MTA Discovers Goddamn Picky Millennial Riders Want Subways That Don't Break Down or Catch Fire

Categories: MTA, Subways

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Millennials also demand 24-7 party cars
It's begun: the MTA has discovered millennials. They all live in Bushwick and Williamsburg, they can't afford cars, and they want to ride the subway all the dang time, even during what used to be off-peak hours. And why are their (our) expectations so sky-high? Because they (we) didn't live through the same terrifying, 1970s-era subway rides as our forbears, and have only glimpsed them through the hazy, romantic lens of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/ (Important anachronism alert: April appears to be getting her ass kicked by evil ninjas in the City Hall station, which isn't possible, since it was taken out of passenger use in 1945. HOLLYWOOD LIES.)

Returning clumsily to our main point: the pickiness of both millennial and baby boomer riders was all part of a new report submitted to the transit agency's finance committee Monday. The MTA is doing a "needs assessment" for the next 20 years, and both the Youngs and the Sort-of-Olds, it seems, have certain very special needs and expectations.

"You're not terribly impressed that your subway doesn't catch fire now," the MTA's chief spokesperson Adam Lisberg told the Times.. "Now your question is, 'Why don't I have a countdown clock and why don't I have Wi-Fi?'"

It would seem that everyone, no matter what their age, should insist their mode of transport not be engulfed in flames; maybe that's just our generational entitlement talking. In addition to non-flammability, the MTA report found that millennial riders are just entering the labor force (they are?), they're "tech-savvy," and they want 24/7 subway service, making it much harder to find time to do any maintenance work. (Personal observation suggests that the new maintenance window is "every weekend everywhere forever and ever.")

As for the boomers, they too have "growing transit dependence," as they leave the work force, but can't afford to leave the city or buy a damn car. And they, too, are using the subway at off-peak times more often, presumably because retirement has freed up a lot of extra time for late-night, inter-borough booty calls.

The solution to all of this (except the sudden, unwelcome image of your parents answering booty calls) is, among other things, to install "real-time information and displays in stations and on vehicles" and enable phone and Wi-Fi service underground. Also, they seem to think finishing that Second Avenue subway line might help. Perhaps it'll roll out in time for the millennials to use, right after we retire.

The full report is below, for your leisurely, 24/7, tech-savvy perusal:


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As an "entitled millennial" living in Manhattan, speaking for myself and the vast majority of people I know, we don't care about wifi OR countdown clocks. It is no great loss whatsoever if we don't have internet for ten whole minutes or are not immediately informed that we still have to wait 8 minutes for the next L train, because that won't make those 8 minutes go by any faster.

What really does bother us is having to wait 15 minutes for a train to go home at 9pm on a Wednesday, alone, not always in the safest of neighborhoods. Or physically being unable to fit onto three rush hour 6 trains in a row because despite the obvious demand for and use of those trains, the city still doesn't want to introduce more trains so that they can run more frequently and people can get to work on time. Or the fact that there are EXTREMELY limited locations in Brooklyn that you can actually conveniently get to via subway, or the fact that walking 30 blocks from one Manhattan location to another would take half the amount of time that it would via subway because of how indirect and disconnected the lines are. 

And do not even get me started on trying to travel crosstown.

PatG 1 Like

Permit me to explain how this worked back in the 80s and 90s: shut your entitled ass the fuck up and deal with it. As long as there are no fires, collisions or CHUDs clawing into the cars, you are ahead of the game. Fine, move to goddamn Germany or South Korea. If it stops working here, we'll frigging walk. Fuck you.


In South Korea they have internet access in every train. It's not unreasonable that the TA (who increase fares while discovering a surplus in their budget) keep up with the times and give the most modern city in the world... well, modern amenities 

scott.reitz editor 1 Like

All millennials (and every other transit user) needs is cheap, reliable transportation. New Yorkers are lucky to have the transit system they do. You want bells and whistles, information systems and other embellishments? Just look at DC's metro system where trips can cross 6 bucks and trains break down frequently. Trust me, an electronic sign that tells you which train is coming next is useless when it never comes.  Keep your MTA focused on reliability. Its imperative.


@scott.reitz I take the subway a lot... and I kind of agree with you with the logic "when it comes it comes." But honestly I don't know a single soul in the city who don't find it comforting to know exactly when their train is coming. Heck, in Germany they run on schedule to a fault and I don't see anyone complaining about German efficiency. Speaking of efficiency, sometimes when arriving at Franklin Ave on the 2 line; I could get a glimpse of the electronic ETA sign and can make a decision to get on the express 4/5 line to shave minutes off of my commute... just sayin'

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