Grand Central Station is big, it’s glamorous, artistic, clean, and a city attraction for tourists and locals alike, but it’s not a structure that Robert Moses built. That’s because Grand Central is a train station. It’s an important place for public transportation in New York, offering commuters rides to and from the city to Northern New York and Connecticut, hourly, and affordable ticket costs.
This Thanksgiving, I was among the 150,000 people taking a train from Grand Central. I took a cab from Chinatown to 42nd street, counting on every second to help me get to my 1:48 p.m train on time. I boarded the train, sat down, a minute later the doors closed and the train departed the track. I made it, to my surprise and relief, but an article featured on Octobers New York Times makes makes me wonder if I got “lucky” or if I was I actually on time?
The article, entitled, “The Secret New York Minute, Trains Late by Design,”describes the organization of train scheduling as a culture of “down-to-the-second accuracy,” so passengers running late might be surprised to learn that trains might not actually leave when they’re supposed to. Call it a minute of grace if you want, but trains departing from Grand Central are rumored to leave a minute behind schedule time.
As quoted in the October article, Marjorie Anders, a spokeswoman for the Metro-North Railroad said, “If everyone knows they get an extra minute, they’re going to lollygag.”
(Story is incomplete. Can we speak after class, please?)