Today is a sad day for V-train regulars, or so one would think. As of June 27, the M-train will replace the V-train for a new Queens-Manhattan-Brooklyn-Queens line. We went in expecting tears, but it turns out, most subway riders today were pretty apathetic — though fond — of the V-train. Your resident subway correspondents documented the last ride for many on the near-extinct subway line. Here are a few of the folks sticking it out until the end.
Lynda Perez, a high school student from Queens, and her friend Lauren Hernandez were on their way to the new Forever 21 in Times Square. “I hope we don’t get trampled,” she said. When informed that this would be her last ride on the V, she said, “Why do you have to mess shit up? Everything’s fine the way it is.”
Rob Schubert, who works in real estate and was reading his Kindle on the train, said that the changes don’t really affect him.”This train is usually very empty,” he said, noting that he would probably not have a comfy seat on the M as he does now, “but gentlemen are supposed to stand anyway.” Schubert has lived in New York since 1977 and said conditions on subways have greatly improved since then. “I have a lot of respect for [the MTA],” he said. His worst subway experience? When it “smells so bad you have to leave. You just don’t want to know what happened in there.”
Deborah Franklin was on her way from the Bronx to a doctor’s appointment. “The bus cuts are worse,” she said, noting the Bx14 cut, “I don’t know what’s the difference between the M and the V.” Her worst subway moment? A man exposing himself “and just whacking it off.” Well, she won’t miss that.
Steven Spratt took the train to 14th St., where he was going to work at the Pump. “I’m actually kind of happy I’m riding the last V,” he said. An inadvertent last-subway veteran, he also rode the 7 train in January on its final day on its old path. Spratt had his bike in tow, his usual mode of transportation, but felt “lazy,” so he hopped on the subway, unknowingly keeping with tradition.
Jose Llufrio, a chemical engineer, has taken the V-train five days a week for the past 6 years. “So now I’ll be spelling a different letter,” he says. But it’s not the letter change that’s got him down: It’s the fact that he’ll have to transfer or walk farther to reach one of his favorite food spots. “It used to take me to Katz’s Deli…no more Katz’s Deli on the V — or the M.” But, he concedes diplomatically, “Sometimes they have to do things because they have to do things.” And Llufrio is proud of his city’s subway. It’s “unlike any other subway in the world,” he said. It runs 24/7, and “that is great!”