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The Trains Are Always Late Because Riders Are Acting Like Boneheads


03.26.15 Liam Mathews

You’re not imagining it: people on the train are officially out of control, and it’s causing serious delays. The Post reports that 2,300 delays due to “unruly customers” were reported by conductors in January, an astounding 80% increase over the previous year. The number of delays due to jackassery was up 72% in October, 53% in November and 43% in December of last year compared to the same months in 2013. This is an extraordinary increase from April 2007, when there were only 271 delays due to unruly passengers.

So it’s a trend! What the hell, guys? Why is there an epidemic of fist-fighting and door-holding?

The 6 had the most delays caused by unruly riders, followed by the 2, 5, E, R. Somehow, the 7 and L were the most well-behaved.

The Post has a quote from a man who witnessed a drunken brawl on the A train that perfectly sums up the soul-deadening frustration of just trying to get from one place to another and being held up by people acting crazy for no good reason: “They were trying to punch each other through the doors. It was annoying because the train was held up.”

Before we rush to blame the epidemic of bad behavior on increased tension due to overcrowded trains and the MTA’s endless mismanagement and conductors not giving a fuck about riders, we need to look at ourselves. Why are so many of us resorting to violence? Why do we insist on holding the doors when we know, in our heart of hearts, another train will be coming in a few minutes? It’s up to us to prevent #DEBLASIOSNEWYORK from backsliding into the Bad Old Days. So please, next time somebody shoves you when you’re trying to get on a 5 train at rush hour, take a deep breath, remember that we’re all in this together, and keep your hands to yourself. And out of the train doors!

(Photo: Chris Cofer)