The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) gets me from point A to point B usually within an hour. It is a convenient way of traveling, especially if I am going into Manhattan. Whether I’m taking the bus, train, Metro-North, or LIRR, it just seems faster than driving.
My daily commute to the Dobbs Ferry campus includes taking one bus, two trains, and the Metro-North. It is a cycle that I have been doing for awhile now. Yes, it does mean that I have to wake up early in order to get my trains, but it also allows me to get work done on the train that I was not able to do before.
Riding the MTA, you see many different things daily. There are usually many people begging for money, homeless people, people reading a book, magazine, or newspaper. There’s any people on their phones, some catching up on sleep, and those that are brave enough to take out their laptops and work on what needs to be finished.
When I get on the train or bus, where it is usually the morning rush, it’s usually packed to the point where there is no more room for others to get on at their stop. On buses, it’s different; no one wants to move towards the back of the bus so I either miss the bus which then delays the rest of my commute in the mornings or the bus driver waits until people move towards the back so others like myself could get onto the bus.
If it is raining or snowing or just a regular day, I know that I must leave the house fifteen to twenty minutes early because I am not sure what will happen on the train. I know when my train ride is going to be hell when the train has “train delays” every five minutes or when the train conductor does not inform the passengers, like myself, what is going on until you get phone service to check the MTA website to see if there are any delays.
At times, when the weather is horrible, everyone is running late including myself. Whether it is putting on extra layers of clothing or searching for an umbrella, I know in the back of my head, I am running late. I can either be lucky and get onto the bus or I can be unlucky and have to freeze until there is an empty bus to pick me up from the bus stop. When it is freezing cold and none of the buses are stopping, I could be waiting anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. I know that if I do not get to the bus within 15 minutes, I will not make it to class on time and may get sick.
Even if I do get to the bus on time, there is always a problem with the trains. Since there are two trains running on the same line, the train I am on could be running late or on time. If it is running on time, it waits for the train that is running late to go ahead of it causing “train delays.” Which not only makes people angry like myself, but it slows everyones morning commute down. So if I was planning on getting coffee beforehand, I know that I cannot because the trains are running slower than usual.
Is the MTA really reliable? At times, yes and other times it is not. The MTA on the weekends usually has the train line I usually use runs on a different line for what they say is the reason, “Sandy Recovery Work.” Which is very inconvenient. So let’s say if that one specific train line could get me to my destination, on the weekends, I would probably have to take two to three different trains to get to the destination that one specific train could of taken me.
Everyone has their ups and downs with the MTA. Whether it is the pricing of metro card fares going up, train delays, bus delays, etc. Many people along with myself who live in New York City, rely on taking the trains or buses to get to their destinations.