The MTA Is Raising Subway Fares Again. Here's What We Want in Return.

mta wishlist
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Dear MTA,

Let’s be up-front: You've gotten quite a bit done, recently. The long-awaited Second Ave subway is finally open (partially), and every underground station now has Wi-Fi and cell phone service. And hey, we get that transporting nearly 8 million people every day in America's busiest, toughest city is no simple task.

But if you’re going to hike fares on us again -- raising the cost of a weekly MetroCard from $31 to $32 and the monthly price from $116.50 to $121 (the base fare remains unchanged at $2.75 for a single ride) -- we’re going to have to ask for some more stuff in return. In exchange, we can promise to duck the turnstile less often, and maybe even stop blaming you for all of the world's problems. Here are some improvements we’d like to see moving forward:

  • More late-night subway trains. If our bars are open until 4am, the C train can manage the same.
  • A reasonable solution to the looming L train shutdown in 2019: high-speed cable cars, increased ferry service, car-free corridors -- whatever. Our Williamsburg friends need to know if they should sign a two-year lease or move to another neighborhood.
  • A porn filter on all Wi-Fi in subway stations. Unless you’d like to repeat that obscene sidewalk internet kiosk debacle?
  • Countdown clocks in every station. If dive bar jukeboxes can tell us when the next train is coming, why can't every subway terminal?
  • Give the $9 million budgeted for “social media” to @FakeMTA and call it a day
  • Isolation booths for loud phone talkers on the bus
  • An actual completion of the Second Ave line before the reversal of Earth's magnetic field
  • Consolation gift bags (including bubble bath, a grilled cheese sandwich, and a picture of two puppies hugging) for riders who miss the subway by fractions of a second
  • Subway announcements that don't sound like the garbled musings of an over-served dude at Papaya Dog at 2am
  • Brake training for subway and bus drivers and/or a chiropractic fund for whiplash treatments
  • Drop-down oxygen masks that deploy upon critical BO overload
  • Proper ventilation for the wafting aromas of street cart food in Styrofoam containers
  • A ban on all food in Styrofoam containers
  • An American Idol-style competition to screen "SHOWTIME!!" breakdancers
  • Early warning urine detectors
  • Early warning mariachi band detectors
  • Time-outs for adults who play handheld video games at full volume
  • A ban on people who don't move all the way in when the train is crowded
  • A ban on people who complain about people who don't move all the way in when the train is crowded
  • Bouncers
  • Roombas
  • Air

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Ethan Fixell is a comedian and beverage writer from New York City who prefers Citi Bike over the subway. Visit or follow him on Twitter: @EthanFixell.