New York City got walloped by Hurricane Sandy this week, flooding downtown subway stations and plunging the southern tip of Manhattan into darkness. (It’s still like that right now.)
New York also happens to be the city with the most public transit adoption in the U.S. Residents of all stripes — poor and rich, young and old, uptown and downtown — use the city’s comprehensive and ’round-the-clock system regularly. (To contrast that with standards elsewhere in the U.S., most New Yorkers don’t get a driver’s license until age 26 — a full decade after residents in the rest of the country do.)
This is what a major metropolitan area looks like when its mass public transit systems are down, via a Google Maps transit overlay this morning:
As one New Yorker tweeted during his morning commute: “Pedestrians are passing this bus. New York without functioning mass transit is horrid.” Indeed.