We just heard the news that New York is looking to the Red Rocket for inspiration for its upcoming streetcar line the city plans on stretching from Brooklyn to Queens by 2024. Apparently, they even hired former TTC chair Adam Giambrone to run the $2.5 billion project and provide helpful nuggets of wisdom like… build a dedicated streetcar lane so the cars don’t get stuck in traffic, and get ready to listen to non-stop public outrage.
But let’s be real: that first one is basic common sense and second, New Yorkers definitely don’t need any lessons from us on complaining about things. So, once we confirmed this wasn’t part of some cruel prank by the New York Times and Mayor Bill de Blasio, we decided to come up with a few helpful suggestions of our own that the Big Apple could learn from the Big Smoke.
Make sure the doors stay closed.
This is pretty much Transit 101, but apparently it bears repeating: you don’t want any doors opening mid-ride, accidentally or otherwise. Right, TTC?
Pick a good nickname.
No knock on the Red Rocket, but just saying, you get way different (read: NSFW) results when you Google that phrase in NYC… And Giambrone, of all people, should know that public image is key. The New York Post has already taken to calling him “the Canadian Anthony Weiner.” Our advice? Don’t give them any more ammo.
24/7 service is overrated.
Nothing brings you closer to your fellow man than being jammed into the dreaded Yonge night bus after a night out. No, literally. It’s physically impossible to get wedged in any closer.
Be careful who you give those massive streetcar contracts to.
As nice as the TTC’s fancy new streetcars look, thanks to those continued delays from Bombardier, Torontonians are about as likely to spot one in the wild as New Yorkers are to see their famous Pizza Rat.
Pass the costs on to commuters.
Nothing gets people talking about transit again like constant fare hikes!
Make it easy to transfer from streetcar to subway.
Jokes aside, this is one thing the TTC gets right. The current plan in New York is for the city to run the streetcars, while the MTA runs the subways and buses. And if it costs an extra fare to go between the two, de Blasio can expect to hear a whole lot of Bronx cheers.
But don’t make it too convenient.
If you can frustrate riders enough, eventually they stop riding, resulting in emptier trains. That’s a win-win!
Working AC is very important.
And if you can’t fix it when it’s broken, at least try to pretend like you care. Our intrepid mayor rode the length of Line 2 yesterday in a car with broken air conditioning as a show of… solidarity, we guess? It definitely didn’t fix any of the TTC’s AC problems, but it did make for a good photo op.
Embrace the nostalgia!
Streetcars in New York conjure up sepia-toned images of the city’s famous (and deadly!) old trolleys, AKA where baseball’s Brooklyn Dodgers got their name. Given the current nostalgia craze, we say lean into that old-timey image. Because at least then when you’re stuck in rush hour traffic in a jam-packed car with broken AC, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back to those same early 1900s. Fun!