Six weeks ago, as June turned to July, I left my July monthly at home, and used the expired pass to get to the city on the first day of July, as is Metro-North’s generous policy.
I’d picked up an $11 one-way for my return trip that eve, and casually showed the expired June monthly for the second time that day in July. What the hell, I figured. Worst case scenario, the conductor tells me it’s expired and I produce my one-way ticket.
Well, the dead monthly worked. (Ah, the benefits of being a 40-something white male!)
I stashed the one-way ticket for a family member’s future ride, and we grabbed it this past weekend to take the kids into the city. Little G used to harrass us to take us to the city to see his favorite skyscrapers; he’s on a first name basis with most of them: the Empire, the Chrysler, the Flatiron, the CitiCorp. Now he wants to go and climb the giant boulders in Central Park, cuz, you know, you can’t find great rocks anywhere but in the middle of New York City.
Little G also used to be fixated on the landscape flying by from the train, but it only held him captivated until White Plains this time. Guess he’s growing up. Little Miss C, meanwhile, was happy to partake in another favorite commuter pastime; zoning out to a personal music device, she and The Missus being biPods as they listened to Music Together.
Kids ride free on the train, of course, so The Missus used the freebie 11-bucker on the way in, and we figured we’d get the return ticket from a machine at GCT.
The conductor came by and didn’t so much as look at The Missus, or her ticket. “Am I invisible?” she wondered aloud.
So, yes, two free rides thus far on our $11 ticket.
Our public transit highlights in the Big City included Little Miss G throwing a giant tantrum on the downtown bus in front of the Plaza, as I had not let Herself, who is 2, climb up the bus steps. She screamed the entire ride from 59th to 42nd, but was good enough to polish the filthy aisle floor by rolling around on it in her pretty blue dress. The driver appreciated that.
As we returned to the great northlands, the conductor was much more attentive. An awkward guy of about 30 with a large nose, he stopped in front of The Missus and clicked her now-pretty-wrinkled ticket.
We cheekily asked him if we would get money back on the ticket, as it was a peak ticket and we were riding off peak. (The nerve, huh?) He shook his head and went into a long explanation about returning the ticket at GCT, getting the difference back, but then paying extra to buy a new ticket on board. We didn’t completely follow, but the message was there–no money back.
Hey, no big deal. Three rides on an $11 ticket. That’s….like not even four bucks a ride. (Too early in the week to do proper math, sorry.) It’s like 1982 all over again–without the smoking cars.
[* The headline almost works, but not quite. Again, too early in the week for a clever headline.]