This week we discuss a bunch of topics that “could have been worse.”
The subway line in NYC that opened in 1904 was built in 3 years, and ran from city hall to 145th street (longer than the entire plan for the new 2nd avenue subway line by 11 stops). Almost all of the progress that has been made in the 109 years since the subway opened was made in the 36 years before the city socialized the subways in 1940. In fact, the MTA’s current subway system actually provides substantially less service in 2013 than the IRT and BMT did in 1940. That is to say, more stations and routes have been closed, abandoned, or torn down than have been opened. There was even an elevated Second Avenue line that ran from South Ferry to 125th street, which opened in 1878, was complete by 1880, and ran until the city shut it down in 1942. Of course, the city planned to replace the El with an underground line based on the IRT’s own plans from 1929, which the city never approved (which also didn’t call for the demolition of the El until the underground line was complete, and which was scheduled for completion in 2-4 years). The city abandoned, rather than squandered the IRT plans to expand the Lexington Avenue line into Westchester. The MTA/BoT/NYTA, and even the Federal Government have spent tens of billions of inflation adjusted dollars over the decades on expansions and improvements (including the ongoing attempts to finally replace the 2nd avenue el). However, the only major accomplishment the city can take credit for over their 73 years of socialist control has been the introduction of air conditioning in subway cars–about 30 years behind the curve, with no plan to air condition the station stops themselves. In fact, the total mileage of operable expansions (such as the Archer Avenue Line) opened during the city’s entire reign is less than the length of the original line alone. Also, the price of a subway ride since socialization has increased by a factor of almost 4 relative to inflation.
Get a. Life
Well, that took the usual turns. Happy Subway Anniversary Week to us all!
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