Manhattan Helicopter Transit on the Rise Again, Kinda Maybe Means Economic Bounceback is Here?

Live in Jersey? Go to Jersey? Never been to Jersey? Either way, you've probably heard of or experienced the pain of the PATH or the NJ Transit or the Holland Tunnel. Which make the MTA trains feel like a chariot and the bridges like magical yellow brick roads.

They're the worst. And they've been a little overburdened since baller executives lost the cashflow to get to and from Manhattan in style. And now, it's comin' back, apparently, and manifesting via the mighty helicopters of our skies. Which are, via Bloomberg, on the rise again. Literally.

A cool $200 a day will get you to and from Port Monmouth, New Jersey, and West 30th Street or Pier 6 (near Wall Street). It only took one month of press and advertising to pick up 150 clients willing to pony up, and the "choppah" can fit up to six people. Tragically, you have to reserve it, it's not just waiting there for you if you want to get the hell out of Jersey in a rush, even though it really should be. Really. More importantly, however, this may apparently signal a bounceback from the economy, or something:

"When an economy turns sour, corporate air transportation seems to be one of the first things that's affected, and it's usually one of the last things to come back," [transportation consultant Robert Grotell] said in a telephone interview.

But really, any number of situations here could be taking place:

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1. We could really be in an economic bounceback. Which could be good!

2. Stupid people are still spending their stupid money on stupid things. Because they'll exist, and exist to do that, no matter what the situation, always and forever.

3. Escapism Syndrome. Probably not likely, but maybe bankers just want to feel free, like birds, like birds you can not change. And maybe this gives them the chance to do that.

4. They really do need to move that fast. They either hate their jobs and need to go home ASAP to their families that they love, or they hate their families, and want to quickly escape them for the jobs they love. Or:

5. They just hate the subway like the rest of us and have the cash to spend. You can get angry, or you can be honest: Can't blame 'em. Public transportation kinda sucks.

[fkamer@villagevoice.com]


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