One of the things that I did not really think about much for some reason on my many previous trips to New York, is how bad the roads and other infrastructure like the Subway is in
The driver who took us from JFK into the city complained about he roads as we bounced our way along the motorway into town. I guess also the very bouncy suspension that these large USA cabs and cars seem to have probably accentuates them. But it made me look more at the roads, and they do seem to be in pretty poor shape with lots of pot holes and gaps.
I am very naughty and tend when in NYC to only use cabs as find the subway a bit confusing and aggressive. But being more aware about using public transport instead of private transport to reduce environment impact – and also the improvement (in my view) of things like the bus service in London, though not top notch yet has been getting better – we decided to use the subway to get around on this trip in NYC.
Firstly it is good to see how cheap the system is, especially versus the London Tube which is very expensive. The purchasing of Metro cards in the machines at the station is simple. Though they don’t give more than $5 change so you need small notes.
But overall I found again that the stations seem very run down and dated. Plus it does feel for some reason more threatening and gloomy than the tube in London I am used. I am not sure how much of that was driven by the environment as it does feel generally a bit cramped and exposed in the stations. The cars themselves are big bright and more spacious. But overall I felt it was all a bit less comfortable.
Overall it does feel to me that the infrastructure in New York is under strain, and it feels like it is is getting run down and not being invested in. The barrage and strain it all takes form the constant pounding of the city must make it really hard to keep modern and fresh. But is it just me, or is it getting worse?
New York Subway (5), originally uploaded by garybembridge.
Read my full New York review and suggestions: New York in 48 Hours. The Ultimate Guide on what to see