Subway vs. Uber/Lyft

Curious as to how often everyone uses the subway as opposed to ubering, especially on weekends?

I live close enough by my office where I can walk to / from work each day. 

On the weekends, however, whenever my friends and I venture around NYC we're more inclined to take cabs or ubers than the subway. Waste of money I know, but the convenience / relative cleanliness is too appealing in the moment. 

While I do try to subway about half the time, now I'm definitely more reluctant after the brutal murder of Michelle Go over the weekend. I know it's an "isolated incident' but more and more of these horror stories keep popping up and it's honestly pretty disturbing. 

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Comments (64)

Jan 19, 2022 - 12:50am
Brownfield Capital, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I have lived in the city for years and had always taken the subway, before I started working in IB. Now that I'm in IB and coming back after year of the pandemic, the subways feel so different. I have never felt so constantly threatened. The homeless used to ask kindly for money, etc. that was normal, but now it's extremely aggressive. Have heard of homeless asking for $20 or more saying that you have too much and don't deserve it, etc. Besides that, there is just generally more violence and random attacks / pushing into tracks. 

Would much rather drop $14 on a cab than be uncomfortable for 15-30 mins. This isn't even taking into consideration the general wretched state of the NYC subway system, with filth, feces, unidentifiable liquids, and outages that delay. 

Is it really worth it? 

Jan 19, 2022 - 11:16am
its-accrual-world, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I agree. Don't think it's worth it. I had no issue taking the subway two years ago pre-pandemic and would even take it pretty late into the night. 

Now, I'm a bit more careful. I still plan on taking it from time to time but I'm definitely going to stand in the middle of the platform and always keep my eyes peeled. Still, it's hard to imagine anything that could have prevented what happened to Michelle Go - as people mentioned, this happened at 9:30 in the morning. 

Most Helpful
Jan 19, 2022 - 9:25am
TryTheDip, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I take the subway every time. Maybe unpopular around here, but I've never felt particularly uncomfortable or threatened, and I think the state of the system is generally exaggerated - it's certainly not pristine, but I don't regularly encounter feces or "unidentifable liquids"… maybe it depends on the line you take?

Subway homeless have never threatened me either. Asking for money happens regularly, but a simple handwave stops them every time. 

I grew up taking mass transit daily, so also possible I just have a higher tolerance for everything that comes with it. Easily the most efficient way to get around Manhattan 95% of the time

Jan 19, 2022 - 11:35am
Arroz con Pollo, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The few times I've been to NYC I was shook of how it's just an open platform. I'm so used to walls and barriers everywhere when it comes to transportation and driving so that was interesting.

Sort of reminded me of when I have visited other countries - usually in metro areas, there might be a fence before say a 30ft drop off a cliff thats on the side of the road. Everything was just open in these places

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Jan 20, 2022 - 3:34pm
TryTheDip, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Most are open - NYC, Chicago, DC, Atlanta, Dallas, Boston, London, Berlin, Tokyo… I'm not sure I've seen one personally that's closed off. Some in Tokyo are, but not the whole system… I've heard Seoul is, but can't confirm. 
 

Agreed that they should be, I'm just curious where you're coming from that train platforms are closed off

Jan 19, 2022 - 11:44am
Lester Diamond, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I've been taking the subway since I was 13 and I no longer use it. It's disgusting and becoming increasingly dangerous. Looking forward to the statistics showing how safe it is to validate your "won't happen to me" thinking. The statistics didn't help that woman who was just pushed onto the tracks or the plethora of others that we don't even hear about. If you aren't admitting there is a problem then you are apart of the catalyst of the problem. 

Jan 19, 2022 - 3:17pm
TryTheDip, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Statistics don't help the affected individual, obviously, but they do inform how we live our lives. People die in random car accidents every day and horrific plane crashes every year - I feel bad for those who die and their loved ones, but I still get on planes and cars. Millions of people around the globe have died of COVID - it's a tragedy, but realistically if you're young, healthy, vaccinated, you're personally probably going to be fine to go outside. Wear your seatbelt, drive safely and soberly, fly with a trained pilot, stay home if you're sick, all fine to mitigate the odds - but it doesn't mean you need to be afraid to fly, drive, or leave the house. 

