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NYC Subway Trains are for (Occasional) Havoc

Ellen Levitt

Posted on October 17, 2019 22:28

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Most of my commutes to and from work are unremarkable, but today I experienced two rattling trips which reveal how urban life can sometimes be a step away from chaotic.

As a lifelong New Yorker, I've experienced hundreds of mundane subway train rides, and a few that are memorable: some for good reasons (singing with friends, listening to entertaining buskers, traveling to or from a championship baseball game or excellent rock concert). A few were freakish.

I remember one time when a train stopped short and I fell smack on my back; passengers stared at me, until a few helped me to my feet. One time in the early 1980s my friend Cindy and I were stuck on a train for over four hours when the transportation grid experienced a major power outage; we were very late for the Adam and the Ants concert in Manhattan.

Lately there have been several improvements made to parts of the NYC subway system: elevators and escalators upgraded, renovations made to the N and F train lines in Brooklyn, and the like. But sometimes I (and many New Yorkers) have taken train rides that ended up being insane -- or nearly so.

This morning I caught the Manhattan-bound Q train at a Brooklyn station called Avenue M. At the next stop I got a seat when a high school student stood up. I thought I'd have a comfy ride.

But at the next station, Avenue H (notice the name pattern?) I heard cries of distress. I looked to my left and saw that the woman sitting two spots away from me was having a medical emergency, a seizure of some type. It was frightening.

Most people gawked but a few of us stood between the doors and the station platform, to stop the doors from closing. A few passengers called out to the train conductor, while a young woman contacted 911 on her cellphone.

Meanwhile a few people tried to lift the sick passenger, but she slumped (or was placed?) on the floor of the train. Confusion reigned. Fortunately a clear-headed worker, the booth attendant, told passengers that she would alert the next northbound station to allow us free entry there, and we just had to walk a few minutes away. I did this with dozens of other passengers.

It was hectic and scary, but I did see that the woman was coming to and muttering to train personnel.

Then in the afternoon I was riding home from work on a southbound Q train when, at the Parkside Avenue station, I saw two youngish men just a few feet away from me begin slugging at each other and yanking each other's hair. They screamed threats while the young son of one (a guy named Jeffrey) started sobbing. 

Other passengers shouted at the men to stop it and to get off the train, but one brawler pried open the train doors and continued the fight. Finally Jeffrey's wife/girlfriend shoved both men and the boy onto the platform and the train left as they pummeled each other ferociously.

These incidents are NOT typical of New York train rides. Sometimes, yeah, it gets pretty crazy here. Sometimes.

Ellen Levitt

Posted on October 17, 2019 22:28

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Source: FOX Business

At least 37 people have suffered non-life-threatening injuries in a New York City commuter train derailment on Wednesday...

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