With service cuts announced for the New York City Subway's G line, it's time for more subway funerals. The Straphangers Campaign, a citizen advocacy group founded in the 1970s to bring the subway out of it's then trash-dungeon state, held a service for the G line at the Court Square station in Queens.
It’s hard for New Yorkers to shed a tear over anything, but with some 50,000 lives affected by the closing of the Z train, some have actually cried. The Fulton Street-Broadway/Nassua subway station witnessed a mock funeral for the Z line last month, complete with bagpipes and a Straphanger's adaptation of Psalm 23.
While the state doesn't suggest it will be handing more money to the MTA, the Z train remains on life support at least until this summer. But with the MTA’s projected budget deficit of $1.2 billion, the support won’t last without a bailout. With proposals for eliminating the W line, cutting the G and M lines in half, ceasing express service on the J train, cutting 1500 transit jobs, and increasing the subway fare over 8%, perhaps we should all dress in black and carry flowers on our next commute.
With the now-famous bagpipes playing in the background, Gene Russianoff, representing the Straphangers Campaign at the funeral, recited his adapted version of Psalm 23:
The M.T.A. is my conductor; the Z train shall not want, hopefully. Transit officials maketh the J and Z skip-stop during rush hours, providing faster trips. They leadeth the J and Z quickly in the path from Jamaica, Queens, to Lower Manhattan. But now the M.T.A. sayeth it is very broke and must still the Z, and addeth an hour more a week commuting time for many riders.
Yea, though the Z walks through the valley of the shadow of death, it will fear no M.T.A. plan: For thou art with the Z, Gov. David Paterson. Thy leadership and thy budget staff, they comfort Z riders. Thou preparest new revenue proposals to stop the death of the Z; thou anointest the Z’s wheels with oil; the Z’s subway cars runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow the Z in all its days and the Z will dwell in the house of M.T.A. subway tracks forever.”
Sorry Starbucks. Apparently you haven’t left quite the same legacy, since the upcoming closure of your eleven stores across the city hasn’t yet brought you a tear. Let alone bagpipes.
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