When I interned in New York back in the late 1970s, my colleague/mentor Glen taught me how to ride the Long Island Rail Road in comfort. The rolling stock was fitted with five seats across, with the center aisle dividing them into a bench of three and a bench of two. Trouble was, there was really only enough room for four to sit easily. So what the two of us did, per Glen’s instructions, was to sit in the three-seat bench “and look big.”
The other thing I remember—dimly—about commuter rail in New York was the bar cars. It turns out that the tradition of alcohol service is still going strong in the New York metro, with the added assist of bar carts on or near the platforms. Michael M. Grynbaum reports on new data released by the MTA about differential tipple preferences between Metro-North and LIRR riders.