It’s a big thing now to moan about the city’s public transit system.

You hear it all the time especially from a loud subset of riders who use social media to beef about their snarled commute during morning rush on the F train. Or the guy in Astoria in a fit about his station being shuttered six months for renovation. Or especially where I live: the politically-spazzed new arrivals who whine about the 7 train, expecting an easy glide during a massive effort to modernize track signals.

The reality of the bus and train network in New York City is this: It’s by far the greatest public transit system in the US. It runs 24 hours a day. The fare is $2.75. It’s way better than any other form of getting around. It has been financially neglected for decades. A recent rash of service disruptions attributable to deferred maintenance and upkeep is now finally becoming the focus of attention by a more liberal state legislature which will likely approve a new, dedicated funding source in 2019 under the name “Congestion Pricing.”

Congestion Pricing is a marvelous, long overdue idea because it would serve a dual purpose. By imposing a hefty fee on vehicles entering Manhattan, it would reduce non-essential traffic into an already insanely crowded street grid. Money from the entry charge would go to modernization and more intensive upkeep of the city’s public transit system.

Our Governor and Mayor have both pointed fingers at each other for the real – and perceived deficiencies of the subway system’s current state. The Governor has control on the revenue side of this equation given his role as primary overseer of the MTA which funds and makes decisions about bus and subway service. And while it’s his city, Mayor de Blasio has little power to affect change. With a big boost from the summer’s well-informed and dynamic gubernatorial campaign of Cynthia Nixon, de Blasio has become more emboldened to shine light on Cuomo’s role and so now we have what appears to be real momentum for the kind of fix – and modernization – that a system of this scope and grandeur deserves.

Ridership is nearly six million daily on the subway and 2.5 million on the buses. It really is an amazing opportunity to go places in this city at any hour with some measure of confidence you’ll get there in a safe and timely way. The greatness of the public transit system is a large part of why I live here – and why I’ll stay here if I can continue to afford the rent.

The whiners will be whiners. I don’t pay too much attention to them but their chorus of irrational complaints is impossible not to hear. At the end of my Mom’s last visit back in July, I went with her to take the bus to LaGuardia. There was an impatient crowd at the bus stop. About 75 or so of us had been waiting longer than the usual ten minutes or so for a Q70 to the airport. Seeing the problem, a MTA bus dispatcher rerouted a Woodside-bound trip to the airport and instructed the waiting mob to pile on via a makeshift stop on Broadway. As passengers scurried to board, some yelled disparaging things to the dispatcher about the bus’ failure to keep a schedule. “There’s bad congestion at the airport,” he said. “We’re having a hard time getting in and out of there.”

Instead of being thankful to the dispatcher for creatively deploying a bus out of nowhere, they let him have it because he represented some delay they’d experienced on public transit either that morning or before.

On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving Day last week, I saw that same dispatcher stop a double-long Q53 returning from Rockaway (headed to Woodside) and convert it to a Q70 to LaGuardia to accommodate a huge throng of tourists (many of whom had suitcases). It was an amazing display of dexterity by both the dispatcher and the driver to suddenly change up the routine – on behalf of an institution or bureaucracy that is often labeled as ineffective, stodgy or resistant to change because of its union culture.

Here’s another story of greatness by a MTA worker (a second-hand account). My co-worker at the airport John takes public transit to the job. As he was getting his select bus paper receipt for the M60 from a machine in Astoria, his Metrocard with 80 bucks loaded on it was eaten by the machine. Not sure how to get the value on the card returned, John copied down the machine’s ID number and pocketed the paper receipt that came out when his card got eaten. When he exited the bus at LaGuardia, a MTA worker was servicing the machines at that stop. John told him what happened to his card. The guy said it was actually a common problem and that he’d go to Astoria to check out that machine to see if he could recover it. Sure enough, a few hours later, John got a call on his cell phone and the guy had come back to LaGuardia to hand him the card.

Hope and inspiration has come from near the top too as new NYC Transit boss Andy Byford appears cut from a cloth different than most bureaucrats. Byford came on a year ago and has immediately become the face of the system. He’s rides it every day and stops to introduce himself to the rank and file. Byford is said to pick up trash when he sees it on the platform and he’s been tirelessly speaking about the specific changes that need to be made to make the system run smoother.

I expect improvement under Byford’s reign with the new revenue stream in 2019. But to me, that will just make an unfairly maligned system that much better.

Churchill Downs hosted the Breeder’s Cup at the world-renowned oval in Louisville for the first time since 2011 last Friday and Saturday. Given the track plant’s size and annual experience with Derby crowds (which double a Cup’s live gate), it was a pleasure to return there with room to roam and no real hassles to be found.

The Cup’s purse sizes and corresponding quality of entrants mean the racing is always great. This year’s Breeder’s Cup was especially exciting because the winner of the Arc four weeks earlier in Paris came all the way here and conquered the BC Turf in impressive fashion.

The four-year-old English filly Enable and her legendary jockey Frankie Dettori ran patiently in striking range for the first two-thirds of the 1.5 mile race. On the final turn before the finish line, she swung wide. Way, way wide. She battled the Irish filly Magical down the middle to outer portion of the course and prevailed by three-quarters of a length. It’s the first time in Breeder’s Cup history that an Arc winner has come to the states and won a Cup race in the same year. Dettori’s insistence that she avoid trouble in the form of congestion had to have a role in the decision to take on so much extra distance on the outer path. Dettori would say after the race he was seeking better, less trampled ground – and that makes sense – but he certainly showed great confidence in Enable by allowing her to run wide.

