The extent of the C line damage from Sunday's signal room fire at Chambers Street prompts key begins-with-c words like "Chaos," confusion, and "Calling in sick for five years!" The A is now running on the F, with the C suspended for 3-5 years. The fact that it takes the MTA 3-5 years to repair a subway line, a time period when skyscrapers can be built twice over, tells us a couple things about the subway system: Complicated and fragile. The NY Times got a transit historian to say, "It seems astonishing that a single signal room would be so central to the operation of the line that it would take five years to recover from. That's about as long as it took to build that entire line of the IND." Well, Gothamist guesses the Second Avenue Subway is just about dead in the water.

The MTA's NYC Transit president, Lawrence Reuter, helped fuel more worst-case-scenario nightmares of commuters when he said that the fire "highlighted the transit system's susceptibility to terrorism" as the area is "easily accessible, by passing through a simple swinging gate." Thanks, Reuter, thanks a lot, given that Gothamist also found out that there are many signal rooms like that along the subway's lines. The MTA doesn't really reassure us when they say, "Everything is basically destroyed in that room," either.

Some numbers from the Daily News: "The C line has 110,000 daily riders. Add to that the 470,000 riders on the A line - which will run local between 207th and 145th Sts. - and you have nearly 600,000 people in pain." Not to mention overflow from people trying to figure out better routes for themselves.

How was your commute this morning? Gothamist had to transfer two more times than usual - and we don't even take the C!