According to the latest edition of the Metro-North’s monthly publication Mileposts, the Harlem line was on time a most-impressive 96.3% of the time. But if you read the fine print, the MTA gives itself six minutes of leeway. So if a train scheduled to arrive at, say, 9 a.m., pulls in at 9:05:59, it’s technically on time.
Which got me thinking. Should that train arrive at 9:05:59, making me exactly 5 minutes and 59 seconds late for an important meeting (OK, I’d probably take the earlier train if I were to ever have an “important meeting”), couldn’t I tell my meeting partners that I was, according to MTA rules, on time?
The 5:59 rule, in fact, could change history. I could’ve showed up 5:59 minutes late for Mrs. Khatir’s 11th grade French class back at Harborfields, and instead of being barred at the door, I’d be on time (ponctuel, en francais). I’d end up with a higher grade point average, go to a better college, and perhaps get a better job. C’est bon!
Let’s now turn to the most recentMarathon. Marilson Gomes dos Santos of was considered the winner at 2:09:58. But with the MTA’s 5:59 rule enacted, it turns into a tie between dos Santos, Thomas Nyariki of Kenya (2:14:59,), and 11 other runners that finished in between them. Congrats, guys!
Perhaps the MTA could hold itself to the same standards that the rest of us do.