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Artifact: Meet Greg and Lou

Findings from the streets, files, and hard drives of New York.

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Illustrations by Mark Nerys  

In a first for the MTA, general managers have been assigned to the L and 7 lines. Last month, each hosted “Meet and Greet” sessions with commuters during rush hour—Greg Lombardi at the L’s Bedford Avenue stop, and Lou Brusati at the 7’s Vernon Boulevard–Jackson Avenue stop. Below, a sampling of comments from riders walking by.


Any questions for the L train’s general manager?

“You guys should have a documentary to show what a great job you’ve done.”
LOMBARDI: “We do! Secrets of the Subway!”
“Oh. I don’t have cable.”

“I just want to mention the Halsey Street station. It’s a little seedy. It’s kinda, like, scary.”
“Is there a homeless element at this station?”
“It is more of a thuggish element.”

“I’m a psychiatric nurse, and you’ve got to keep police down here around 3, when these kids are getting out of school. These are anormal, hyperactive kids.”

“I just moved here from the R train. Thank you.”

“This is like the worst train line.”

“I think the L’s fine. Just more trains between 4 and 6:30 p.m.”
“I don’t want to lie to you. The ridership doesn’t warrant that.”

“The L is the best line. The best women.”

“One time, the train got stuck. I wasn’t on it, but I heard it was bad.”


Any questions for the 7 train’s general manager?

“The 4/5/6 trains, it seems like they fit more people in them.”
BRUSATI: “The doors are staged differently, but they’re exactly the same size.”

“Can I have an extra map? For a guest?”

“Shea. When the train’s coming back, sometimes it doesn’t stop. Does it ever stop here?”

“When there’s a service problem, you tell people to watch their bags. The announcements are extremely loud. They don’t do anything.”

“Two or three weeks ago, there was a guy pissing on the platform, showing his genitals. I told the guy in the booth, he did nothing.”

“This is great! Trains come every five minutes during rush hour.”
“Well, they’re supposed to come every two to two and a half minutes … ”

“Compared to other trains, the 7 has a lot of signal problems.”

“What’s the problem?”
“On the 7? We hope there aren’t any.”

“The trains are usually so crowded in the mornings. What are you going to do about it?”

“Do you plan to build a stop before this stop, closer to the river?”
“Isn’t there a bus to take you home from here?”
“No.”

“What are you doing here?”
“We’re answering people’s questions and complaints—or maybe you might have something nice to say.”
[Rider walks away.]


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