We are occasionally reminded by the MTA of their new rules of proper subway conduct. Personally, I don’t think they go far enough to address all the serious issues of discomfort that afflict New Yorkers on a daily basis. According to the MTA’s new rules, it is a violation to:
• Jump the turnstile or enter the system improperly, even if your MetroCard is not working properly. Author’s note: there are proper ways to jump a turnstile, the most encouraged one being the Fosbury Flop.
• Refuse to present special fare card to police officer or transit employee. Telling the officer or employer he has three guesses is also a violation.
• Straddle a bicycle, wear in-line or roller skates, stand on a skateboard or ride a scooter. You are, however, allowed to do all five at once.
• Move between end doors of a subway car whether or not train is in motion, except in an emergency or when directed by police officer or conductor (emergencies do not include removing one-self from a malodorous condition because the rider next to you had one too many Gorditas at Taco Bell).
• Place one's foot on the seat of a subway, bus, or platform bench; occupy more than one seat or place bags on an empty seat when doing so would interfere with transit operations or the comfort of other customers. You can place other people‘s feet on a chair so long as it is not inconvenient to them and you agree to meet for drinks at the next stop.
Clearly, these rules do not begin to address the myriad discomforts encountered by subway riders. For starters, the MTA should consider adding the following rules:
• Any idiot playing a computer game at a high volume will have his or her subscription to Loud and Idiotic Video Games cancelled.
• Business people will not be allowed to “talk shop” just because they happen to run into each other on the Number 6. We do not need to hear about how “Bob is clearly not in charge” or how “Jen is in way over her head”.
• Tourists will be banned from acting as if they are on a high speed roller coaster every time a train pulls out of a station.
• Conductors will not be allowed to say that there is a train “directly behind this one” unless they can prove that a train once snuck up on this one from above.
• Conductors will not be allowed to embellish in any way, shape or form the indication of a stop except at the last stop when they will be required to say “Baddee, baddee, baddee, that’s all folks.”
I think these rules are reasonable and should be adopted post-haste by the MTA board or pre-haste before the next threatened strike deadline.