By the same token, your average person taking the subway probably isn't going to be a victim of violent crime. Avoid the crazies, stand back on the platform, Uber if you're out late / drunk, sure - but it'd be ridiculous to say you won't get in a car because cars crash, and that's a lot more likely to kill you than anything on the subway. I'm completely supportive of Adams sending more cops into train cars to patrol, but I'm not going to inconvenience myself because of irrational fears.

Jan 23, 2022 - 12:25pm
Incoming cfa level 1 charterholder, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Just because you don't see the problem doesn't mean it doesn't exist. You're comparing apples and oranges. People aren't going to call the police and complain about a random homeless guy on the train because A) The cops won't do anything B) It's a huge time sink. There are ample reports online (ex: a guy got stabbed on the subway 2 weeks ago and is now paralyzed. Random people being stabbed or killed by penn station, just google it). 

It's a fact that the city is being more lenient on crime, and criminals and mentally sick have made the subway their home. 

https://nypost.com/2022/01/22/subway-diary-decay-and-depravity-underground-as-system-struggles-to-recover/?utm_source=reddit.com

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Jan 19, 2022 - 3:21pm
ababshsksjs, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Go back to the burbs. Aside from the 200000 or so super wealthy people in nyc most of 7.5 million non us transplant population tries relies on and will continue taking the subway or bus. 

Jan 19, 2022 - 3:57pm
ababshsksjs, what's your opinion? Comment below:

This is more out of curiosity but why the shift if you (I am assuming) grew up in NYC
 

I grew up in the UWS and all the people I know and grew up with all over Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn still highly prefer the subway instead of driving within the city regardless of age. The only people who I know who avoid it and take cabs are people who did bot grow up here like most of my college buddies. Even my extremely wealthy UES friends prefer the subway because it is significantly easier to take. 
 

Also if we are being real, plenty of dangerous stuff happens on the subway daily. Personlly have seen people get stabbed, drug deals, muggings etc. it has always happened and always will happen. 

Jan 19, 2022 - 3:51pm
Ozymandia, what's your opinion? Comment below:

In the third quarter of 2021 there were 42 fatalities for motorists and passengers in NYC.  Lets call it 160 dead for the year, I'm too lazy to look up the annual number.  In 2019 (again, not an apples to apples comparison, but close enough for the moment) 62 people died in the subway.  No one is obligated to like the subway, think it's clean, enjoy the experience, etc, but anyone trying to tell you that they're considering not taking the subway and favoring cars because of the safety factor is either an idiot, or pushing a narrative that the facts don't bear out.

Getting into a car is objectively more dangerous than taking the subway.  And for all that it can be disturbing to think that a crazy person is going to push you onto the tracks, someone could push/bump you into oncoming traffic.  Hell, getting in an Uber means trusting that the person behind the wheel is of a sound state of mind, and no one worries that their Uber driver is high on meth or drunk as hell.

To reiterate, take or don't take the subway according to your desire - but don't rationalize it as a safety decision.  Feeling unsafe on the subway is more or less availability bias; it's easy to notice someone who looks homeless, fear that they're crazy, and act accordingly, and much harder to visualize the fact that ymany drivers are far more of a threat to both other motorists and pedestrians.

Jan 19, 2022 - 4:23pm
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

In 2019 (again, not an apples to apples comparison, but close enough for the moment) 62 people died in the subway

Based on this alternate source: https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ny-subway-deaths-12-9-suicides-mta… that stat seems to only account for people who died on the tracks, but it does overcount for people who committed suicide on the tracks. It doesn't account for people who died in the subway station, though. I haven't had much luck finding those numbers so far as I keep getting news articles related to the title of this thread but will keep looking. Also worth pointing out this doesn't include crime immediately outside a train station, as people typically have to walk to and from a train station.  

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Jan 20, 2022 - 8:33am
Ozymandia, what's your opinion? Comment below:
IncomingIBDreject

Based on this alternate source: https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ny-subway-deaths-12-9-suicides-mta… that stat seems to only account for people who died on the tracks, but it does overcount for people who committed suicide on the tracks. It doesn't account for people who died in the subway station, though. I haven't had much luck finding those numbers so far as I keep getting news articles related to the title of this thread but will keep looking. Also worth pointing out this doesn't include crime immediately outside a train station, as people typically have to walk to and from a train station.  

