Tuesday, March 24

The stops, the stops, the stops!

I was able to go in a bit later than usual today, so for the first time in a few weeks I drove to Ronkonkoma rather than getting the shuttle from Medford.  Arriving about 8:15, in order to get the 8:31 to Penn, I got one of the last spots in the far southeast corner of the south side lot.  It really didn’t look as if the recent ridership declines were much in evidence.  As for the 8:31, it was moderately if not excessively crowded, at least in the car toward the rear of the consist where I rode.  The seat next to me stayed empty until Mineola, when a somewhat hippie-ish young man took it. Oh, and speaking of Mineola, it was just one of the many stops the train made.  All stops to Hicksville, then Westbury, Mineola, Merillon Avenue, New Hyde Park, Jamaica, Woodside, and then, at long last, Penn Station.  It took just under 90 minutes to cover the 50 miles to Penn.  The “just under” part is significant, because it’s scheduled to arrive in Penn at 9:57, and because that’s before 10:00 it counts as an extra-fare “peak” train.  I kept reasonably busy reading, but even so I was getting the sensation that we’d never get there.  Of course I’ve been spoiled to some extent by taking the 7:19 express, but even so, the 8:31 clearly reaches “annoying” levels with all its stops.  I was expecting a lengthy wait for a subway to Park Place, it being well after rush hour, but as luck would have it a 3 train pulled into the platform just as I arrived.

The subway was not quite so pleasant after work, as the ride from Fulton to Penn on a 2 took almost twice as long as usual.  We spent a couple minutes sitting on the platform at both Chambers and 14th, no explanation other than a canned “we are being held by supervision.”  I was just about to give up on the 2 and go across the platform to a 1 local at 14th, but the 2 finally closed its doors and we got underway.  Once at Penn I got the 5:41 to Ronkonkoma, riding in one of the head cars (closer to where I was parked) that was perhaps a touch too SCA-ridden for my tastes.  The 50-ish man who sat next to me was a semi-SCA, wearing dress pants and a sports jacket but not an actual suit.  He wasn’t too large, and in any event got off at Hicksville.  I played more Tetris, and it was a trouble-free ride to Ronkonkoma.

Gym: I began with a 2-mile run on the treadmill at a decent clip of 5.7 mph. Next came some leg work.  Life Fitness leg presses: 4 x 10 x 395.  I then did some Life Fitness seated leg curls, 8 x 155, 2 x 8 x 170.  The leg pad on the new Precor machine I had used last time doesn’t quite feel right, so I stuck with the older Life Fitness machine.  Precor leg extensions: 3 x 8 x 185.

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Published in: on March 25, 2009 at 2:43 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Your loyal readers are anxiously awaiting your thoughts on the MTA’s approval of the fare hikes. Not a clue what kind of money you pull it, but a fairly expensive commute just got even more so.

    The fact that’s it’s going to cost you more than $450 a month to get to work can’t be too pleasing.

  2. Needless to say, I am disgusted by the thought of the fare hikes. About the only good thing is that by the time everything is finalized, some of the fare increases may be less than initially proposed. What’s really happening is that when times were good, the MTA completely lost the ability to say “no” to even the most extreme union demands, especially those related to early retirements and lavish pension benefits. Now, when times aren’t good, the riders are being made to suffer.

    I’ll certainly feel the burden if the fare increases go through. One thing that helps slightly is that I pay for my monthly ticket via payroll deduction, so I don’t have to make an actual cash outlay, but no matter how you slice and dice it, it’s a lot of money.


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