Staff Rider Report Cards: Steven Higashide

F Train As noted in the press, NYC Transit has been passing out “rider report cards” on its subway lines to gauge customer satisfaction. Most TSTC staffers happen to be NYC Transit customers as well. So how satisfied are we? The first in a series of answers to that question comes from communications associate and MTR co-editor Steven Higashide, who gives the F train a grade of B- (an earlier version of this feature appeared in MTR # 566).

My commute is blessedly predictable:

1. I leave my home in Midtown and walk to the station at 47-50th St-Rockefeller Center (B/D/F/V). I push my way down the stairs to the station level and swipe in. The trains seem to empty out at Rockefeller, which means two things.

First, I inevitably miss the train because every staircase leading down to the platform level is filled with disembarking commuters walking up. On the plus side, when the next train arrives I nearly always find a seat.

2. I’m off in two stops, at 34th St-Herald Square. The escalator I use is broken, though the MTA has promised to repair it by mid-September, and then early, mid-, and late October, and then early November, and, as of today, mid-November.

3. Once on the street, I walk the two-and-a-half blocks to the Campaign’s offices on 31st Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues.

It is–by far–the shortest and easiest commute of anyone at the office.

I filled out my rider report card for the F, since I also use it to visit friends in Park Slope, travel to the Lower East Side, and buy groceries at Trader Joe’s (after transferring to the L). I’ve found that even on my non-commuting trips I have rarely experienced delays or long waits for the train.

My main frustration on the F is the barely comprehensible train and station announcements. This has only inconvenienced me once, on a day when–unbeknownst to me–the downtown F was skipping 14th St.

As for the broken escalator, it is a source of comedy more than frustration (though it must severely inconvenience some commuters), since the repeatedly delayed repairs bring to mind the old saw about “government in action.” Even on this sign one can see that “Nov. 16” has been written over an earlier date.

Herald Square escalator

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