, except for transit to/from the airport, this would essentially be an additional tax on being poor in the city. To have your daily commute be a three-stop Manhattan jaunt more or less requires that you be a well-paid professional.
posted by praemunire at 10:47 PM on July 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


the magic way to get from the C to the L is to stay on the C until 14th street and 8th avenue where the manhattan L terminal is

even old pegleg himself prolly knew that
posted by poffin boffin at 11:29 PM on July 18, 2016 [1 favorite]



(2) Determined poopers aside, except for transit to/from the airport, this would essentially be an additional tax on being poor in the city


Exactly and my implicit point. There's a weird dissonance here of we hate how poor people behave but we won't kick them out via a pricing structure. Obviously not all poor or even nothing but a small minority behave ill mannered. But you can signicantly make subways "nicer" by raising prices. Every clean system I've been on has been too expensive for the mentally ill, etc. and I don't mind the pooping. I'd rather they get to where they are going then sleep rough. But I have a high tolerance.
posted by geoff. at 11:41 PM on July 18, 2016


I really don't think saying one prefers cars without poop is saying one hates poor people.
posted by dame at 11:49 PM on July 18, 2016 [8 favorites]


And I'm not sure pooping in public is really "behaving badly" both because it's way more than that and because they may not really have a huge choice in the matter.

I don't want to believe that they have nowhere else to poop. That sounds fake to me. But all the rhetoric given here sounds true. People as a rule would rather poop in toilets and not have gangrene.

... Anyway, I'm surprised there's so little talk about maintaining the stations so they don't get rain instead of just refurbishing them. Especially vis a vis the previous thread about NYC and global warming. Maybe they should be talking about elevated rails.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 5:43 AM on July 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


My understanding is that Londoners don't poop at all, so
posted by beerperson at 6:02 AM on July 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Maybe they should be talking about elevated rails.

You're getting them...I mean eleveated to street level at least. Courtesy of Toronto and the man who should have been mayor.

I don't want to believe that they have nowhere else to poop. That sounds fake to me.

It's not literally nowhere else to poop. It's "no better option for pooping." Yes, even without access to washrooms people could poop on the platform instead, or leave the system and poop in a park, or hell, washrooms in a park! It's a big city, as I understand it. There are many many other places to poop. However, if you have someone who is riding the subway to keep warm or cool or for a place to rest without being hassled or whatever, and they don't have much money, then leaving the system to poop in the park or in a washroom outside, means paying a new fare. Some people apparently find that cost to high to be worth if for a superior pooping experience. Put washrooms in the system and I strongly suspect that deals with the poop-car problem far better than separate train cars.

And why do the staff hassle people to get off at the end of the line? Does the train typically go somewhere else afterwards? Here the trains just start going the other way (i.e. the front of the train becomes the back of the train, the driver moves to what was the back of the train and starts driving back along the rail that brought him in). Since people are getting on and off at the same time at the end of the line, there wouldn't even be anyway to know who just got on and who's riding back.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:36 AM on July 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


We're getting the one compartment trains here in Berlin, and they're great. Spacier overall, a lot more room for baby strollers, wheelchairs, bicycles. During rush hour there's the possibility that clusters of people can easily disperse. You can get away from creeps or look for assistance. Maybe less seats (not significant, though), but as they're benches oin the sides instead of the four seats facing each other on both sides of the car with a rather narrow corridor, this is a net advantage.

Pooping in cars is not a thing here, though.
posted by ojemine at 7:00 AM on July 19, 2016


I can't stop thinking about a violence aspect...one person running thru a train like this could do far more damage than on conventional trains. I am sad that I think of this.
posted by agregoli at 8:05 AM on July 19, 2016


Also the entire train can now hear the screaming baby. Including other babies who will decide this is a fun way to pass the time.
posted by Pallas Athena at 8:43 AM on July 19, 2016


how do they prevent kids in heelies from zooming up and down the full length of the train


I believe the arm-out-to-the-side pose is referred to as a "clothesline".
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 9:00 AM on July 19, 2016


Overlapping buskers will be a thing, that's for sure. Drummers, no fewer than three loudly Christian folk, dancers, a couple of "I'm here to make you smile!" people... Ideally they'd all mesh up into one busker superband. Complete with candy-sales refreshments!
posted by XtinaS at 9:04 AM on July 19, 2016


I'm ALL about the roomier trains. But not only do we have buskers on the trains, I'm really worried about what more space on the train is gonna do for the turfers taking over the train when it goes under the Bay.

Seriously, no fucking busking/dancing on a populated moving train. Platforms one thing, but highjacking everyone's commute is a dick move.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 9:18 AM on July 19, 2016


Also the entire train can now hear the screaming baby. Including other babies who will decide this is a fun way to pass the time.

