Mayor Bloomberg's Subway Commute - Not Like Yours

Even before Mike Bloomberg became the Mayor of New York City, he said that he would take the subway to work. Since he's become mayor, Boomberg is often photographed and videotaped riding the subway like most city residents. It turns out there's a little bit of his commute that is somewhat out of step with the norm. The Times stalked Mayor Bloomberg over a five week period and saw his morning commute as such: he exits his townhouse, ducks into one of two Chevrolet Suburbans waiting for him, and is dropped off at the 59th Street and Lexington line - 22 blocks away from his apartment!

Some New Yorkers would love to have a subway stop within walking distance, but the Mayor and his two vehicles pass up the chance to stop at several stations on the way to 59th St. - including the 77th St. stop just 4 blocks from his townhouse. The reporters also observed that the Mayor's use of the subway has declined since he first took office. During their five weeks of following him, Bloomberg took the SUVs all the way to City Hall about twice a week.

The Times asked Bloomberg spokesman Stu Loeser about the commute, he said Bloomberg "walked to the subway when he first started as mayor, and he stopped doing it when cameras staked out his house every morning and walked with him." Asked how the Mayor's commute compares to the average commuter, Loeser said, "Who is the average Manhattan subway-goer? I don’t think it’s an answerable question. The mayor rides the subway like anyone else. Zips his card through, stands on the platform, and waits for a train to come." When The Times asked an MTA spokesman if it was common for Manhattan residents to be driven to the subway, he said, "Where would you drive from in Manhattan to a subway station? That would be pretty crazy."

According to Hop Stop, a 6:30 a.m. commute from the Bloomberg townhouse to City Hall would take 37 minutes if he walked to the 77th St. station, took the local to Grand Central and then took the express from there to Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall.

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  • commuter

    Actually they should drive him from 77th to 81st stop street to catch the express - but maybe he finds it too scary

  • Bella

    I feel that entirely too much time and effort has been spent on this topic.

  • guest

    "He's the Mayor...He has to be protected at all costs..."

    Uh, what the fuck? Are you serious? Protected from what? He's the fucking MAYOR not Archduke Ferdinand.

  • guest

    He will not be President, ever.


    can not be trusted.

  • d

    At least he's been on the subway, so he can get a feel for how it runs and how crowded it can be. As long as he's not saying that he rides it all the time I don't really think this is big deal.

  • Sarah James

    Let's think about this for a moment. Mayor Mike, the very best Mayor this city has ever had is a public service employee on the payroll.

    Gotham has a lot of problems, does it not? Do we really want Mike to be spending his time running back and forth on the subway like everyone else, does he really have the time?

    Too bad everyone else isn't running NYC, then Mike would have more time perhaps to ride the train more.

  • guest

    So what ! He's the Mayor #[1], #[2] He has to be protected at all costs and you really can't do that on a packed Subway car ! #[3] Bloomberg is determined to show that he is "One of us" (Which is straight-up bullshit, But it's nice to see the guy try lying about it). #[4] He's a Billionaire so he can do what the hell he wants and nothing going to change ! Posted By; "Still Not Amused"

  • guest

    channel seven's coverage states that the 2 SUV's drive him to the subway station, a small security detail travels with him to City Hall in the subway and the 2 SUV's with security and staff meets him at City Hall.

    ugh, all this to prove he's one of "us".

    yah, we get it mr. mayor, you take the subway, you're a regular joe. what's the difference between a large limo and the 2 SUV's anyway. does city hall even have a Limo or town car?

  • ohplease

    i don't think he has to worry about the media; they thought it was cute when he started with it now they're back on copwatch. it's probably ore of a security issue, which i can accept. what i do not accept however is rolling in a Suburban and jaw jacking about congestion pricing for us non-billionaires in the outer boroughs.

  • guest

    bloomberg's a big phoney, hey look at the big phoney.

    Reporters were asking bloomberg about the article and he has no comments, the big phoney.

    he let Stu answer the questions and you should see what this guy looks like.

    What's wrong with tennis? the US Open brings lots of tax dollars into the city. more that that stupid west side stadium.

    that big phoney baloney.

    God Bless Mayor Dinkins. Great to see you're still around.

