Tourism is at an all-time high in New York City: 50 million people visited the city last year, the Daily News reports. Perhaps not coincidentally, weekend subway ridership was at almost all-time highs: an average of 5.4 million riders went through a turnstile every Saturday and Sunday (combined) last year, just 200,000 short of the 1947 record. Of course, weekends have traditionally been when the MTA did most of its track-maintenance work, but with this uptick in ridership, the agency now employs a system it calls “Fastrack”: it will shut certain lines down for several weeknights at a time, disrupting service from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
This week, it’s the B, D, F and M lines, which won’t stop at stations between West 4th Street and 57th Street during night hours from Monday to Friday.
Everyone gripes about service interruptions, but of course they’re necessary to the smooth flow of our transit system. (Still, how am I gonna get home from Carrie this week if I can’t hop on the D?! Fuckin’ MTA.) But what the MTA has done here is adjust its operations for the sake of easing the experience of tourists at the expense of outerborough residents—they’ve made life simpler for the visitors, tougher for the residents. Tourism is a huge part of the city’s economy. But so are people who work nights (or commute for other reasons) and have to get back to Brooklyn; wouldn’t it be nice if the MTA looked out for them, since they not only pay fares year-round, but also the state taxes that help balance out the agency’s perpetual budget shortfalls.