This testimony to working life illuminates the stories, adventures, and wisdom of New York transit workers. More than 100 transit workers were interviewed to discover just what goes on behind the scenes of public transportation. The challenges are legion: the danger of working next to high-voltage power lines in a system that operates 24 hours a day for 7 days a week; workers risking their own lives to save others, an act that often leaves them as witnesses to pain and death. In their testimonies, workers express the importance of bonding with their colleagues for protection as well as companionship.
Then there are the scams that workers cope with daily, such as the "blind" man who puts egg membrane in his eyes to implement his begging routine; "token suckers" who use soda cans to trap fare tokens for resale; holdups and gang activities that make many workers' jobs even more difficult and dangerous. For most passengers, the transit workers are a nearly invisible part of their own daily routine. Snyder's book gives transit workers both voices and names. --Susan Swartwout