- In these times it seems appropriate to share this kind of thing with
everyone. If there is someone who can share it with the management of Metro
North please do. I think in the future there should be an established
protocol that leaves no question as to what the appropriate action is.
In order to protect the crew I will not identify the train. Lets just say i
got off a little while ago.
I reached the train at GCT and found several empty two seaters and plopped
myself down to read some papers from work. I got to the train about 13
minutes before departure (when you are a regular commuter you tend to notice
these things). Anyway as the car filled up IU noticed that no one was taking
the apparently empty seat in front of me. Finally I stood up and saw someone
had left their bag and newspaper. I looked up into the luggage rack and saw
a coat. It is not unusual for someone to run to the bathroom so I didn't
think there was anything to worry about. However with the passage of time I
loked over the seat several times to visually inspect the bag just to see if
there was anything awry. I began to look up and down the aisles for someone
without a coat headed toward me. Ten minutes after I git on board still no
The woman who had sat down accross from me took note of my activity. Thats
when the doors closed. At least ten minutes had gone by and I had not seen
anyone put the bag there and now we began to move and still no owner for the
black bag.Now I am getting a bit nervous. The lady accross the way looks me
in the eye and says, "Thats unaccompanied luggage" and then grabs her
belongings and walks into the next car. I decided to follow and grabbed my
coat and bag and went to the vestibule. The woman who left the car ahead of
me grabbed the conductor and I could see from the look on his face he was
I met the conductor in the vestibule and said, "Look pal I didn't see
anybody put the bag down and that was ten minutes before we moved". He
looked me in the eye and didn't say anything. He went into the car and saw
the black bag sitting on the seat. He leaned over to look at it but I don't
believe he touched it. Meanwhile the other conductor appeared and after a
brief conversation that I could not hear (I was still in the vestibule with
the door closed) they asked around the car if anyone owned the bag. No one
responded and so they went to the next car looking for the owner. When I saw
them next the first conductor looked physically excited. In the intervening
minutes while we were moving along the Park Avenue Tunnel I had visions of
those buses in Israel with the tops blown off. I thought for sure they were
going to evacuate the car at 125 street which we were fast approaching. I
was pretty excited and it wasn't the good kind either. Anyway thee two
conductors had found the bags owner a couple cars ahead and he had now
returned to his seat. When the conductors entered the vestibule we had what
amounted to a post-game conference. There were a lot of expletives but the
upshot was that the conductor was more than a little excitied as was I. We
discussed how in this day and age that particular behavior was just plain
stupid. They also sensed my frustration as i let a few choice words go.
A little time passed and I elected to ride the vestible while a calmed down.
I could see the individual in question sitting six rows from me. I decided I
had to do something that I could not just let it go. I saw the conductor
returnuing to the rear of the train from his ticket collecting adventure. In
the event this got out of hand I wanted him as a witness. I went back into
the car and stood in the middle of the aisle next to thisa guy as the
conductor approached. I don't think I used any of the expletives that I had
contemplated earlier but explained to him in a somewhat loud but completely
rational tone that what he did was just plain irresponsible and that in this
day and age it was the kind of stupidity that canm cause panic and that he
shopuldn't do that again. This guy was a little younger than me and I felt
like I was talking to my kids when the explaination of how he didn't do
anything wrong came out......
"You aren't listening are you?" "You can NOT leave you bags laying around on
the train." I am sure I said a couple of other things but none obscene or
offensive. When I finished my say I looked up and quite a few commuters were
looking up having heard my speach. I returned to the vestibule and said to
the Conductor following that I thought i ought to say to this guy what the
Uniformed Conductor couldn't say.
The conductor informed me that he had given the guy an expletive earlier on.
So that was my trip home this evening.
1. I waited too long to take action.
2. I regret not having announced to my fellow commuters that there was
unaccompanied luggage on the seat in front of me. Had something actually
happened I think i would fell pretty bad. On the other hand in this litigous
society I may well have gotten sued or arrested for disturbing the peace or
instigating a riot. Anybody know anything abvout the good samaritan law?
3. Metro North ought to consider adding in the on platform announcement that
leaving your bags unaccompanied on the seat is a no-no. I think thsey should
also ask passengers to reoport same to the conductor immediately. They make
such an announcement in the terminal.
4. I respectfully suggest MN that you plan for this very problem and pass
out some written instructions about the best course of action. The prospect
of getting buried under Park Avenue does not appeal to me. If you want a
first hand account of what transpired I would be happy to speak with you. At
a minimum I think you should consider asking the commuters themselves to be
involved in thier own well being. Might be a good thing to put in the next
edition of Mileposts.
Sorry for the grammer and the lack of spell check. I am a little worked up
over this............Thanks for listening.
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