Thursday, September 23, 2010

Blowing up MTA's email

The Metro Transit Authority--services over 7 million passengers per day. It's the largest public transportation system in the country and has the largest subway fleet in the world. They've got this public transit thing down. Here's why I hate them.

I live a good 15 minute walk from the nearest subway, so in the mornings, I catch the B61 bus to the subway station. (I hate showing up at work sweaty.) But two weeks ago, the MTA reduced service on my route, so now the bus is always crowded waaaaay past capacity, in addition to coming so infrequently that I can't just wait for the next one or else I'll be late for work. This morning, my bus driver said that he didn't like it any more than we did, and we needed to raise hell with the MTA.

"You all are just taking it lying down," he said.

No, I thought, not I! When I got to work, I sat down and wrote letters of complaint to the MTA, my local representative, and I would have written a letter to Mayor Bloomberg except his website crashed my computer, and by the time I'd rebooted I'd already gotten distracted by the free hot dogs they were handing out at the campus bookstore.

I haven't heard back from my representative, Nydia Velazquez, but I did get a reply from MTA that I'll post here in it's full fuck-you form letter glory.

"We apologize for the difficulties you’ve been experiencing with B61 service.

Due to personnel reductions and overtime-pay restrictions made necessary by our current budgetary constraints, we may periodically experience intermittent gaps in scheduled bus service. The severely reduced availability to cover employee absences using “extra” bus operators or bus operators working overtime may result in some service not being operated, with little or no advance notice.

In response to your concerns, we notified our Road-Operations Unit. We requested that they give increased attention to the ____ route, make every effort to keep buses close to schedule and properly spaced, and ensure that bus operators are properly accommodating customers at all stops along the route.

We appreciate your continued support for MTA bus service, and assure you that we will continue to make very effort to provide the best service possible with the resources currently available to us.

Thank you for contacting us."

Apparently it was too much trouble to type in "B61" twice. "Never mind, this is good enough, she knows which bus she rides. Let's go get a hot dog."

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