I'm Surprised You Take the Subway

Rarely are those with fame and fortune seen on public transportation, for it cannot be claimed that riding the subway will be a pleasant, comfortable journey. Rather, the subway is dirty, loud, and one is likely to encounter obnoxious people—it can be an all-out assault on the senses.

News is made when someone we all know does take the train. I refer mostly to politicians, who are occasionally obliged to take public transportation to maintain their common man image.

This was the subject of yesterday's New York Times article, The Mayor Loves the Subway, Even at a Standstill, by Winnie Hu.

For all his faults, our mayor, Michael Bloomberg, does take the subway to work most days. The accomplished billionaire and founder of financial giant Bloomberg LP, Bloomberg Television, Bloomberg Radio, etc. sees the wisdom in taking the train rather than sitting in traffic.

Leaving from his Upper East Side townhouse, he takes the Lexington Avenue line to City Hall, accompanied by his security troop. Yesterday, as he was en route to a reception at the Four Seasons, the mayor had some unexpected quality time with his fellow New Yorkers as his number 4 express train came to a standstill in the tunnel just below Union Square. All service was suspended on the Lex line from Bowling Green to Grand Central while a suspicious package was inspected at 28th Street. For 40 minutes, the mayor sat in the tunnel, forced to make small talk with people after running out of reading material.

This followed an incident earlier in the day when he went downstairs (three levels down) at 59th Street to catch the express train, only to hear that it was not running. He hiked back up to the local platform, at which time an announcement indicated that the express was back in service, so he ran back down to the express platform.

For me, it was refreshing to hear that the Mayor takes the subway, and, more importantly, has no power to move them.