Saturday, August 16, 2008

2 Trains are for Babies

Like many New Yorkers, I'm a big fan of the subway. In fact, enough New Yorkers are big fans of the subway system that the MTA maintains a store where you can buy all manner of subway-themed merchandise, permitting you to flaunt your mass transit ardor to the world through bags, pencil holders and the like. Advertisements for these items are occasionally placed in the cars, and one caught my eye last month as I was studying for the bar exam.

You see, the typical subway rider is attached to one train above all others, as you generally enter the subway on the line nearest your home. For me, that means that I ride the 1 train more than any other. Appealing to this single-train affection, the MTA sells t-shirts for adults and toddlers, permitting subway patriots to tout their favored lines.

The MTA does not offer t-shirts for all 23 subway lines. What's strange about this whole effort is that the selection of shirts offered to toddlers differs from the selection available to adults.

Toddlers can proclaim their love of 9 subway lines: 1, 2, 3, 4, A, E, F, G, and J.

Adults have the option to promote 15 lines: 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, A, D, E, F, G, J, L, N, R, and S.

Based on the selected lines, it appears to me that no one likes the 5, B, C, M, Q, V, W, or Z trains — or at least would not attest to this affection in public via a garment. Moreover, certain trains are adults only. Hold up there, little feller! Them 6, 7, L, N, R, S trains? They ain't for kids!

Conversely, the 2 train shirt is toddler only. In a perfect world, maybe the 2 train would be toddler-sized. It'd be a kids train with stops at every playground and F.A.O. Schwartz.

Finally, I'm stunned they left out any line and yet still included a shirt in honor of the S line. I wonder if they've sold any to people who aren't conductors or engineers on this train? You see, there are three trains designated as S, and they do nothing more than ferry people between two to five stations that would otherwise be unconnected in the system. Getting fired up about the S train is a little like getting excited about the shuttle train at an airport.

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