New York Subways
The New York subway system runs for over 600 miles under and over the city. Every day, even on weekends, over 5.5 million people from all five boroughs use the subway system. Many New Yorkers don’t drive in the city for a few reasons. First, parking in New York City isn’t easy. There aren’t enough spots available, and those who do have permanent parking spots have to spend a fortune every month to hold their parking spot. Also, the traffic in the city is insane. Driving just a few miles can take a long time due to the traffic. Many New Yorkers don’t even have a driver’s license. They don’t see a reason to get one because they don’t plan on ever buying a car because it just isn’t convenient or practical. Thanks to the New York subway system, residents can get wherever they need to go easily.
The subway system came to be through a merger of several subway systems, and the Metropolitan Transit Authority was born. Most people ride the subway, thinking that they know all about it. You may know which line to take to get where you need to go, but there are some things that you don’t know. Here are the secrets that subway workers will never share with you.
People Figure Out Creative Ways To Ride For Free
There was a time not too long ago when people used tokens to travel in the subway. Most people would stand in line to buy tokens like good citizens of New York. However, others have come up with some pretty creative ways to ride on the subway for free. First, you should understand that jumping the turnstile isn’t one of them. If you get caught doing this, you will be arrested. Creative riders needed just a stick of gum to get a free ride on the subway. They would fold up the gum wrapper to make it the size and shape of a token, and slip it in the slot. You can get a pack of gum for as little as 25 cents. This means that these people could ride the subway five times for a quarter.
Others would use tokens, but they wouldn’t use the New York City subway tokens. Instead, they would use the Connecticut Turnpike’s cheaper tokens. This would allow New Yorkers to ride the subway for half price.
A Nobel Prize-Winner Experimented In the Subway Tunnels
Have you ever wondered exactly how safe the air is in the subway tunnels? Some go really deep under the ground, which makes some wonder. Fortunately, the air down there has already been tested for radiation. Victor Hess is an Austrian scientist who won the Nobel Prize back in 1936 for discovering cosmic radiation. During World War II, he came to America. Here, he wanted to experiment with radiation and test various areas around New York City. When he arrived in the U.S., he needed to find a place to do his experiments.
After searching, he found the subway system’s deepest area, which is located at Washington Heights’ 191st Street station. After setting up his laboratory, he began measuring radiation levels in the granite between the station and Fort Tyron Park, which was 180-feet above. He didn’t find any radiation, which is great. When you ride the New York subway system, you don’t need to worry about exposure to radiation.
The Colored Globes Have a Meaning
When you get to the entrance of the subway system, no matter where you are in the city, there are colored globes that decorate the top of the entrance. These globes were installed in the ’80s, but they weren’t installed for decoration. They actually had a purpose. The green globes represented stations that had a booth open where you could buy tickets day or night. If there was a yellow globe at the entrance, it meant that the token booth was only open part-time, and at night, you won’t be able to buy tokens.
At night, subway riders would need to find a green globe if they were going to purchase tickets. If the globe was red, it signified that it was an exit only. There would be no way to board the train in these areas. Now that metro cards are used to ride the subway; there are only two colored globes. A green globe means that the station is open, and a red globe signifies that the door is an exit only.
You May Know More Than the Conductors Do
If there is a delay and the train stops, the conductor often won’t tell riders the reason for the delay. In most cases, they don’t know the cause of the delay. The conductor is underground all day, working. If something is causing a delay, they might not know. Since you were just above the ground, you would likely know more than them. If there is a delay, the conductor isn’t trying to keep a secret from the riders; they simply don’t know what is going on.