Saturday, February 28, 2015

Face To Face With Race: Part III

Hell on Wheels

The job of a conductor on a New York City subway train is a voyage into the heart of darkness.

by Daniel Attila

I was born in Hungary, from which I escaped in 1982 at age 18. I settled in New York in 1984 with the intention of becoming an artist, but after nearly a decade of struggle I realized I might never make it. In 1993 I enrolled in the City University of New York, while I supported myself for four years as a conductor on New York City subway trains. There can be only a few jobs that so quickly introduce an immigrant to the realities of multi-racialism. Beneath the streets of New York I have seen and done things that very few whites will — I hope — ever see or do.

Conductors operate the doors of trains, make announcements, give information to the passengers, and oversee the safety of people on trains and platforms. Most of the time they stay in a small compartment, or cab, in the middle car of the train. There are many cities that operate subways with only a driver, but New York City is a challenging place, where putting only one person on the train would expose the system to violence and chaos…… To Read More…..

Face to Face With Race: Part I
Face to Face With Race: Part II

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