• Seat checks - how do they work?

  • Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.
Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.

Moderators: Tadman, nick11a, Kaback9, ACeInTheHole

  by Keevan
 
How does the conductor know it's your stop when he walks by and picks up the seat check (assuming he does his seat checks like he should)?

I know there are numbers on the little piece of paper, but only rarely do the conductors I have on the M&E-Gladstone actually punch out the holes based upon the station's distance from/to the terminal. Most of the conductors I've seen just fold the rectangular seat check under the leather handle built into the seat in front of you. Sometimes they just slide it under without even folding it at all. It sure doesn't look they are putting much thought into it when they're doing the seat checks for entire cars at a time, yet after each station they know which checks are for people whose stop is next. Are they just that good at folding it the right way so they know?

Can't figure this out so I'm wondering how it's done without the hole punch method.
  by matawanaberdeen
 
On NJCL they rip the ticket to the number of stop your going. I'm guessing it all depends on who you were trained by and what works for that guy,what technics they have come up with that works. Most of the conductors in fact 99% I've come into contact with are awesome guys but we had a lady who looked new and took her job WAY to seriously. I mean flying up and down the cars 20 times a minute and getting on peoples case. Just a bad disposition from the get go. Like I said 99% are awesome and like to talk. Once in a while watch out YIKES. JC
  by ns3010
 
This is something I've been wondering too.
I've seen it both ways as mentioned above. Folded (or sometimes not) on the M&E and ripped on the Coast Line. Never understood it, though...
  by M&Eman
 
ns3010 wrote:This is something I've been wondering too.
I've seen it both ways as mentioned above. Folded (or sometimes not) on the M&E and ripped on the Coast Line. Never understood it, though...
I've seen the rip method done on the NEC too. It must be a Newark Division vs. Hoboken Division thing. It's almost like there are two separate railroads.
  by fishmech
 
Everytime I go Trenton-NYP and back, the seat check remains completely unripped/punched/whatever.
  by ryanov
 
On the NEC, what I've noticed:

New Brunswick: Punch 14
Airport: Rip across the top or punch a center line down the check
Newark: Rip down the middle
Trenton: Nothing at all
NY: Nothing at all

...there are a few others probably that I'm not thinking of.
  by Jtgshu
 
There is a "basic" system that the same rules work in either direction for each stop, but most guys put a twist on it of some sorts.

In the "good ol days" when i wore the hat - some guys would run a bunch of holes down the middle of the seatcheck for the airport (think a runway). Other guys would fold in half longways for EWR - I used to tear a corner off for EWR. a sideways tear about 1/4 of the way down was common for Elizabeth, as it is such a popular stop, its easier than punching the proper number.

It also depends on the type of train if it is an express or not as to what kind of seatcheck method is used to throw another wrinkle into it :)

Its supposed to be slightly complicated to keep folks from catching on and having their own stash of seatchecks and stealing rides - yes some people do that....
  by sixty-six
 
Jtgshu wrote:There is a "basic" system that the same rules work in either direction for each stop, but most guys put a twist on it of some sorts.

In the "good ol days" when i wore the hat - some guys would run a bunch of holes down the middle of the seatcheck for the airport (think a runway). Other guys would fold in half longways for EWR - I used to tear a corner off for EWR. a sideways tear about 1/4 of the way down was common for Elizabeth, as it is such a popular stop, its easier than punching the proper number.

It also depends on the type of train if it is an express or not as to what kind of seatcheck method is used to throw another wrinkle into it :)

Its supposed to be slightly complicated to keep folks from catching on and having their own stash of seatchecks and stealing rides - yes some people do that....
The good ol days? Wow Jt, youre making yourself seem old.
  by Taborite
 
ryanov wrote:On the NEC, what I've noticed:

New Brunswick: Punch 14
Airport: Rip across the top or punch a center line down the check
Newark: Rip down the middle
Trenton: Nothing at all
NY: Nothing at all

...there are a few others probably that I'm not thinking of.
From observation, standard operating procedure throughout the system is that if it's the final stop of the train there's no punch or rip. If you're going to one of the major stations listed on the top of the check (SEC, NWK, EWR) conductors will either punch that block or rip to it. All other stops are by zone number. There are some conductors that just use unpunched seat checks to mark who they've collected, presumably while doing their best to remember who is going where.
  by firthorfifth06
 
I remember when I took my first trip to Port Jervis in a Comet IB. While I was waiting to get off, I noticed that there was a color-coded guide to seat checks (ie: Red for Trenton, Blue for Bay Head, Black for New York, etc.)

Is there still a system for colors of seat checks or is that a thing of the past?
  by TheTroll
 
firthorfifth06 wrote:I remember when I took my first trip to Port Jervis in a Comet IB. While I was waiting to get off, I noticed that there was a color-coded guide to seat checks (ie: Red for Trenton, Blue for Bay Head, Black for New York, etc.)

Is there still a system for colors of seat checks or is that a thing of the past?
Not quite like that, but they do have different colors for each day of the year.
  by Jtgshu
 
jimzim66 wrote:
Jtgshu wrote:There is a "basic" system that the same rules work in either direction for each stop, but most guys put a twist on it of some sorts.

In the "good ol days" when i wore the hat - some guys would run a bunch of holes down the middle of the seatcheck for the airport (think a runway). Other guys would fold in half longways for EWR - I used to tear a corner off for EWR. a sideways tear about 1/4 of the way down was common for Elizabeth, as it is such a popular stop, its easier than punching the proper number.

It also depends on the type of train if it is an express or not as to what kind of seatcheck method is used to throw another wrinkle into it :)

Its supposed to be slightly complicated to keep folks from catching on and having their own stash of seatchecks and stealing rides - yes some people do that....
The good ol days? Wow Jt, youre making yourself seem old.
HAHAHA, yea the days BEFORE Multilevels, BEFORE "The Rock" and BEFORE the "Sport line" :)
  by Keevan
 
My main question was really, about:

If they don't hole punch/rip the ticket/fold it on a number, the conductors can't possibly remember what everyone's stop was.
Even if they just slide the check under the handle (with no discernible precision) I don't see how this tells the conductor your stop.

Maybe they just have very good memories, or some mental tricks.
  by WaitinginSJ
 
Jtgshu wrote:
Its supposed to be slightly complicated to keep folks from catching on and having their own stash of seatchecks and stealing rides - yes some people do that....

I know a few people who keep their seatchecks for that purpose.
  by Darien Red Sox
 
On Metro North the system is quite simple, example below, for people going to Grand Central, the number 1 is is punched, for people going to Stamford ether 6 is punched or there is a tare in the top, for all other stations the zone number is punched. For Zone 20 0 is used and for 21 1 is used. I don't know what method is used for the branch lines though seance I don't travel them often. The colors change from day to day to prevent people from reusing them, also seance each conductor has a different punch he can tell his apart. Most of the time people leave them in the seats but if people are standing the conductor will had the check to them and most of them will drop it some ware along the platform, station, or town they are getting off in. Also at one point some conductor must have dropped a large quantity because they were scattered all over Noroton Heights a few months ago.

Unused Seat Checks
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Seat Check to Zone 5 on Hudson Harlem or Zone 15 on the New Haven
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Seat Check to Zone 6 on Hudson Harlem or Zone 16 on the New Haven
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