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MTA To Victims: SORRY

Jen Chung / Gothamist
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Jen Chung / Gothamist

On Tuesday, the MTA took to Twitter—the watercooler of ever-frustrated straphangers—to apologize for being bad. Following a morning rush hour shutdown on the B and D lines, and additional delays on the 4, 5, 6, A, C, E, F, M, and L, the transit agency tweeted that the "1930's era signal interlocking at 34th St. had failed," requiring emergency repairs and leading to the system-wide meltdown. Additionally, they are sincerely sorry for the "inconvenience" on "this morning." [Rueful emphasis added for bitter comic effect.]

Signal problems, the raggediest achilles heel in a system made of achilles heels, are not particularly noteworthy at this point, and sure to get worse before they get better—according to a recent report, the majority of signal updates and repairs scheduled to begin this year are currently delayed, and only one update in the current capital plan will be completed by 2018. But Tuesday's commute was a particular mess, with stalled trains sending frustrated riders onto the tracks, and clogged stations sending others leaping over railings. While our transit system crumbles, New Yorkers have never looked more spry.

Desperate commuter climbs over the railing to get downstairs at a very packed Canal St platform

Of course, Tuesday evening's post-apology rush hour commute was also inconvenient, with delays reported on the 1, 2, 3, 7, A, C, E, B, D, F, M, N, Q, R, and W. And the logjam continued Wednesday morning on the B, D, F, and M lines. Between these well-timed delays, Governor Cuomo unveiled a plan to put himself in control of the ailing transit agency, which he's previously denied controlling, despite actually controlling it all along.

At an MTA board meeting Wednesday morning, interim Executive Director Ronnie Hakim also addressed the week's headaches, explaining that "New York City's subway system is among the most interconnected in the world," which means that breakdown-prone trains "lead to delays not only for the train in the incident, but for every train behind it." Hakim promised a "top-to-bottom" review of the recent problems and the MTA's response to them.

In the meantime, the MTA's social media team might streamline things by pinning that tweet.

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