Tag Archives: amtrak

In Praise of CDTA

I had to be in New York today for work, and got the earliest train out that I could in hopes of being able to make it home (ever). Normally the scenery from the train is lovely, but today it just looked like this:

All I could see was snow.

When the train arrived in Albany (on time, no less), the conductor welcomed us to Albany and announced that all the doors should open, but some of them might be frozen. I exited the train from this particular door:

The conductor was not kidding.

The conductor was not kidding.

Some kind-hearted friends had offered to come pick me up in a 4-wheel drive truck, knowing of my intense anger about our taxi situation. Since it was a reasonable enough hour for the buses to still be running, though, I decided to go with CDTA.

The experience was not perfect. Due to the ridiculous fact that the 114 and 214 buses to Albany pick up on opposite sides of East Street, I missed the opportunity to get on a 214 twenty minutes before I eventually boarded a 114. I say eventually because the 114’s bus driver took a much needed break in between arriving at the train station and departing, and passengers are not allowed on the bus without a driver . . . so I stood around in the freezing snow for fifteen minutes after the bus arrived. This probably would not have been so bad if I hadn’t been wearing a skirt. But it also wouldn’t have been so bad if there was a bus shelter on that side of the street.

All that said: CDTA was (and is) still running, despite horrible road conditions and the fact that it took a solid ten minutes for the 114 to climb crawl up Madison Avenue between Pearl and Swan. It arrived roughly at the time it was supposed to, and deposited me one block from my apartment. It cost $1.50. And what am I, a princess? My friends didn’t have to drive in the snow, I didn’t have to pay a corrupt taxi system $20, and I was home 45 minutes after my train got in, in a blizzard. CDTA is great. Everyone: ride the bus more. And then maybe they’ll have the money to build me my train-station bus shelter.

ps. Amtrak is also great. Don’t want a train delay? Don’t be a dummy and buy a ticket on a train coming from Canada and/or traveling across half the country. Done. Too easy.