Sick passengers on the NYC subway

This has gotten totally out of hand–at least three times this month, my forty-minute commute has turned into a two-hour commute, with much standing around on hot subway platforms, extra walking, switching to different lines, etc., all because some selfish pinhead decided, “Hmmm, I’m feeling like a stale dog turd this morning–guess the subway’s where I need to be! No need to go to my neighborhood MD today, or to stay in bed until I feel better, or to dial 911 and ask for an ambulance–I’ll just get on the train, and if I feel a skosh worse during the trip, fuck it, I can get EMTs to come there and pick me up. Nema problema!”

I have the fantasy that when the special “sick passenger on the subway” EMTs do finally come, they put him in the ambulance but, instead of rushing him off to the hospital, they work him over good and dump him in the gutter near a vacant lot where stray dogs can piss on him until he feels better. Stupid fucking pinhead.

Okay, that unreasonable rant felt very good. I can get on with my day much better now. Thanks for your attention. This rant is now concluded.

It has gotten so bad that there are signs in many cars that say, in several languages, “If you are sick, DO NOT PULL THE EMERGENCY BRAKE.”

I have a great deal of sympathy for anyone ill trapped on the subway. It has happened to me, and it is very unpleasant.

But you can get help faster if you just ask someone to help you off the train. The stops are two minutes apart from each other. If you are having a heart attack and you pull the brake between 125th and Columbus Circle, you are probably going to die. Get some help, but let the train run.

Not this morning, when it took me 25 minutes to cross the Manhattan Bridge. :mad:

I wonder if prr’s sick guy also fucked up my commute, or if it was a different infected meatbag.

No, I was on the “A” --all fucking morning!

I would have to wonder what genius ever thought, at any point, this was a good idea.

I think I picked a really good day to work from home. Jesus. I ride the A from the top to the bottom of Manhattan.

Equally irritating is getting stuck because the train in front of you has a sick passenger. Not only did he fuck it up for his own train, he had to let his disease spill over to the train behind him.

Millions and millions of meatbags ride the trains every day. There is a high probability that at any given time, there are people with some very serious medical problem. I cannot imagine a worse place to have a stroke than between Canal and Chambers streets. Yet somehow, most sick people manage to not pull the damn brake and seriously delay the time it takes an EMT to arrive.

Probably the same sort of person who thought it was a good idea to call 911 (twice!) because he didn’t like how his Subway sandwich was made.

Why are there even ‘emergency brakes’ located where assholes can operate them at all?

In case someone gets trapped in a door, or falls between cars or something while the train is in motion. It happens from time to time.

i’ve never ridden a subway. what is the emg brake for? i mean, i get that it’s not to summon medical help but when is it appropropriate for passengers to pull?

never mind i just read the post above mine.

I often thought that if someone were to have a serious medical issue (heart attack, bleeding, whatever) on the subway someone else would probably pull the emergency brake. Maybe I’m wrong, but I easily can figure a well-meaning individual, not taking the time to ponder the consequences, reacting this way.
By the way, over here, in the subway, an “accident involving a passenger” is the usual euphemism for “someone threw himself under a train and you’re going to wait for a long time”. Since the OP refers to long waits and significant disruption of traffic, and since it seems to me that a train stopped by an inappropriate use of the emergency brake wouldn’t stay idle for long but would be running again ASAP, is it possible that a “sick passenger” would also be an euphemism for a suicide?

so now i have a less-stupid question than the one i asked earlier. can’t the conductor or engineer or whatever start the train again if someone pulls the break by mistake?

This partially answers the question. The biggest reason the emergency brake exists is in case the signalling malfunctions and the train runs a red light.

Very often, they can’t just restart the train, at least quickly. The crew has to search the train, identify the problem, run through emergency measures, etc.

What does occasionally happen is that when the brake is pulled, people evacuate the train and walk on the tracks to the next egress point. These are the people who really deserve a month’s worth of abuse from the dyckman street madman. As soon as anyone ends up on the tracks, the MTA shuts down the power. This kills the lights, the AC, and power to the doors. Until MTA workers round up all of the idiots, the power cannot be restored and the train started again.

This is a very bad thing.

thx for your info. 1 more thing, tho. why does your location say “impaled on a spear?” i thought maeglin was thrown off a cliff. :slight_smile:

I landed funny.

My rant

A few months ago I am on the subway. There is a couple on the train, probably homeless, definitely destitute. The woman appears very ill and is coughing furiously.

A unjaded young man gets very concerned and asks them if they need help. They say no. He tries to insist and tells them he will get medical help, they are still insisting they want no help. Young man looks around and sees no support in the subway car. He starts to move car to car in the direction of the conductor.

Inside, I am screaming…OH, NO, you are NOT going to do what I think you are going to do!!! THEY DON"T WANT HELP. They are not committing a crime and if they don’t want help there is NO WAY anyone can force them to accept !!!

Sure enough, after a few stops the car parks in a station and the “sick passenger” announcement comes on. We wait, and wait and wait…as the special detail that comes to rescue sick passengers only comes once an eon. Then 2 cops and all their medical gear approach the couple. They say, once more…
“WE DON"T NEED ANY HELP”. The cops leave and the train continues after about a half hour of delays. I don’t know what happened to the naive young man.

So wait… don’t your trains have some sort of Passenger Assistance alarms, so that you can alert the conductor/guards/staff if there’s a problem on the train?

We have a clearly labelled bright yellow strip running down both sides of the subway cars for this purpose. They’re much more visible and easier to access than the emergency brake (in fact, I can’t even remember where the brake is or what it looks like, which gives you an idea of how not obvious it is).

If someone triggers the alarm, the train stops at the next station long enough for personnel to deal with the situation and get affected parties off the train, which at that point continues on its merry way. The total time lost as a result of someone keeling over in between stops is usually less than 10 minutes, tops.

That’s not to say that we don’t get long delays on a somewhat regular basis, but those are almost always the result of mechanical failures or jumpers.

I’m pretty sure the emergency cord didn’t figure in my story. When someone pulls it, you know it–I was on a different train last week when someone (in another car) pulled on the cord, the train screeched to a stop, a woman fell into my lap from across the car (she staggered about 25 feet before plopping into me–and wouldn’t you know, she wasn’t a lithe and gorgeous supermodel but rather a hefty-enough dame to play middle linebacker). I do think that if someone goes up to the conductor and mumbles the magic words (“sick” and “passenger” within sixty phonemes of each other) he is legally obliged to fuck up every passenger’s day.