Tuesday, October 27

The magnificent emptiness of the 5:01

Today was one of the relatively rare days when I had the chance to go into work a bit later than usual.  I drove to Ronkonkoma for the 7:32 to Penn, pulling into the south side parking lot around 7:25.  It was immediately apparent that summer is over.  Summer brings lighter ridership, and one glance at the lot showed that ridership sure wasn’t light.  Only the last few rows closest to the woods on the east side of the lot still had spaces.  I found one without too much difficulty and boarded the third car from the end of the consist. It was somewhere above half-full when we left Ronkonkoma and SRO by the time we reached Jamaica.  As is normal for the 7:32 the SCA count was relatively low, ridership being about a 50-50 mixture of women and normal men.  A tall but fortunately not wide man of about 30 took the seat next to me at Deer Park and, unlike the schmuck yesterday afternoon, made no attempts to infringe on my (already minimal) space.  It’s amazing how some people can be so much more polite than others. I spent most of the ride reading, and unlike yesterday there were no delays. Also unlike yesterday, the 2/3 line was back to its usual reliability.  I waited just a couple of minutes for a 3 train to Fulton and the crowding wasn’t too bad.

I worked through lunch with hopes of getting the 5:01 to Ronkonkoma.  A fairly lengthy wait for a 3 at Park Place almost scuttled those hopes, but I made it onboard the 5:01 just as the door-closing chime was sounding.  I was in the second car closest to the head of the consist, in other words at the end of the train where boardings are heaviest.  In almost any other Ronkonkoma train that car would have been packed, even if there were ample seats toward the end of the train.  Not on the 5:01.  I would guess that only about a third of the seats were occupied, which means that the cars at the other end of the train must have been growing cobwebs or something.  A few more people boarded at Woodside and Jamaica, but not many, and needless to say I had a very nice ride to Ronkonkoma with no one sitting next to me.  As I’ve noted, the 5:01 still exists only by virtue (so to speak) of the incompetence of LIRR management.  If the managers had an average I.Q. score even close to the three-digit mark they would’ve canceled the underused 5:01 months or even years ago.  But stupidity reigns in the corner offices, and I’ll take advantage of that fact whenever I can leave early enough to make the 5:01.

Gym: my left wrist was a bit sore, probably from the other day’s dips, so I decided to skip weights for the day and instead ran another two miles on the treadmill at 5.4 mph.

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Published in: on October 28, 2009 at 2:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

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