Classism on the Metro?

As a New York transplant living in Dubai, I’m struggling with the whole “Gold Class” concept on the Metro.  Yeah I’m curious about the luxuries it will offer (wide leather seats with panoramic views sounds cool), but my conscience is gnawing at me. In my years commuting via subway from my apartment in Tribeca to work in Mid-town Manhattan, I had  my fair share of freaky incidents (oh yes, crazies flashing private parts, homeless woman defecating ON  the train). Those experiences definitely made me think twice about riding the Uptown N train, but in the end, I stuck with it….day in and day out.  It was reliable, practical and often times entertaining and eye opening.  (Heck if it's good enough for Mayor Bloomberg, one of the wealthiest men in the world, why should I turn my nose up to it?)


We all know that life in Dubai is anything but equal. Those who can afford the privileges live in a bubble of fast cars and fancy restaurants. That bubble floats high above the men who break their backs building the shiny towers we live, work and play in. But every now and then we all need to come back down to reality.  I can't help but wonder why we are so averse to stand  or sit shoulder to shoulder with those very people who laid down the rails we are riding on.  Yeah I can afford the Gold Class,  but I’m also a little disappointed in myself for considering it.  A core function of mass transit in most urban environments is to act as an equalizer. It reminds us that we all have the same end goal…. to get somewhere as quickly as possible.  Blue, white, gray or pink collars, we all have jobs to go to. Can't we sit together for a little while?  And frankly, are those VIPs who would ride Gold Class really going to give up the comfort of their Cayenne’s anytime soon? Don’t know how often I will use the Metro yet, but I certainly will try to keep it real and skip the Gold section. And thankfully in this part of the world, those NYC oddball incidents would  NEVER be tolerated.


  1. Posted by  Seattleite on September 16, 2009 | 4:23 AM Login to flag
    Funny thing is .. that is the first thing that stood out to me. Gold class? You have to be kidding me, was my first reaction. These people will segment human beings at every level.

    Almost a cliché but very typical for anything middle eastern.
  2. Posted by  Groovy Dee on September 10, 2009 | 4:44 PM Login to flag
    Guess the next step is to have gold class buses ;)
  3. Posted by  Meezus on September 09, 2009 | 9:52 PM Login to flag
    I see your point and agree to many aspects of it. However i wouldn't complain. I would just opt to make it a personal choice and ride in "Wooden" class ;)

    At the end of the day this is the Middle East , not New York. Metro is a new concept which many people would refuse to accept just because it's new on one hand, or classified under "public transport" on another - not very popular around here.

    I think the classes is just a step to make it a bit appealing for the refusing mindsets - MAYBE, maybe they would give it a shot. With time it might just melt away.

Author Info

Rita Posted by Rita on September 09, 2009 | 12:51 PM