stand clear of the closing doors

What’s Your ‘Subway Shuffle’ Strategy?

Commuters wait on a platform as a train arrives at a subway station in New York, November 21, 2008. The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authorithy (MTA) said that to plug a 1.2 billion USD budget gap next year, it must increase fare and toll revenues by 23 percent, which would raise an additional 670 USD million if the increase goes into effect in early June.
Decision time. Photo: EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty

You know that situation where two trains show up at almost the same time and you have to decide — sometimes frantically — which one is going to leave first? City Room examined the phenomenon today, but, sadly, it did not uncover any secret patterns, except for noting that a “dispatcher must decide which train leaves first.” Personally, we usually go with the train that arrives first, reasoning that it has dibs, although sometimes we go for the express regardless of when it arrived, because we like to imagine that the express trains are the varsity team of the subway system and like to push around the local, JV trains.