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November 15, 2019



I'm a New Yorker, and this is what I have to add on the subject:

Actually, the subway system in New York started to improve pretty rapidly in the mid-1980s, and I believe that was due to an infusion of federal funding. Until then, the only train that was dependably clean and free of graffiti was the F train, which traversed a long route through Queens, Manhattan, and Brooklyn. The worst was the IRT line, specifically the 2 and 3 trains. Those trains had newspapers on the floor and floor-to-ceiling graffiti--inside and out! Other lines may have had it, too, but I remember those trains especially.

In the mid-1980s, however, the improvement was quite dramatic. The trash completely disappeared, both in the trains and the stations. And the graffiti was completely gone, as well. The stations were renovated, with old and new tile work on the walls restored or installed, and attractive metal gates put in. Much of the new tile and metal-grill work was designed by artists. At least, that's what I heard.

There may have been new train cars added to the stock, though I'm not completely sure of that.

Fast forward a few decades: Recently, they've installed Wi-Fi in the stations, as well as electronic boards indicating which trains are coming next and in how many minutes.

There is still a lot of work going on in the system, not always, but over stretches of time. Right now, traveling by subway during the weekends is difficult because of track work or other work being done on this or that line. Still, it's sooooo much better now than in the 1970s and early 1980s.

Mick H

Thanks for that Joanne. Last time I was in New York - 2011 - the subway was fine. Never experienced it back in the bad old days, thank goodness.

Patrick Homes

Blimey those photos look like stills from 1979 Walter Hill classic "The Warriors"!

Mick H

Yeah I thought of that. You can see how Hill got the idea for the film.

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