Good point about dying on the platform itself, should have thought of that.  If I have a moment I'll see if I can find anything in NYPD databases.

However, I do disagree that crimes committed outside a train station should be part of the statistic.  Seems to difficult to parse whether that's directed at subway riders or pedestrians.  I don't think we should be counting people walking to their cars/Ubers in assessing motorist accidents/crimes, either.  

Jan 19, 2022 - 8:49pm
Lester Diamond, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It's shocking, well maybe not since we're in NYC, but no one is asking more of anyone and it's reflected in the performance of our politicians. If you don't think NYC needs to be cleaned up, a major component of that being the subways, then I really don't know what to tell you. 

Jan 19, 2022 - 9:07pm
Angus Macgyver, what's your opinion? Comment below:

In those cases where the subway is faster - and there are a lot of those cases, since I live right next to a subway line - I will take the subway 99% of the time. When a car is faster, I'll still take the subway more than half the time, because it's usually way cheaper and often not much of a time difference.

I have never felt afraid on the subway, but then again I'm not some 5' tall 110lb woman so YMMV.

Jan 20, 2022 - 6:34am
wolfofthecity, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thought it would be interesting to offer a London perspective.

Most tube lines I frequent out of necessity have terrible air and noise pollution and lack air conditioning. The evening rush hour adds fuel to the fire. This makes the commute a lot more unpleasant than it needs to be. As soon as my financial situation permits, I will switch to taxis even though it will take longer.

Growing up, my parents always had a car and the public transport system in my home country, when I did use it, is a lot more modern and clean, so perhaps this plays into my decision.

Jan 20, 2022 - 7:25pm
Pierogi Equities, what's your opinion? Comment below:
wolfofthecity

 a London perspective:

Most tube lines I frequent out of necessity have terrible air and noise pollution and lack air conditioning. The evening rush hour adds fuel to the fire. This makes the commute a lot more unpleasant than it needs to be.

sounds Dickensian

Quant (ˈkwänt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

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Jan 20, 2022 - 10:08am
icantell1234, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I can't help but think the problems on the subway relate to a decline in enforcement of subway fare evasion plus other "quality of life" violations like carrying open liquids on the train.  Found this NYPD website:

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/nypd/stats/reports-analysis/subway-fare-evasion.page

If you look at, for example, summons for fare evasion in 3Q 2019 vs. 3Q 2021, this number fell from 15,629 to 7,279.  Similarly, summons for fare evasion were 16,113 in 2Q 2019 vs. 9,164 in 2Q 2021.  18,901 in 1Q 2019 vs. 11,577 in 1Q 2021.  Etc.

Of course I don't know how these numbers relate to a decline in subway ridership, but I did also find a Daily News article claiming that in 1Q 2020, for example, 1 in 8 subway riders had not paid their fare, way up from prior years.

Jan 20, 2022 - 1:50pm
ConfusedGuru, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Once you die, there is no turning back. No second chance. No respawning. Some people fail to realize this. We make money so we never have to place ourselves in these precarious situations. People these days are crazy and no one is doing anything about it; similar to defensive driving, you should protect yourself at all cost and even be a little selfish. Avoid the subway, no amount of money is worth a life

Jan 20, 2022 - 2:26pm
Ozymandia, what's your opinion? Comment below:
ConfusedGuru

Once you die, there is no turning back. No second chance. No respawning. Some people fail to realize this. We make money so we never have to place ourselves in these precarious situations. People these days are crazy and no one is doing anything about it; similar to defensive driving, you should protect yourself at all cost and even be a little selfish. Avoid the subway, no amount of money is worth a life

If you believe this, then you should be taking the subway exclusively, because getting in a car is objectively more dangerous than taking the subway.

