MTA Frustrations

There are good and bad things about public transportation in the city. The good thing is it is generally a reliable service that gets you pretty much wherever you would like to go in NYC. Plus, for $104 (up from $89 last year) you do end up saving money than if you owned a car in the city. 

The bad thing is, the MTA is a huge corporation that is basically a monopoly and truthfully doesn’t realllllyyyyy care too much about customer service. I’m sure their PR team might tell a different story, but let’s just say it doesn’t entirely have the best reputation.

Many stations are run down, stinky, and rat-infested. I’ll give them a little credit, because some of these issues are difficult to combat with over 5 million riders each day. What I do find very interesting though is the terrible financial situation it has found itself in. I wasn’t a finance major, and I’m sure it’s a little more complicated, but how does an agency that provides transportation for at least 5 out of the 8 million people in the city have such poor finances? With most of those riders buying the $104 passes each month? Especially because the system is old and while they are always doing renovations, I haven’t seen much improvement of the system while living here.

More so, when you have issues with the system being 1 out of 5 million doesn’t really help you. In the month of March I ended up having to purchase 3 unlimited cards because of errors. Plus, even though it is the year 2012 apparently the agency has not figured out to do refunds electronically, but instead you have to mail in your metrocard and hope 4-6 weeks later that you will receive a refund. I’ve been lucky in that this was my first problems I encountered with my cards while living here, but 3 in one month? Can I catch a break! For a city-dweller though, it is a necessary evil for the people who rely on its services. 

It turns out I’m not the only one that became frustrated with the system this month. I just read an article about a rider that left the emergency exit doors open at a station and posted this sign that mimics the MTA announcements. I’m not going to lie.. I thought it was pretty brilliant.