As a visitor to New York, the subways have been a big attraction. I love the faces of humanity I see in the trains. The feeling of being alive seems to expand when I’m in New York, even as I observe people doing ordinary things. Waiting on the platform, sitting, or standing on trains are people whose responsibilites are carrying them somewhere, a private destination shared collectively and publicly by their choice to ride the subways and buses; a choice announced without revealing its most sensitive details. No where else is this boundary and merger between public and private, between individual and community so well expressed as in the faces, body language, attitudes, and manners of New Yorkers, each a part of a unceasing kaleidoscope of life, a rich mosaic, vibrant in spirit.
The low cost of the fares was an important part of the attraction, an affirmation of values, that I could trust and count on. To raise the admission is to lose something special. What do drivers hermetically sealed in their cars pay for increasing the carbon foot print, clogging the streets, and thumbing their horms at the rest of us?