They're not wrong, you should try it the next time you're on a crowded train
posted by beerperson at 9:24 AM on July 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Overlapping buskers will be a thing, that's for sure. Drummers, no fewer than three loudly Christian folk, dancers, a couple of "I'm here to make you smile!" people... Ideally they'd all mesh up into one busker superband.

Designated activity zones at the rear end of each train, like in Times Square. Problem solved.
posted by Devoidoid at 9:34 AM on July 19, 2016


Designated activity zones at the rear end of each train, like in Times Square. Problem solved.

It's already illegal to busk (or solicit generally) on trains, so the odds of a busker respecting an "activity zone" are...lowish.
posted by praemunire at 10:10 AM on July 19, 2016


the money also belongs to people who don't pay taxes because they're so poor they don't have anything to tax

I approve of being obsessive on this point, so let's obsess further and note that anyone who participates in the formal economy at all pays sales taxes to the state, and the state provides funding to the MTA, so unless you're so destitute you literally live strictly off donations and/or trash-picking, your taxes are supporting the MTA.
posted by praemunire at 10:17 AM on July 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


I don't see anything about making the stations more accessible to the elderly and disabled (and parents with strollers). Some stations have no escalator or elevator and the ones that do are frequently broken. I've seen elderly people just stop on the stairs to catch their breath so they can finish climbing out of a station. Maybe they could spend more money adding and fixing escalators and less money on leaning benches.
posted by ceejaytee at 11:40 AM on July 19, 2016


I approve of being obsessive on this point, so let's obsess further and note that anyone who participates in the formal economy at all pays sales taxes to the state, and the state provides funding to the MTA, so unless you're so destitute you literally live strictly off donations and/or trash-picking, your taxes are supporting the MTA.

Agreed that everyone pays taxes. Less agreed that "your taxes are supporting the MTA." The money that is used for transmit is no longer your taxes, it's public money. It's no more true that your taxes are supporting the MTA than it is to say that my employer's money bought the shoes I'm wearing. And of course not agreed that "your taxes are supporting the MTA" even insofar as it is true that the money in the public purse was collected via taxes, would somehow mean you're entitled to a say in how the MTA spends money. You're entitled to a say as a New York(city)er, a New York(State)er, and an American. But not as a person who paid taxes to any of those levels of government. After all, I'm a New York tax payer and I don't even live in the US. Being a New York tax payer doesn't make it my money.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:54 AM on July 19, 2016


the magic way to get from the C to the L is to stay on the C until 14th street and 8th avenue where the manhattan L terminal is

In fact, you can also transfer from the C to the L at Broadway Junction!
posted by andrewesque at 1:05 PM on July 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


Maybe they could spend more money adding and fixing escalators and less money on leaning benches.

GOD WTF RIGHT

like whenever an elevator or escalator is out of service for repairs you'd expect to see a sign saying "we'll be back in service by the end of the month!" or something, which is how it tends to work in the rest of the universe, but instead it's always "we hope to ~*maybe*~ have this running again sometime in, uh, how about October 2017" and i'm like who is fixing this elevator, a baby who is not even born yet, what the fuck mta, get it together

whoever runs their service alert twitter is gr8 though
posted by poffin boffin at 1:24 PM on July 19, 2016


Agreed that everyone pays taxes. Less agreed that "your taxes are supporting the MTA."

I think it's really important to avoid accidentally going near the trap of the "poor people pay no taxes/have no 'skin in the game'" rhetoric. But I also don't think it's actually helpful to dissociate payment of taxes from support of social services. Yes, it can be perverted into gross "I pay for those lazy bums!"-ism, but telling people that their taxes aren't really their money? That they shouldn't think of them as supporting specific services like the MTA they might use? Not going to be more successful in the present American climate. Taxation isn't the same as payment of a salary; the former is involuntary and non-negotiable (if you have any civic decency at all). Tell people that it's not in exchange for some form of value, either, and people stop being able to process why they should support it.
posted by praemunire at 1:33 PM on July 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


My family tells me DC Metro cars have finally gotten rid of the carpeting that grossed me out all my childhood.

Oh god, right? When I was living in London, there was an article in the paper about how they tested the fabric on the train seats, and found that the average seat had no less than nine(!) bodily fluids on it and I was all like:
A) ew, gross!
B) wait...nine? Are there even that many bodily fluids?
C) I mean, does poop count as a bodily fluid...I'm pretty sure diarrhea does, but poop?
D) (checks Wikipedia) oh my god in heaven that's a lot of different bodily fluids! Oh mortality! I am so disgusting!
E) wait, if nine is just the average, then what about all the seats that are "above average" ew. Or...what about the special seat with ALL OF THE BODILY FLUIDS? (Ok, you would pretty much have to explode for that to happen, but still) Ew ew ew ew ew.
F) I am never taking the tube again.
G) but, wait, I have to meet Albert across town in an hour.
H) TAXI!
I) Oh, great. Someone threw up all over the inside of this one.
posted by sexyrobot at 1:43 PM on July 19, 2016 [3 favorites]


It's already illegal to busk (or solicit generally) on trains, so the odds of a busker respecting an "activity zone" are...lowish.

