|Paris Metro Sign
I have been living in the Big Apple for over 15 years, and like many New Yorkers, we have a sense of American/ New York exceptionalism as it relates to our advancements, particularly our subway system. Many New Yorkers and Americans generally have this attitude because they might not have traveled outside these great United States and observe for themselves how malfunctioned some of our systems are, particularly our aged subways.
|Station in Paris
One of the biggest issues that New Yorkers are usually upset about is the infrequency in the arrival times of our trains. Compared to those three other cities, New Yorkers wait forever for a train. The average wait time of a train in New York is around 10-15 minutes, particularly on the line I take. Therefore with that expectation, I was given a huge shock when I traveled to BA, Argentina and found out that the subte ran every five minutes. In my mind, I lived in one of the best cities in the world, and here I was in the world’s 15th largest city and found that their subte system is so much better than the world’s second biggest city’s. How can this be?
|Inside London’s Underground Train
Each station, in London, Paris and BA, is equipped with displays that show the times of the arriving trains. This is a luxury that mainly passengers in New York’s favorite borough, Manhattan, has. On the other hand, residents in the outer boroughs, like Brooklyn, has been waiting for these screens to be installed in stations.The ones that have already been installed, residents are waiting for them to work properly and show the information that they were installed to show.
I hope to see more subway systems in other major cities, but I hope that more New Yorkers and Americans travel more so they can demand more from agencies like the MTA since other nations are already experiencing luxuries, like platform screen doors that keep people from the tracks, that we should have long been experiencing. I am sure if New Yorkers were aware of how bad our subway system is, compared to others around the world and not the nation, they would be giving the MTA more lip to provide better service. However, because many have nothing to compare it to since many do not travel abroad, they take what is handed to them, and the MTA takes its time to catch up with the world without haste.