Friday, July 22, 2011

Someday, I'll Own the MTA

Okay, MTA board members. Contrary to popular belief, not all people who take public transit are the uneducated, unwashed sheeple! Some of us are smart! Some of us are lawyers! Some of us just don't take crap off others.

Let me tell you something else: some of your employees are engaging in behavior that's a lawsuit waiting to happen. I don't know whether they or management/policy writers ought to be blamed but here are a couple of tales you should take to heart.

#1 My husband spoke of a bus driver who NEVER had adequate A/C on when needed. One day last year, I got onto a bus where this driver was present. It was over 90 degrees outside and kind of that hazy heat wave stuff we're going through now.

I get on the bus and loudly mention that when a small child or elderly person passes out from heat stroke as a result of being on that bus, I'm going to have some clients and they'll own the MTA. I also mentioned being an attorney.

He got the message & we stopped sweating like pigs on the bus.

But if you think that was bad, I must mention yesterday. Oooh, yesterday. If I didn't have a viable career path, decent employment and a husband who wasn't getting laid off, I'd have likely hurt someone.

Before I left my home, the heat index was over 100 degrees outside. I dressed in shorter attire (call it sexy if you'd like) and even put my long hair back away from my face & neck. It took 4 hair bands to do it!

I was also traveling on my primary subway in an area where it's the ONLY subway to get to Manhattan. We all know that even a lukewarm breeze in a subway station is a luxury.

These circumstances bring me to legal outrage #2, which is far worse in my book.

#2 I take the subway to get to Manhattan in order to meet my husband for dinner and use up a discount coupon he got for his birthday (yesterday was the last day to use it and good locations of this place are sparse).

We get to Bedford Ave aka Hipster Alley, when the conductor announces that our cool, A/C filled subway is ending at our stop and going back where we came from. We are told to depart the subway into a boiling, blisteringly hot subway platform already semi-crowded with people.

When everyone departs the train, the doors close & the train just sits there. No regard or attempt for the fact that everyone's on this crowded, breeze-free platform! No consideration that the heat index is 100+ degrees outside & you're not supposed to not be in hot places for extended time periods. Never mind the fact that there could easily have been small children and older people on this subway. It just sits there, mocking everyone with the interior coolness while we're feeling like we're going to die.

One of my law professors once said that widows and children always win. Basically, this means that if your injured party is a child or a widow that person will get maximum jury sympathy in a negligence/personal injury lawsuit.

Absolutely NO offer whatsoever is made to allow passengers to cool off in the train while we're waiting the 6-7 minutes for the next train.

During this time, we continue to hear announcements stating that we can't take this train into Manhattan and have to take the next Brooklyn bound train 9 stops back to transfer elsewhere.

After this, a train going to Brooklyn pulls in. It is stuffed full of people. Only a trickle walk out. I said "This is unconscionable."

Thankfully, a Manhattan bound train shows up but by that point I decided I'd rather not stand in another hot as Hell subway station for another train. I take my chances walking on the NYC streets where I might feel a breeze. Wouldn't you?

Also, like many people I tend to get very irritable when the temperate is above 90 degrees outside & you force me into a space that has no air conditioning. School administrators in the South understand this basic concept. Why can't the MTA's top brass or employees? I was very tempted to walk up to the subway operator that people were talking to & point out the legal issues/events that will lead to someone getting hurt.

If this kind of crap is characteristic of a month in the life of the MTA service, someone owning the MTA is eventually going to happen. Based on the odds, a multi-million dollar lawsuit is bound to happen. Some little kid or an old person dying or suffering permanent injury? Some worker being assaulted or killed? Whatever might happen by forcing travelers to suffer in spaces as hot or hotter than the outside streets in a heat wave is going to be bad. If it happens to me, you'd better believe I'd take action & mention the legal issues in a second. Sane people know better than to mess with me.

And if I didn't have prospects or get laid regularly, I'd be a much more dangerous person. More on the getting laid part in the next rant.

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