In today's subway news:

There's a big feature in the Metro section of the NY Times that asks "Who's Watching the Underwater Tunnels?" - the underwater subway tunnels that is. The answer is the police, but the patrols have only stepped up after the London bombings. There are 8.3 miles of underwater tunnels in the subway system (here's the fun graphic), which represent 1.15% of the subway's system. After September 11, 2001, booths were put into the stations, but between then and the London bombings, "nearly half of the tunnels have not been continuously guarded by police." The booths do have "intercoms, telephone lines and video monitors linked to closed-circuit television cameras," but the officer stationed in them have complained of "foul odors and poor air circulation" in spite of A/C and ventilations systems in them. Hello, foul odors and poor air circulation are part and parcel of being in the subways! The part of the story Gothamist liked best (or feared most) were description of how the tunnels are actually built in bedrock, so an explosion in a subway tunnel wouldn't break the tunnel, but "relieve itself up and down the tunnel."
- The MTA has allowed a church to use the subway map in its advertising for an upcoming "God on Film" program. Yes, those subway map bookmarks that people are handing out are from the Journey Church ("'casual, contemporary, Christian church' for New Yorkers"). Gothamist did take one a couple weeks ago, but then realized it wasn't strictly MTA information, so we chucked it; now we know it costs $300 for a license/lease to print up 20,000 map bookmarks. Critics are complaining that it seems like the MTA is endorsing the church, but the MTA says the maps are a public service. Hmm, it's been a while since we've seen the Scientologists in the subway...
- And this November, we'll be voting on a transit bond for $3 billion of transit projects, like the rail link between Manhattan and JFK Airport and the 2nd Avenue Subway.