The Dysfunctional MTA Family

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Issue 16, Volume 112

By Niamh Werner 

Cover Image

DISCLAIMER: If you aren’t willing to read an article that personifies inanimate objects, then look away.

The MTA is a complicated system with hundreds of miles of train lines and many types of public transportation, all available for the small fee of $2.75 per ride. Despite their lack of human features of any kind, many subways and buses are known to have certain… personalities.

2/3 Trains

Let’s start with the 2 and 3 trains. These trains are the older siblings with a lot of childhood trauma. Carrying many office workers, students, and others through three different boroughs on the express track is a hard thing to do, especially at rush hour. They are the backbone of inner-Manhattan travel and are constantly packed to the brim like cattle cars. You should really cut these guys some slack, though. Sure, they might get delayed when you’re on the way to your AP test, but they put up with the sweaty musk of you and a million other New Yorkers every day.

A Train

The A train is for sure the popular cousin, and worthy of its popularity, too; Duke Ellington wasn’t wrong to write a whole song about this line! It’s fast and runs express, unlike Stuyvesant students without their three cups of morning coffee.

NQRW Trains

The NQRW trains could honestly be quadruplets, which are as rare as anyone having a good opinion of College Board. With the N running to Coney Island and the R going to Forest Hills, these guys map most of the city that other trains miss.

7 and C and E Trains

The 7 trains are that unreliable family friend that just sort of pops up every once in a while. Due to their regular delays and “signal repairs,” most riders have to use alternative routes to get around. It’s like my desire to do homework in machine form. This is somewhat similar to the C train. Being one of the oldest trains in the MTA system, the C train is that old grandpa that’s always in the room somehow. Its desperate attempts at relevance are almost as sad as Will Smith’s.

1 Train

This takes us to the 1 train. This is that annoying younger brother who doesn’t get any attention, and for good reason! Let’s be honest, nobody takes the local unless they REALLY have to. It’s boring and takes a long time, and it never seems to run in alignment with the 2/3 trains. The 1 train acts as entitled as a freshman sometimes… at least you don’t have to deal with stuffy office workers though.

42nd Street Shuttle

The 42nd street shuttle is that 16-year-old cousin who thinks they are “mature for their age.” Being the only true Manhattanite train, they will often be found gloating their loyalty to the borough in the form of an over-the-top subway station. But it is quickly outdone by the other trains who can actually go more than one stop.

LIRR and G Trains

This leads us to the LIRR and G trains, the true, unappreciated stars of the family. The LIRR doesn’t really fall under the MTA, and that’s probably what makes it good. Unlike my sleep, it can actually stick to a schedule :’). Finally, the G train! Being the only main train running straight between Brooklyn and Queens, it's also the only train that doesn't go to Manhattan. I suppose it’s just quirky like that.

With that being said, it is imperative to understand that while trains can be judged, they don’t actually have personalities. Don’t talk to them because they won’t talk back. Trust me, I’ve tried.