Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Excuses, excuses, excuses...

I've been sick.

I overslept.

I just started a new semester.

I have sooooo much homework to do.

Uhhh, nothing exciting has been happening on the trains?

Ok, ok. I've been bad. I haven't been blogging. Well, hopefully with a few more cups of coffee and some spare time I can catch up. Please excuse my laziness!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I'm Anti-Bus.

So today, I was scheduled to see the Jack Kerouac exhibit on display at the New York Public Library (Arts and Humanities) building; therefore, I opted to take the bus, and walk from Port Authority to 5th Ave. By now I don't ever expect to get in before 9 when taking the bus, even when I leave before 7:30. As per usual a bus broke down in the tunnel and we were waiting in the bus lane for well over a half hour. Now, I was not upset about this little delay as the tour did not start till 10 a.m. I had given myself plenty of time. WHAT DID piss me off is that while we were waiting in the bus lane, a special announcement came over the loudspeaker:

Announcement: "Attention all operators, attention all operators, starting February 4th until February 10th, college students and post-secondary students will ride free with proof of ID."
Me: "Motherfu..."

I was so mad! Not only did I have to sit in annoyingly long traffic, next to a girl who wouldn't stop talking to her boyfriend, and a woman who was on her cell phone for the majority of the ride, but I could have sat through all of that FOR FREE!

Now my father keeps telling me that train riders can use their train pass to get on a NJ transit bus. The operators should honor them, but I'm so afraid to whip it out and then have the bus operator say "this is a bus not a train!" I try to avoid chances of embarrassment.

So anyways yes, if you plan on coming into the city during this week and you still have your school IDs, then you can ride for free. ::shakes fist in air::

Monday, February 4, 2008

Good luck tomorrow!

I just wanted to wish all our regular NYC commuters good luck. Tomorrow morning is going to be HELL! Especially for those working downtown near City Hall (you are in our prayers). Yup, tomorrow is the Giant's ticker-tape parade. The parade starts at 11 a.m. at Battery Park and will end at City Hall. So prepare for much chaos as the mayor grants the New York Giants the Key to the City.
This is a day when pushing is OK. I will allow it, because I will be pushing.

And here's some random information that I learned on the news: the first ticker-tape parade took place in 1886 during the dedication of the Statue of Liberty! Hmmm, my third grade teacher did not tell us this.


How the Giants' Victory Changed My Life...

I never pick up a newspaper to read, and by now the AM New York lady who hands out the paper at the West Fourth Street station doesn't even hold the paper to me anymore. I must have one of those faces. So today she was surprised when I went to take a paper from her. She even took back the paper I grabbed because there was a spot on it and replaced it with a nice clean one. My reason for taking this morning's free paper? Of course, it was because of the Giant's big win last night! But, I actually grabbed the paper for my younger brother--a giant, Giant's fan.

But now I might start picking the AM New York more often, because right on page three I learned that The Milk Gallery is giving out free $4.00 MetroCards! But I feel like there is a catch to this. The Milk Gallery isn't a bodega or anything (and for some reason bodega is what I think of when I hear free MetroCards), its an art gallery in the Meatpacking District. Today I wondered, what do I have to do for this four dollar metro card? Do I have to perform some odd breast-feeding pose? And what sort of gallery is the Milk Gallery anyways? Anyways, the AM had an http://www.amny.com/news/local/transportation/am-fares0204,0,3640458.story">article about ways to save money on MTA transit. The price for MetroCards will go up in March and this includes slashing the bonus rides. DAMN! So don't expect to get a $12 dollar MetroCard when you put ten dollars into the machine.

So this article gives different tips for ways that commuters can save money. The article really had my wheels spinning as I thought of different ways to save money. As of now, I'm paying $7/five days a week between the Path in Hoboken to work and then back again (the seven dollars includes my transfer at West 4th). That doesn't include the $12 round trip from my town to Hoboken. I basically spend around $300 a month on transportation fees and those bonus rides were just a tad bit helpful!

So what are the ways that I might be able to save money? Here are just a few ideas:
  • Walk from the Path Station to work. Except on rainy days. And when I'm lazy.
  • Go back to taking the bus to Port Authority.
  • Swim from Hoboken to Manhattan.
  • Find a suga-daddy.
  • Move into the city.
I think its pretty clear that right now my only choice is #1. I refuse to take the bus into the city ever again! Although, I have to take it tomorrow, damn! The last option is one I've recently been considering as living at home is driving me crazy, and I hate having to run back to Hoboken in order to catch the last train home on those "wild" weekends that I have. I'm beginning to feel like Cindrella, which includes almost losing a few shoes, but no Prince Charming :-(. Many of my friends and coworkers have been very helpful in swaying my decision towards moving into the city. The scenario usually goes like this:

"How much is your bus pass"
"Oh, $166 a month."
"Oh my God! That's so expensive! You need to move into the city!"
"You know what, you're so right, I definitely need to save money and move into the city."

In which my confidence fades as I remind myself that $166 a month is a lot cheaper than--oh, let's ballpark it--$900 dollars a month for rent. But now that I just figured that I'm really spending $300 a month, well that's only a few hundred dollars less than paying rent (if I move into a super small basement-level studio in Jersey City or Newark--most likely Newark). So for now, my money saving solution is to a). walk from the Path to work and b). pick up a free AM New York each morning to see if any other places are handing out free MetroCards.

I'd like to thank the Giants for winning the Super Bowl, because I would have never picked up today's paper if they lost.

UPDATE: So the bonus rides will not be completely slashed! They're just going to be sliced. The bonus will decrease from 20% to 15%. For more information on the new prices go to the Crain's New York Business site. Whew, I'll take 15% over nothing.


Sunday, February 3, 2008

National Guard Takes the Rails.

According to Allheadlinenews.com Homeland Security has increased a federal grant for "New York State's transport system by 50%, from $98 million on 2007 to $153.3 million this year." New Jersey's commuter rails are included in the plans, as "members of the National Guard [will be] riding commuter rail lines."

The grant mostly focuses on the New York City subway stations in hot spots like Grand Central, Penn Station, and Herald Square plus others. You might see officers with automatic weapons and K-9 patrol. However, many commuters are not jumping for joy, yet.

New Jersey commuters--we have to remember to be polite when our guests start riding with us. No pushing or shoving!


Friday, February 1, 2008

Traveling Lesson #3


Even if you did have a bad day at work.