  • guest

    #45 you seem to have some hangup. The former Mayor Dinkins used a limo for EVERYTHING, not just official business. He even used the limo to take him to his tennis practice. (Your & mine tax dollars at work)

    Anyway, aren't there more important issues facing NYC to be discussed?

  • guest

    The Mayor's residence is on 79th St. So, who's the "big phoney" who lives on 77th St?

  • guest

    bloomberg=a big phoney

    hey everyone, a big phoney lives on 77th street.

  • guest

    Props for using the subway at all.

    Lame for bragging about it if it was just for show.

    Out of curiosity, after dropping him at 59th, do those two SUVs then just drive down to city hall anyway?

    Also, how did Bloomberg get to work before he was mayor?

  • qwerty

    His "Look at me! I ride the subway just like you guys do!" schtick is so fake.

    I would actually prefer him to just use the cars. Stop wasting time and energy on a PR stunt. What a phony.

  • guest

    Dinkins didn't say, hey, I'm like you, see?

    I ride the subway everyday like you.

    I'm one of you. I feel you, you feel me?

    because I feel you, I ride the subway everyday to and from work. I get on the subway the same way you do. see? I swipe my metrocard and go straight to the platform, just like you.

    I'm like you, see? see my metrocard.

    it's the same metrocard as the one you're carrying.

    same thing, just like you.

  • guest

    To all the posters who said it's ok for Bloomberg not to take the subway because he's a busy guy with an important job: That's not a valid reason for him to use a fleet of SUV's! Hybrids anyone?

    I am busy too. And my job is important too. If I don't do my job, I don't get paid.

  • Tim N.

    #'s 18, 19, and 27 actually have it right. There are a lot of reasons a public figure would ride in a motorcade (2 cars a motorcade? Whatever...) rather than public transportation. Fine. Given. Only don't turn around and start bragging you're a billionaire but a man of the people... because you're not.

    And when you're a public figure making claims like he's making, the press has every right... no, strike that, a DUTY to stalk him out and call him on it. Very good job by the Times here. If you don't want to be stalked, stay in the private sector.

    On the other hand, I'm sure he'd have no problem forking over the four bucks he would have to pay for driving in the city (I guess it would be eight, since he's got two vehicles).

  • guest

    Oh, stop your whining. When Dinkins was mayor he used a limo to drive him everywhere. Don't know what Giuliani used for transportation, but I'm sure he didn't take the subway.

  • guest

    One stop five blocks, his 77th to 57 is 22 blocks.

    that doesn't sound convenient to me. sounds like a full commute. sure passing one stop to miss the rush but if he get's on at 6:30/7am there is no rush, I promise you that, even on the Lex ave line.


  • guest

    I believe the NYPD granted the reporters press credentials therefore they were not bothered by his bodyguards.


    I'm Like YOU, see, I ride the subway. I ride it everyday to and from work. see, I'm riding the subway. see me swiping my metrocard, it's the same metrocard you're using.

    I'm riding the subway people. I have a metrocard, too.

  • akachris

    What's troubling about the whole situation is either 1) someone was able to tail Bloomberg for 5 weeks without his security detail noticing; 2) his security detail noticed, questioned the reporter, and didn't notify Bloomberg's people that a reporter was following him with regards to an article on his subway travel; or 3) everthing in No. 2 but security told Bloomberg's people and they did nothing to increase his use of the subway.

    So it's either poor security, poor communication or poor politics. Torpedo any Presidential bids.

  • guest

    The only reason this article is newsworthy -- and yes, it is -- is that Bloomberg has long played up his "I commute like the normal people" creds to appeal to the common voter or reinforce political arguments. I don't think anyone's surprised that a billionaire mayor doesn't act like they do -- they're responding to the fact that he still claims to, but doesn't.

  • emilydickinson

    It's pretty low of the Times to get on Bloomberg over this. In general I give Bloomberg a lot of credit for taking the subway to work at all, because he clearly has the money and clout to get to work any way he pleases. The fact is, he is riding the subway just like any other NY'er would, putting up with the crowds, crazies, b.o. and lunacy the rest of us deal with each day. He gets dropped off at the subway? Big deal. If anyone had a spouse or friend who happened to drive to work each morning and passed a more convenient stop on their way, wouldn't you take that ride each morning? That's not so odd.