They do it everywhere because there is no place they can do it legally, create a space where the activity is legal and most of them are going to participate most of the time.


"Just moving away" from creepy guys Does.Not.Work.

If you could get away from them by moving to another car, what stops them from following you? That's not snark but a genuine question.

In either case, it's not moving away from the creeper that will get you away from but moving closer to other people that will keep you safer.
posted by VTX at 1:47 PM on July 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm not saying it's not their money. It is the money of most taxpayers because most taxpayers are citiziens. I'm saying it's not their money as taxpayers, it's their money as citizens. When you pay your taxes you're not buying something, you're fulfilling a duty of citizenship. Citizenship also comes with rights. But the rights and duties both flow from the citizenship (well, some rights flow from residency or personhood) not from the tax-paying. You should support taxes because they are a duty of citizenship (like voting and respecting the law) and meeting the duties of citizenship is what creates civilization and all the duties we get from it.

If you turn it into "I'm paying for all this stuff with my taxes" you create a consumerist mindset where people feel like what they want and need should be heard because they pay taxes ("I pay blah blah blah...why shouldn't my kids have nicer schools?) as opposed to thinking of that money as public money that needs to go to make the city/state/country better.

Yes, it's their money. Yes they have skin in the game. But if we say they have skin in the game because they pay taxes then the implication is that the person who pays hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes has more skin in the game than the person who pays a hundred. That's not true.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 1:47 PM on July 19, 2016 [4 favorites]


Trying to equate Federal budgeting to...any other kind of budget is an exercise in futility.

It's not at all like a personal budget. I can't levy taxes to increase my income and markets set the rates on borrowing rather than a bank reacting to market forces.

It doesn't work at all like a corporation's budget because it's borrowing and spending create feed-back loops. The only one that can even come close is Walmart. Walmart is so huge that pretty much all industry average metrics match Walmart's. They are so big that they drive the averages. So Walmart might be big enough to increase revenue simply by increasing wages (not that their management would believe that).

Furthermore, tax rates are among the tools that the government can use to help manage the economy. Lower taxes for some, some stimulus effects*, increase to slow down a bubble.

Generally, I don't think Federal government spending and Federal taxes should have anything to do with each other. You're obligated to pay taxes as a citizen, for some, that obligation is really big, for others it's small or negative.

The government is obligated to provide you with services because you're a citizen. That obligation does not and should not have anything at all to do with your tax obligations.

*combine with other tools such as direct stimulus, Fed rates, etc. for maximum effect.
posted by VTX at 2:02 PM on July 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


They do it everywhere because there is no place they can do it legally, create a space where the activity is legal and most of them are going to participate most of the time.

I think perhaps you have failed to understand their purpose. These are not skateboarders who just want somewhere to do their thing, man, and only need to be channeled to a suitably grindable park. The NYC subway car buskers' dream is not to play music on the subway so they might fulfill their hopes and dreams of being heard by a wide audience. It is to collect funds. If they are set up at the far end of one of these trains, only a small portion of the ridership will have to pass anywhere near them, and hence they will collect much less money. Even the people who have to remain more or less still while performing, like the drummers, always walk through the car at the end, because (apparently this is human nature) people are more likely to give when you're standing right in front of them with your hand outstretched.
posted by praemunire at 6:12 PM on July 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


VTX, in NY most of the time people will just watch. There were several others in the car when the creeper was following me and they did nothing. This was before the newer cars with the intercom.
posted by brujita at 1:47 AM on July 20, 2016


Ugh, that sucks.

I can be kind of an intimidating looking guy, bigger than average, I lift weights, and kind of a natural scowl on my face (it's not sexist to call it resting bitch face on myself right?). There aren't a lot of opportunities for me to put those attributes to use for a good cause but the few times I've been able to stare down some creep on the bus or train are my favorites.

I know most people don't want to get involved but I've found that if I step up, at least a couple of other people will back me up.

I wonder what would happen if you just went to a car with a bunch of people, point at the guy bothering you and say, "This guy is following me and I feel unsafe, could someone help me out?"

Maybe it's just because I live in Minnesota and not NY but I have to believe that someone would step in when asked directly like that. If not, move I guess and keep that story in mind the next time you hear someone disdainfully refer to "fly-over country".
posted by VTX at 6:11 AM on July 20, 2016




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