Just a quick one.
I read in the papers last weekend that the New York Subway is in need of modernization and refurbishing, so what did they do? they hired the guy who’s been managing the London Tube.
Is it a joke?
The London Tube has NEVER been so bad as since the manager in question started his abominable “refurbishments”. The great genius and his men plan works not trying to keep in mind the poor travelers, who are already paying a ridiculously inflated price for a ticket. No, like most things in the UK, common sense goes down the drain when it comes to “reaching targets”.
Computer says: target is finishing Jubilee Line by 2012 or London Olympics will be disrupted.
And of course Mr Tube shuts the whole Jubilee Line every single weekend, so if somebody has the bad luck of living in Canary Warf, Greenwich or Kilburn, they’re either rich enough to go around by taxi, or they’re forced to stay home for 48 hours. Never mind if a concert is on at the O2 Arena or a football match at Wembley Stadium. The Jubilee Line is unapproachable, as we’d say in Milan “tacate al tram!” (which in such context could be a suitable suggestion. Pity there are no trams in London…)
Computer says: let’s put fancy displays along escalators to advertise musicals. Musicals productions pay money.
And Mr Tube shuts Archway Station for two months (and Warren Street and others, Archway is the one affecting me). Fuck musicals advertised on multiscreens! I need to get on the Northern Line! And I’m even one of those who loves musicals!!!
And the Northern Line… do we want to open a chapter about the misery of the Line that has more branches than a baobab?
Why does every Northern Line train have to stop at Camden for 10 minutes? Signal failure! Why do signals keep failing?
Why do the screens say “Via Charing Cross” if the train is actually going “Via Bank”?
Why can’t the Charing Cross branch go to Morden and has to stop at Kennington?
Why, at Camden, they can’t have a platform for trains Via Charing Cross and one for trains Via Bank, instead of having random trains arriving at random platforms? It looks like that game I played as a child, BANDIERA, where two teams lined up at the two sides a person holding a handkerchief. Then the person called “number… 3!” and the players who were number 3 had to run to catch the hanky.. Same at Camden. Commuters desperately try to guess which platform number will come up, keeping an eye on both – which is impossible because there are two sets of stairs and a corridor in the middle. Then the little man at the tannoy announces “the next train via Charing Cross will arrive at platform… 2” and go! You’ll see hoards of crazy commuters rushing up the stairs down the stairs and up the stairs again, elbowing each other, smashing briefcases and kicking pregnant women in order to get on their train…
There must be a more rational way…
Last night I was at Heathrow, on my way back from Italy. Well… The Piccadilly Line didn’t work, so I had to get the Heathrow Express to Paddington. At Paddington, I found out I couldnt take the Bakerloo Northbound, because the Victoria Line was also closed, so I couldn’t change at oxford Circus. The Circle Line to Kings Cross was also not working, so I had to walk a mile to go to the Hammersmith and City Line, whose entrance of course is nowhere near the other Tube lines at Paddington. While on the Hammersmith I found out Kings Cross station on the Northern Line was closed. So I had to take the Piccadilly Line (the trait that worked), get off at Holloway Road and from there get a bus, because of course Archway station is also closed.
And ca va sans dire the Jubilee Line was shut, but that is implied, the Jubilee Line is a just a mirage, a trick of the mind.
Let’s not mention that neither Kings Cross nor Paddington have escalators or lift to ground level, and they’re full of tourists with huge bags.
All this for the pleasure 4 pounds a ticket – unless you have an Oyster Card.
So, dear New Yorkers, have fun! Your subway smells of urine and is either warmer than the Sahara desert or colder than the North Pole, but at least is cheap and doesn’t keep closing!!!
The only good thing is that, unlike the British, Americans and New Yorkers in particular, are good are complaining. So my advice is…
Please kick the damn man’s ass!!!