  • Toby von Meistersinger

    I think that part of the reason the mayor is driven part of the way is for security reasons.

    Plus, can you imagine him and his security detail on a packed Lex local?

  • guest

    My guess -- he doesn't ride the jam-packed Lex at all. He is driven to 59th Street so he can pick up the less-crowded R/W to City Hall Station.

  • guest

    it looks like the ny times is becoming like gothamist - watered-down clumsy reporting.

  • guest

    is this a hatchet job if it was written in the NY Post?

  • guest

    He's a hypocrite, plain and simple.

    not hard to see.

    I hope his daughter gets supermaned. that's all I have to say.

  • guest

    Stupid HopStop got me to La Guardia an hour late. I wouldn't quote its times in an article.

  • Monster_mash

    It's very plausible that aside from the two days a week that the Mayor rides the subway to City Hall, he has appointments elsewhere for which his SUV is a faster and safer option.

    You'll notice the Times doesn't say what his ultimate destination is on those days he isn't dropped at 59th Street. (Hint number one this is a hatchet job.)

    Good for him for taking it two days a week. Not slogging it out five days a week on the local doesn't make him a hypocrite, it makes him a executive with an acute sense of what his time is worth, which is probably what got him where he is today anyway.

  • guest

    don't forget, it's the mayor who started it.

    if he didn't do his I'm like you speeches then no one would bother him.

    but he isn't like us. at least God punished him by making him a dwarf. Thank you God.

  • drewo

    If Hizzoner took the train every day (both ways!) the photogs would quickly grow tired of that "exclusive" and leave him alone. As for "security" - a commentor above says it well enough - nobody really cares that much about Bloomberg to stalk the guy. This just furthers the belief that Bloomberg (like many wealthy people) is detached from the day-to-day life of most New Yorkers.

    If a mayoral candidate ran solely on the platform that he/she would: stay in the City (including weekends) for the entirety of their 4-year term (except when Mayoral business calls them away), use public transportation exclusively (except when it is absolutely impossible) without the need for "security" goons - I would vote for that candidate for that reason alone. But I guess that's asking too much from our civil servants.

  • guest

    simple, he's a hypocrite.

    him and his I ride the subways everyday people mantra. he takes an SUV from 77 to 57, hell just take it all the way down to City Hall.

    him and his get a bicycle to ride if there's a strike, again, the hypocrisy.

  • guest

    Michael Dukakis redux.

  • Murray Hillster

    It's weird to have to defend Bloomberg against such a dopey-hack job of an article and all the people reading it, stroking their chins thinking, "Gosh! You mean to tell me that [BILLIONAIRE MAYOR] Bloomberg isn't just like me? Goodness, what a surprise!" And that, "if he doesn't take the subway and walk every single day, he doesn't understand me." As if commuting on the subway is some complex and abstract conundrum that can only be comprehended by experiencing it every day.

    He travels all over the City as part of his job. Should he take the subway? No security? Standing around on platforms all day? Really? Is that what you consider a priority for the Mayor?

    Of course not. You want him to be working.

    Strict adherence to a "he must commute just like me" every day, is not only idiotic, it's form over substance.

    People need to stop focusing on trivial ad hominem bullshit like this. Worry about his policies, whether they're good or not, for the city.

  • janelle

    i saw two guys picking their noses on the subway this morning on my way to work, pretty lowly... so i commend bloomberg for even going there - good for him to set an example most days of the week. but homey has work to do - so not riding the subway EVERY day is OK with me - but can't he at least switch to a hybrid car caravan?

  • guest

    Lets be serious he could take a helicopter to work if he wanted and im sure a lot of politicians and socialites for the times to even waste time to write a story about how the MAYOR doesn’t take the local and gets dropped off at the express is pretty lame...everyone is always trying to find the negative aspect in everything.

    why don’t you praise him for even riding the subway, he at least can be seen by the people who voted him in unlike some politicians who are only seen face to face during election year.

  • pik

    i understand the security issues, but he should get a ride in a hybrid if he intends to push for a greener city. geez.

