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Friday Morning Subway Commute Beset By Signal Problems, Communication Issues, Impending Doom

One hundred sixty-eight days out from the L train shutdown, the two alternative lines expected to absorb the brunt of displaced riders—the M and the J—are doing very little to inspire confidence. For much of rush hour on Friday morning, M trains stopped servicing Manhattan altogether, thanks to a signal problem in Queens. Many of us bleary-eyed riders learned about this development as we were ejected onto a narrow platform at Essex Street, our bodies pressed against each other as we filtered out at a snail's pace, all the while contemplating the MTA's term of art—"CRUSH LOADED"—for what will happen to riders when the L train shutters.

Others had the vertigo-inducing experience of getting on an M train, only to have it become a J train, and then—surprise!—switch back to an M train again. "Yay, I guess, but a subway system isn't supposed to have plot twists," huffed one rider.

And of course, the combination of a far-flung signal problem and the MTA's winning communication strategy means that no rush hour commute is really safe. Southbound E and F trains also experienced delays because of the busted signal, the MTA said, and R trains appeared to have their own plot twists.

In any case, it is Friday, my dudes, and we've all had a long week, so let's just move on from this and try not to think about what will happen when hundreds of thousands of commuters are dumped onto barely functioning subway lines for over a year. 168 days!

P.S.: Of course it goes without saying that it's just one goddamn thing after another.


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