Commuting from the bland suburbs of Connecticut to the metropolis that is New York City can be a soul deadening experience after a while. And yet, every day, thousands of men and women wake up, gulp down their morning coffees, and pack themselves onto rickety old train cars, staring vacantly at their iPhones until arriving at Grand Central Station 75 minutes later. Then, at 5 p.m., these poor souls turn around, loosen their ties, and take the same train ride back home.
To make this living nightmare even worse, two years ago the MTA discontinued the last of its infamous bar cars—small glimmers of hope that once helped Connecticut commuters cope with the crushing, meaninglessness of existence. But this week, Metro North riders got some much needed good news. On Monday, news broke that Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy is planning to bring cocktail service back to the commuter rails, reintroducing the bar cars as “cafe cars” by 2018.
“I’ve had nobody come to me in the last few years and say, ‘Gee, we don’t have bar cars anymore,’” Cameron told the New York Times this week, pointing out that the announcement is expected to coincide with public hearings on yet another 6 percent fare increase. “But hardly a week goes by when someone doesn’t say, ‘Why am I paying $300 or $400 a month when I don’t get a seat on the train?”
OK, so maybe Malloy is trying to distract commuters from outrageously-priced train tickets with little bottles of booze and snacks. And yes, it’s already possible to buy a beer in Grand Central while you’re running to catch your train. But hey, more liquor can’t exactly hurt, right?
On Tuesday, Malloy finally confirmed the plans for the new cars in a press release, saying that the fleet of trains would have a modern feel to them, despite all the 1960s Mad Men connotations.
"If we want to remain competitive in the 21st century, modernized economy in a way that attracts new businesses and creates high-skilled jobs, we must update our infrastructure and give our commuters a best-in-class transportation system," the governor said.