Among the recent tragedies of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy is the public transportation sector. The New York subway system is the largest subway system in the United States and the fifth largest in the world. It is also arguably one of the most efficient. It took a 13.2-foot storm surge to force its shutdown. Seven tunnels were flooded and all 650 miles of the subway system were shut down for a week.
Now, only one week after the storm, 80 percent of the subway system has been restored. Just three tunnels remain flooded and all major lines are reopened. The amount of damage inflicted on the other tracks must be assessed and the problems fixed before they are reopened.
Over eight million people rely on the public transportation system in New York, so a speedy return of the transit system is crucial. Now, though most lines are running again, the trains are passing less often and are significantly more crowded during rush hour.
However, the astoundingly prompt recovery of this system should be noted by all major cities with a public transportation system upon which a large percentage of the population depend. Had it happened to most other cities, they would not have fared as well as New York.
Courtesy of Paul Lowry/Flickr
The fact that took just one week for New York City to reopen 80 percent of its subway system is incredible. It might be difficult to comprehend what a triumph this is until a city with a less efficient public transit system goes through the same ordeal. Hurricane Sandy is unlike anything the New York subway has ever faced. In its 108-year-old history, it has rarely closed. The amount of damage from the corrosive sea water could have been disastrous and in any other city, it would have longer-lasting and much more costly effects.
Pumping out millions of gallons of water a day and working day and night to assess the situation, Mayor Bloomberg has managed this natural disaster with admirable efforts. New York’s speedy recovery should be a cautionary tale; hopefully other cities will now adjust for any future crises.
School, major and year: A&S, Economics, 2015
HometownRancho Cucamonga, California
What makes the Gavel so BANGin’? We keep it fresh. It’s drippin with swagger and is home to some of the coolest cats on campus. The Gavel is always fun and I’ve met nothing short of amazing people and writers here.
You have 24 hours to give prospective students a tour of BC and convince them to enroll. How do you spend the day? I’d start by getting some coffee and a personalized omelet at Mac. Then we’d go lose our voices at a football game and wear our super awesome Superfan shirts. We would then go see one of the amazing Acapella groups perform. We’d get some Mac N Cheese from the Rat for lunch. We would go see My Mother’s Fleabag for an awesome good time. Then we’d take a break and visit the dorms (i.e. sit in my room and watch Mean Girls…because Mean Girls.). We would then go to a hockey game, then to the Mods, and end the night at Late Night.
If you could go back in time and give yourself a pep talk the night before you moved into BC as a freshman, what is the most important piece of advice that you would give to your former self? Eat your vegetables and take a lot of pictures.
What is your favorite study spot on campus? The Rat
What is your go-to meal at Late Night? That delicious Simply Orange juice the dining halls always have stocked. This and a personal pizza topped with ketchup. Judge all you want, but ketchup on pizza is the best thing to happen since Game of Thrones.
What is the #1 most played song on your iTunes? “I Always Knew” by the Vaccines
What is the best Halloween costume that you have ever worn? I was Minnie Mouse as a kid. Not trying to brag, but I rocked the ears off that costume.
If you could only eat at one restaurant for the rest of your life, which would you choose? Del Taco
If you could befriend the main characters from any TV show or movie, who would you choose and why? Easy. Harry Potter. (I’m assuming) I’d get to go to Hogwarts, be a wizard AND be friends with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. It’s a win win, for me anyway. If I can’t be a wizard then i’d be friends with the main characters from This Is The End.