Wednesday, December 21, 2005

On the PATH to oblivion

Transit strike sob story: Too cold to walk to work (and I busted my ass for four miles on the treadmill already), so I decided to venture to the PATH train to get downtown. BIG MISTAKE. If someone wants to see an publicly-run institution that makes the MTA look as sharp as Rainbow 6, look no further than our blind mole rat friends over at Port Authority. There was nary a single sign or helpful person to be found to elucidate route changes regarding the strike.

I had heard that Manhattan PATH trains were running in a single-seat ride configuration from 33rd St. to World Trade Center, so I hopped on the first train that came through - which, of course, was headed for Hoboken. Transfer number one - I get off at Christopher St., and wait for another train to WTC. Is there any hint of info at Christopher? Nein! Shweinhund!

Train ride number two took me from Christopher St. to Pivonia, NJ - VEEEERRRRRYYY SLLLOOOOWWWLLLYYYY - where the conductor told a bunch of us to wait for another connection to WTC. Pivonia=25 minutes of inertia; no announcements, no info. Train to WTC finally pulls in, and instead of heading into Manhattan, it goes deeper than planned into Jersey to Grove Street, an unannounced route change. This, too, occurs fitfully, with stops and starts - mostly stops. From Grove St. it's off to Manhattan, but not before we sit in the tunnel for two to three minutes at a time, intermittently hiccupping forth under the river.

The math: On foot, the walk is about three miles, taking 35-40 minutes. Via subway, 13 minutes express from Union Square to Wall Street. Via PATH: Just shy of one hour to traverse the same distance.

Congratulations, PATH! You're the Salad's first "Prick Of The Week!" It took a lot to upstage the tremendous tools at the MTA, but you dug down deep and gutted it out. You could have been fucking heroes, but you worked hard at being a pile of goddamn worthless jackasses. Bravo.