What If You Threw a Contingency Plan but. . .

Day 2 of the strike on Wednesday saw the opening of the temporary Metro North platform at Yankee Stadium, designed to offer a park-and-ride option off the Major Deegan. A mob of desperate commuters was expected: There were about a dozen cops, several Metro North employees, remote trucks from three television stations, even a Salvation Army van there to greet them. The only thing missing at around 10 this morn' were the cars—there were barely ten in the lot—and the people.

Some folks parked on the other side of the Yankee Stadium pedestrian overpass and walked over, but staff on hand still said they were surprised at the lack of business. They even held trains several minutes for stragglers. A friendly Metro North employee (whose day job is designing new stations, with the Larchmont and Mount Vernon East stops among his works) speculated that folks had come to the Stadium on Tuesday expecting the trains to be there, saw that they weren't yet, and left "with tears in their eyes."

They and others won't be back, he figured, until they were sure the temporary service is running for sure. The science of all this is kind of interesting: Metro North decided to close their Melrose station because the time it takes to decelerate, pick up passengers there, and speed up again caused too many delays on the Harlem line to justify serving a relatively lightly-used station. The overflow from Melrose is supposed to go to Yankee Stadium . . . once they know it's there.

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