Yesterday was the first weekday where token booth clerks came out of the booth and to interact and help customers. This was all part of the MTA's original plan to cut costs: Closing token booths and eliminating the jobs of token booth clerks would have been good for the balance books, but were bad for unions and public opinion, so the MTA decided to redeploy those employees as customer service agents. Of course, with any new MTA plan, there's bound to be confusion: One subway rider told ABC 7, "I think it's kind of stupid that they would put them out there, for what? We need them in there." Sigh, don't we know it. One issue is that people who pay for Metrocards with Transitcheks need to open token booths. And even though some MTA employees are excited about the plan, others are still concerned that they may be targetted by robbers, but the MTA has been quick to point out that the employees no longer have access to cash. Mmm, okay, but sometimes there are those lunatics, like the guy who poured gasoline into a token booth and lit it on fire (the clerk got out safely). And the Daily News had a reporter at the 16th Street entrance to the Union Square station for 30 minutes without seeing a clerk.

The recently closed token booths are at Jay Street/Borough Hall, Union Square, 23rd Street and Lexington, Herald Square, Penn Station, Rockefeller Center, Chambers Street (J,M,Z) and Delancey Street. Has anyone seen one? What are they like? And have you chatted with an MTA employee in a burgundy blazer or vest as a result?