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Frances Pierce, MTA Conductor

“I’m 52, and I’m the best dancer ever. I can dance hip-hop, salsa, ballroom-dancing—you name it, I do it.”

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You’re a subway conductor. Does that mean you drive the trains?
Conductors are in the middle of the subway. I’ve been on the No. 4 train for sixteen years. I was a stay-at-home mom, and, basically, I needed to fill a void in my life.

What is your day like?
I get up, I go to work, I get on the train, and I meet and greet the people out in public. It has its ups and downs.

What are the downs?
It’s overcrowded. And sometimes New Yorkers are so rude and mean. The only time people were nice was right after 9/11, but after a while they were back to their rah-rah selves.

The MTA isn’t doing so well right now.
Yeah, they need to get some money and give us our raises. But overall, it’s not a bad job. I was recently widowed, and I’m not trying to meet anybody, but I do meet a lot of men down there.

What do you do for fun?
I go to the Roseland Ballroom for what they call an old- timer night the first Saturday of every month. And I shoot pool. My mom started teaching me at the age of 8. She bought me a cue—she called it my Wonder Woman stick.

Interview by Emma Rosenblum


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