Farewell Number 9

West-siders rejoice! Come May 31st the number 9 train is being retired.

I hate the 9. As a 1 train rider, the 9 serves only to mess up rush hour service. If I happen to take the train during rush hour, a dreadful ordeal at best, I always wait 2-3 times longer for a train.

The 1 and 9 trains are skip-stop trains in upper Manhattan and the Bronx. Above 137th Street, the 1 stops at some stops, the 9 stops at the others, and they are spaced out in time appropriately. They typically run within a few minutes of one another, then there's a large gap, usually 5-10 minutes.

During rush hour, 5 minutes is enough time for my station to fill to near capacity. Many people don't even bother getting on the train, for there is no room. All they can do is hope the next train won't be 5 minutes away.

Thankfully, I rarely take the train during rush hour. When I do need to be somewhere during rush hour (jury duty and the like), I allow for an extra 20 minutes and I think to myself, how do people cope with this hassle on a daily basis—the packed trains, the invaded personal space, and the grumpy morning moods. My impression of New York would drastically change if I was forced to endure this daily.