You know what? Let’s opt out of subway car wifi

You can't sleep on the subway if you're expected to work. via Flickr user JoeInQueens
You can’t sleep on the subway if you’re expected to work. via Flickr user JoeInQueens

There are precious few places you can escape the all-seeing information economy these days. We’re sure that makes Tom Friedman happy, but why should anyone except his wife be in the business of making him happy? Why should she even be in that business, for that matter? Anyway, one of the places you’re blessedly free of email trouble is the subway. The MTA is already moving to disassemble this haven in its stations, and now they say they’re planning to add wifi to subway cars too. Great, now you’ll never be safe from work stuff.

We’re completely serious about this. Or at least I am. Hey, if the MTA wants to expand their ability to provide wifi and cell service for first responders, great. Put a password on it and make the penalty for hacking the password having to clean the subway floor with your tongue. Otherwise, does anyone honestly think subway wifi will mean more time to look at stupid Buzzfeed listicles as opposed to your boss expecting you to be productive on the way to work? We’re already productive, and we don’t get shit out of it, so it’s not as if a company is going to say “Here are ten percent raises for everyone because we’re making you work on your commute now.” They’ll still cut your goddamn retirement to shreads, just watch them.

Your commute is supposed to be your own time, 40 minutes to yourself to space out or read or fantasize about the person sitting across from you. Capitalism’s lousy rapacious jaws already chewed up our sense of any future job, retirement and home ownership security, and now it’s going to rob us of any precious time we used to have to ourself? And even worse, the MTA is trying to blame Millennials for this crap:

“It is one of the features that the X’ers and the Y’ers and the millennials consider an expectation or an entitlement, not a luxury,” Mr. Prendergast said at the gathering, which was hosted by the Citizens Budget Commission.

Noooope, you aren’t pawning this one off on us, Prendergast. This is one entitled, narcissistic, delusional Millennial who wants his time on the subway to be devoted to fancy book reading, not email reading.


  1. Conal Darcy

    No. NO! Put that money into keeping fares low or improving service, not making it possible to make WiFi calls on the subway. IS NOTHING SACRED?

  2. You realize that in Brooklyn most of the subway lines go above ground at some point and stay there, right? And that most people already have 4G-enabled smartphones?

    This won’t change much.

  3. Danya

    Hey, you know what? If you’d prefer to read a fancy book rather than emails while on a wifi-equipped train, no one would prohibit you from doing so. If you can’t help yourself, that’s not anyone else’s problem. I doubt you’d disagree that there are some people who’d prefer to have Internet access underground, so why advocate denying it to them to preserve YOUR concept of what “minutes to yourself” means?

    And I’d also like to point out that subway service with wifi and phone service already exists on the 40% of NYC subway track that is above ground, and people seem to be able to live with it.

  4. Come on, let’s assert a little bit of control over our lives without requiring external excuses for what we want to do or not do.

    Simply do not turn wifi on your phone, do not connect, use headphones.

    It’s quite simple to be assertive with your life, just do it.

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