After the Enable thriller, the day’s feature felt less consequential. The Breeder’s Cup Classic has a $6 million purse (compared to 4 mil in the Turf) and the field of 14 was pretty balanced. It included six three-year-olds.  2018 triple crown winner Justify is retired now so there wasn’t a big name standout or promotion-worthy build-up to the Classic. The five-year-old California-based horse Accelerate was perhaps the top older horse on dirt in the States this year. Leaving from the far outside number 14 gate position, Accelerate benefited from a hot pace and got the job done Saturday in the Classic with a late, steady burst past tired early leaders. Accelerate’s win was his sixth of the year, all in top class races.

Both Jeff and I nibbled on the edges of betting success but lost money on the weekend given the lack of longshot success. The longest win price on Cup race winners was just 5.9 to 1 on Saturday and 5.5 to 1 on Friday.

Credit Churchill’s track superintendent Jamie Richardson for coming up with suitable dirt and turf surface conditions on Friday and Saturday that had been drenched earlier in the week. The rain gauge at nearby Louisville International Airport recorded 2.49 inches over the 48-hour period ending Thursday night.

We were at the track during a cold, steady rain on Thursday. The dirt had been sealed but was a sloppy mess as we exited Thursday. About 20 hours later – without the benefit of sunshine – the dirt track was listed at good before being upgraded to fast before the fourth race Friday.

The turf was labeled “yielding” all day Friday and then deemed “good” after the BC Turf Sprint on Saturday.

Naysayer horse guys on satellite radio Thursday morning were predicting major defections due to track conditions but in fact Shang Shang Shang (Juvie turf sprint) was the only one to come out for that reason. The lone significant scratch was Shug’s Code of Honor from the Juvie dirt race after the colt came down with a fever.

The only controversy of the weekend was action taken by Kentucky’s Horse Racing Commission on the Friday morning of Breeder’s Cup weekend. A state vet working on behalf of the commission claimed Irish filly Polydream appeared lame in one leg prompting the commission to bar her from the Mile turf race. Her esteemed trainer Freddie Head told the DRF he pleaded with the commission to watch her run on the race course – saying she gains fluidity as she moves quicker. Head blames “offset knees” for the mistaken appearance of lameness. He ripped the commission for not trusting his judgment on the filly’s health. Head’s long, successful career at the sport’s highest levels make me inclined to believe him. Polydream would have been the betting favorite in the Mile turf. Instead, she flew out here from France – spent a week in Kentucky – running beautifully according to observers – only to be denied the chance to participate in the event she came for.

Attendance at the track was announced at 42,249 on Friday and 70,423 on Saturday.

After the races on Thursday, Friday and Saturday we checked out small, independent Louisville brewers. We visited Akasha, Holsopple, Gravely and Mile Wide. None of the four knocked our socks off.

Carsoni got us into the races with tickets he received via his participation in the big handicapping contest and we parked for free both days on Fifth Street just south of Winkler. Our lodging was cheap considering the strong demand for a small selection of hotels. We snared a room at a conveniently located Red Roof Inn for 80 bucks a night with a reservation made a year in advance.

Our breakfasts on both Saturday and Sunday mornings in Louisville were fantastic largely due to our server Mary who was working with a smile at Waffle House (franchise #179) near our hotel.

I flew back to New York on Monday from Nashville via Chicago.

Today, I voted.

I understand much of the country views today’s vote as a referendum on the President. That isn’t the case, here. All the contested races on my ballot will be won by Democrats by huge margins.

For me, the significant elections of this cycle were staged back in June and September when we conducted separate party primary contests. It was at those two votes that we could decide if we wanted a true-blue Democrat who sits squarely on the left – or a bought-off, play-it-safe Democrat who wants to obsess about Trump. We got some of both.

Whatever the case, all this talk about using today to let off steam about the Trump agenda has prompted some people to get off their hands – and I guess that’s good. But those same people should have participated in the primary (when it mattered). They of course also need to get excited about the real referendum on Trump which comes two years from now.

NYC had three city charter revisions on the ballot today, too. None were pushed – or discussed much – until it was almost election day. The charter issues made it a two-page ballot which is unusual. And today, given the 100-percent humidity in the air – it wreaked havoc with the ballot reading machines.

In NYC, we fill circles with a black pen and then personally insert the ballot into the reader machine. All over the city there were reports today of the ballot readers malfunctioning. As I saw it in my polling place, the ballots were not going in crisply because the paper was kind of droopy. There’s a long history here of botched performance by election day planners but I must say that I buy the excuse on the humidity.

City council speaker Corey Johnson has called on NYC Board of Elections Executive Director Michael Ryan to resign and Twitter is lit up with people complaining about long lines and distrust over handling of ballots that don’t feed the machine. The obvious easy response to all this is early voting which less progressive states have instituted without a problem.

You are gonna have glitches with any big mission staffed by low-paid, twice-a-year temps sitting in a makeshift setting with equipment that gets dusted off a night or two before.

Yes, both suppression – and failure to quickly impose backup responses to election day miscues are critical concerns when it comes to such a precious individual right. Those are different and important discussions.

But the incessant whining and conspiracy stuff you inevitably get about glitches or waiting in line on big election days – before the polls even close – acts as a form of suppression too.