Jan 20, 2022 - 2:51pm
Isaiah_53_5 💎🙌💎🙌💎, what's your opinion? Comment below:
ConfusedGuru

Once you die, there is no turning back. No second chance. No respawning. Some people fail to realize this. We make money so we never have to place ourselves in these precarious situations. People these days are crazy and no one is doing anything about it; similar to defensive driving, you should protect yourself at all cost and even be a little selfish. Avoid the subway, no amount of money is worth a life

You place so much emphasis on death when you should be really questioning where you will go for eternal life.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Jan 20, 2022 - 7:11pm
Pierogi Equities, what's your opinion? Comment below:

[Isaiah_53_5 💎🙌💎🙌💎] the Blessed

Quant (ˈkwänt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

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Jan 20, 2022 - 10:58pm
Kevin25, what's your opinion? Comment below:

1) how do you deal with people on streets? all these people in the subway are also on the streets. they can easily push you under a car on the street or attack you at any point (with a knife or a gun even). so, should we avoid walking on the street as well?

2) as others said, driving in the city is dangerous. everybody is rushing somewhere, a lot of road rage, nobody lets others to switch lanes, etc. subway, on the other hand, just follows the tracks.

Jan 20, 2022 - 3:57pm
swae, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Assuming you feel safe in the subway, it's just a money factor to me. $2.75/swipe adds up pretty quick. If I'm with 2 other people and we're debating a $8.25 vs. $15 Uber, it's an easy Uber because we can continue chatting privately and nobody's getting distracted by trying to navigate, etc. If it's $8.25 vs. $30+ Uber, still sometimes easier to Uber if it allows us to have other conveniences (if there's 6+ minutes of walking after the subway, not have to wear a winter coat when going out, etc.)

Jan 20, 2022 - 6:49pm
SpreadCompsNCheeks, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm assuming this post was inspired by the death of Michelle Go. It's a really scary thought that you could be randomly pushed onto the tracks by a crazy homeless person. NYC subway really needs to up their security. So many people hopping over ticket doors.

Jan 20, 2022 - 7:09pm
Pierogi Equities, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Wild that WSO links "these horror stories" to a link about EB hours and culture (https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/elite-boutique-hours-culture)

Quant (ˈkwänt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

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Jan 20, 2022 - 9:03pm
rezjopls, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I take the subway when sober, end up ubering when drunk

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Jan 20, 2022 - 9:13pm
timeout.prop, what's your opinion? Comment below:

try taking the subway in LA and then tell me what you think of the subway in NYC. youre soft if you think the subway is NYC is sketchy. half the time its completely empty

Jan 20, 2022 - 10:29pm
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

try taking the subway in LA and then tell me what you think of the subway in NYC. youre soft if you think the subway is NYC is sketchy. half the time its completely empty

I mean if you really want to play this game, try taking the subway in East St.Louis, where people have randomly shot at passenger cars rolling by and have killed several at train stations.

 P.S. Don't actually 

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Jan 20, 2022 - 11:06pm
Kevin25, what's your opinion? Comment below:

to answer your question, I was taking uber pool all the time before pandemic. it was so cheap.

but now uber costs a lot, so I'm taking subway instead. gotta save that money. can't just spend all you make - you'll have to work and be someone's bitch the whole life, that's not fun.

Jan 23, 2022 - 12:19pm
Incoming cfa level 1 charterholder, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I recently read an article about a man 1-2 weeks ago getting stabbed in the throat by a mentally sick guy in the subway in Manhattan, and that guy is now paralyzed. I will probably just start cabbing everywhere. Like some have said, I feel threatened all of the time now. The homeless on the subways are so aggressive, yelling, screaming, constantly pacing back and forth and making a random outburst that scares you.

This was my most recent subway ride experience:

One guy was talking like Elmer Fud on the train I was on, then randomly jumped from his seat and stretched his arms out and yelled. Two more homeless dudes walked onto the train, one was starting conversations with random people, the other was asking for money and kept pacing around on that train. I got off at West 4th street and felt like I was in a psych ward. There were so many,  and they were looking at people with evil intentions.

This has become a big problem. To those that have never seen homeless, maybe it's because there are none on your route. Just because you've never seen the problem doesn't mean there isn't one.

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Jan 24, 2022 - 9:02am
ResearchLackey19, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Jan 24, 2022 - 9:43am
C.R.E. Shervin, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Jan 24, 2022 - 10:20am
ResearchLackey19, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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