How many of you know that before this place becamse ‘New York’, it was ‘New Amstredam’. The Dutch occupied this belt much before the Irish and then the British. When the British colonized nations, they left their mark, negative as well as positive. One of the great hallmarks of British India is the Indian Railways. Similarly, one of the hallmarks of New York is it’s subway system.
The system was built by the British, more than a 100 years ago. Subsequently, it has been enhanced to cope up with the growing size of NY. Today, the system has 468 stations and ferries more than 5 million people on weekedays. I cannot stress enough on the fact that some one though of making a subway system more than 100 years back. We are trying to construct one line in Bombay for the last 6 years (VAG corridor), and these guys were making subways underground and underwater a century ago.
As an outsider to the city, from day one, I was able to use the service, and today, after 6 days, I can go anywhere in this mammoth city without a second thought by the subway. It is nothing posh, as compared to say Singapore or Seoul’s subway, but boy is it efficient. The planning is so meticulous that I don’t think there is a single point in the city where you are more than 500 meters away from a subway station. Even better is you can buy a monhtly pass and travel unlimited on the subway and the public buses of the city. I leave my apartment at 8 05 am, and I am at my seat (3.5 miles away) at 8 27 am. This is seat to seat, and includes walking to and from the station. The sign boards are so clear, and the numbering is so simple to follow. You just don’t need to ask anyone. All you need is a good map and you’re good to go anywhere in the city without a problem. Most trains on the main routes are very frequent, and always on time.
I couldn’t agree more with what my brother always says, “Luxury isn’t when you can afford a car; it is when you can stay comfortably without needing a car.” In this city, which is amongst the largest and the most crowded in the world, I can definitely say that you just don’t need a car! Love it!