  • guest

    finally some good responses.

    don't flatter yourself bloomberg, no one is stalking you.

  • guest

    Seems to me this article is trying to muckrake over him taking a car ride to the subway station, when in fact that action is a direct response to the blasted media being in his face. Without that, my impression is that he would make the trip to the subway on foot in the first place.

  • guest

    I thought he wanted to decrease the number of cars in Manhattan and decrease the pollution created by cars. For him to be driving anywhere in the city when he lives in under 40 minutes of his destination in an SUV no less is extremely hypocritical. You have to practice what you preach for anyone to take you seriously.

  • matthew

    It's not the fact that he takes SUVs instead of the subway at times that I find bothersome, but rather the fact that he is always going on about how he rides the subway to work every day just like "any other New Yorker." And then has the guff to tell us the service isn't so bad and he sucks it up so we should, too.

  • brooklynbee

    I actually like Mayor Bloomberg, but I do see the Times' point in covering this. It essentially amounts to Bloomy's subway-riding being nothing more than a publicity stunt. It shows that he's been disingenious here and it calls into question his reputation as being open and honest about everything.

  • JRod5417

    Surely as an advocate for a greener NYC, the mayor could somehow finnagle a less conspicuous car from the NYPD than a Suburban. He doesn't need two of them and they definitely shouldn't be left idling either. Smells of hypocrisy to me.

  • guest

    How'd you get hopstop to recommend a switch to express at 42nd? When I try it just shows the 6 train all the way down.

  • guest

    The Mayor's SUVs on 79th St. block traffic on one of the city's busiest streets. Sometimes the buses can't get around them. Can't he park them somewhere else?

  • guest
    Some New Yorker's would love to […]

    It's supposed to say

    Some New Yorkers would love to […]

    (no apostrophe)

  • guest

    I suppose my only issue is with his "green" congestion pricing plan. If he really cared, why would he use his car in Manhattan at all?

  • Aces N Eights

    I was disappointed when I read the article in the NYTimes this morning. As Mayor he has a responsibility to those he serves. In order for him to fulfill that responsibility he needs to understand how the vast majority of us live. That includes a daily commute via foot and subway.

  • guest

    Imagine having a name like Stu Loeser.

  • guest

    F him, the midget.

    and stu loeser is a loser. why so defensive,

    stu? Do you answer every question with a question?

  • Rocknrope

    C' a city chock full of kooks, I'd say it's more responsible for him as the person who runs the city to make sure his ass doesn't get knifed/shot/clobbered by some nere do well.

  • splashcastle

    I saw him on the subway once, there were a bunch of security guards and it was already too crowded. Then there was a big fire in the Bronx and the train stopped. We were all stranded but a car came and picked him up.

  • MT

    The whole avoiding the photogs thing actually sounds totally reasonable. Can you imagine what a pain in the butt it must be for regular commuters when the mayor gets on their crowded car and there's a dozen photographers pushing their way in too?

  • TK

    I guess the mayor doesnt like humidity... thats not much of walk on either side of his train ride

    I wonder what he would do if lived on the westside?

  • Murray Hillster

    I can't believe he rides it at all. He's a billionaire and he's the Mayor. If I were him, I'd have them clear out First Avenue so I could drive the wrong way down to City Hall in my platinum-plated Bugatti. Who, really, gives a shit, that he rides a few blocks to take the express? And for those who do, why?

    With their monstrosity on 42nd, and ability to have somebody stalk the Mayor for 5 weeks just to see how he gets to work, it's clear that the Times is certainly doing all right for itself.

    Isn't there something more important to cover? The Washington Post is all over the "Hillary Blouse Story." Maybe the Times can have somebody spend 5 weeks on Blouse-Watch.

    Oh sorry, that's fucking idiotic too.

  • Jen Chung

    I suppose Bloomberg being carried to the subway station in a sedan chair is out of the question. But I wish the Times printed logs of how long the various commutes took - the SUV leg, the train leg, etc. - so we could get a sense of how much time Bloomberg might be saving.

  • Alex

    Taking the SUVs all the way two times a week isn't too bad. It'd get pretty old playing meet and greet with people every single morning.

  • guest

    i understand his need for security but poor baby can't ride the local? he rides the express for posterity.

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