Management & Operations

British journalist trashes N.Y. subway as 'hellish'

Posted on September 24, 2014

Photo beanhead4529 via Flickr
Photo beanhead4529 via Flickr
NEW YORK CITY — A British journalist for The Gaurdian Bim Adewunmi wrote an article trashing the New York subway, which she says was so "hellish," it made her homesick for London's Undground. Adewunmi calls out the "MTA's needlessly complex map and messy signage:

I am a city girl, born and raised across the metropolises of London and Lagos, most at ease in a crowd, especially if we are all underground, blinking into a dark tunnel and awaiting a train. Over the years I have developed the ability to decipher and absorb complex, multicoloured transit maps in mere minutes. In New York this lifetime-honed skill is rendered practically useless. Here, I become an overawed simpleton.

A Gothamist report takes Adewunmi to task for her complaints by pointing out that, 1) the subway runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week, while the Tube is open from 5 a.m. to midnight Monday through Saturday, giving more time for cleaning and maintenance; 2) the NYC subway system has about 150 more stations, prompting a somewhat more complex design (and see prior note about cleaning); and 3) the flat rate one-way fare is $2.50 (not zoned fares, with a Zone 1 fare costing about $3.60—their monthly Zone 1-3 fare is about $200).

N.Y. MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg gave the Gothamist a statement about Adewunmi's column, which said among other things: "...when she complains that the subway uses too many fonts, it seems clear that she hates our subway less than she just loves to complain."

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