Of course the big story today—big enough to garner a link on the front page of the Seattle Times’ home page—is the startling news that New York City subway trains were stalled for hours in snow drifts:
Passengers have been stuck for several hours on two New York City subway trains stalled in snow drifts near Kennedy Airport.
NYC Transit spokesman Charles Seaton says that snow drifts and ice on the third rail have stalled trains at two stops in Queens, north and south of Kennedy Airport.
So how exactly does a “subway” train get caught in a snow drift? Of course, it doesn’t. The trains run on the surface by the time they get to JFK. And of course, the “third rail” the article mentions is the one that provides power, so our own light rail system with it’s overhead power supply would not stall for the same reasons.
Still, no doubt the Times sought to front-page this tidbit as a warning to those of us here who would champion light rail. Which of course, completely misses the larger picture of how the blizzard is really effecting transportation in NYC:
Christopher Mullen tells NY1 cable TV that he took the subway after he couldn’t get a car service or taxi out of Kennedy on Sunday night.
I’ve lived in NYC during snowstorms, and I can tell you that when the surface streets shut down, the subway is the one part of the transportation system that pretty much runs like normal. But you wouldn’t know that from reading the Seattle Times.