It never fails. “Due to construction, the #2 train will not be stopping at your station. Please take the Northbound and transfer at either Gun Hill Rd or 241st Street for the Southbound express to Manhattan”.
As a weekend morning commuter, those words makes my skin crawl. It takes me over an hour to get to work, now every weekend I must leave the house 30 minutes earlier because of New York MTA and their invisible construction.
I say invisible because as we ride the Southbound train, there is no sight of construction or workers pretending to construct.[embedit snippet=”2″]
What’s the real issue here?
As we head Southbound we hear that ever so familiar voice over the train’s loudspeaker. ” There will be no #5 train service due to construction”. So, that’s two trains, same track, same direction and both experiencing difficulties due to invisible construction.
Such is life as a Bronx weekend commuter.
The #2 and #5 lines are popular due to routes from Bronx to Brooklyn. Commuters, either traveling to Da Bronx, Harlem, Manhattan and Brooklyn could easily have a one-stop ride. But, for a person such as myself that works on the East side, the #5 is a breath of fresh air. Except for Saturday and Sunday.
With construction throwing a monkey wrench in my travel plans I am forced to connect at 149th for what has to be the slowest of all Manhattan-bound trains, the #4.
With no #5 service and the majority of commuters heading Eastbound, half the train is forced to catch the #4. As we head up one flight of stairs, then continuing down a tunnel to the second pair of stairs we can hear the Manhattan-bound #4 leaving the station.
Running does no good, there’s no stoppage of service for the 150 or so passengers that had to reroute their travel plans. As we reach the top of the steps, we feel a punch to the gut as the time board says 18 minutes for next train. For the life of me, I cannot figure out why MTA has not managed to synchronize the trains. If you know a train reaches a station at 7:01 am, then why do you have the connection train departing the station at 7:00 am? Makes no sense whatsoever.
If you thought the ride to work was something, try heading home during the construction weekends. Those same #2 and #5 passengers, depending on their stop may be forced to catch a Shuttle Bus. Now, what was once a 15-minute ride from 180th now becomes a 60-minute commute. Can you imagine half a train trying to catch a bus? It’s complete chaos. Pushing, shoving, cursing and whatever else that must be done in order to get on a bus, then travel through the Bronx streets during the weekend with traffic, double-parked cars and careless pedestrians.
This is what we must look forward to every weekend. But I’m still left with one question.
Where is this so-called construction?