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Oh, Did You Want To Go To Work This Morning? LOL Says The Subway

The scene on a stalled M train.
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The scene on a stalled M train. Jake Offenhartz/Gothamist

Good morning to everyone except the MTA, which seems to have decided that it's not going to work today and neither should you. The morning rush was marred by delays piling up on the 7, A/C/E, and B/D/F/M lines, and not all of the problems were formally announced and acknowledged on the MTA website. Meanwhile, planned work is here to derail your day before it even starts.

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Thursday's service change posting, as of roughly 9:40 a.m. (MTA)

At time of writing, the MTA Service Change page posted good service on the G, the L, the Shuttle, and contrary to what riders on Twitter are saying, the A/C/E lines. Everyone else: You're royally screwed. Let's take a look at the damage.

For the fourth day running, the 7 line's fancy new communications-based train control technology has fallen down on the job, translating to chaos during peak transit times. This may be especially frustrating for riders who met the MTA's Monday announcement—finally, the many months-long signal modernization efforts on the 7 line were complete!—with excitement.

"Today is the first day that modern signaling tech is live on the entire 7 line," @NYCTSubway boasted. "After we finish automating and optimizing the system and performing other signal work over the coming weeks, we'll be able to run more trains, more reliably. Thank you for your patience."

Seems like there must be a mountain of "other signal work" still ahead, because just check out the situation at the Flushing Main Street stop in Queens during this morning's rush hour commute.

The platform was so thoroughly and tightly packed with straphangers, "there's no way to even get onto [it]," one Twitter user commented. "It's surprising more people haven't fallen into the tracks."

We have reached out to the MTA for more information about the 7 line delays, but according to @NYCTSubway on Twitter, the problems can be traced back to "connectivity issues." These do not seem to have resolved themselves.

As passengers threatened to overflow the turnstiles in Flushing, those who dared to take the B/D/F/M found themselves similarly thwarted, trapped like rats or forced to exit the train and walk after train brakes automatically activated at West 4th Street. At first, delays appeared confined to Northbound B and D trains, but quickly bled over to affect all four lines.

Gothamist's Jake Offenhartz had the misfortune of boarding a Manhattan-bound M train in Bushwick, and sent us the following dispatch from underground:

My cursed M train has been starting and stopping every few minutes for almost an hour now. Apparently there was train traffic in front of us because of mechanical issues with an earlier train, or so we were told by the conductor about half a dozen times during our 25-minute journey between Essex and Broadway Lafayette (one stop). Every time he got on the intercom, a passenger would let out a loud, increasingly dramatic sigh. Now we're stuck at Broadway - Lafayette, not moving again. I'm slowly realizing I'm probably going to miss a scheduled conference call, so now I am sighing dramatically as well.

Offenhartz did eventually make it off the train at West 4th Street, where he noticed the ceiling raining subway juice—a medium-curious occurrence on a dry day. Tears of straphangers broken by our sham of a transit system, perhaps?

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Service on the J/Z is currently snarled due to someone in need of medical assistance.


Speaking of the A/C/E lines, braking problems at Rockaway Blvd. threw things wildly off schedule, coming in conjunction with mechanical issues at Chambers Street. This reportedly stranded passengers at their stops, waiting in vain for trains that either don't show up or zoom right on by. The MTA says service has since resumed.

Just now, we saw signs of a mega-clusterfuck forming as two separate SNAFUs merged into one superhell. Apparently, Northbound F trains (delayed) began running on the C line (also delayed). The situation has allegedly resolved, but we will be monitoring as it continues to develop. Good luck out there, comrades.

Update: For those of you still grumbling about this morning's shitshow on the 7 line, and already wincing at the rush hour to come, know this: Apparently, CBTC kinks take some time to work out. "We're working daily to iron out issues and will be working with the supplier over the next few weeks to optimize the system and do other signal work on the line to complete the transition," said MTA spokesperson Shams Tarek. "We thank our customers for their patience—once the system is stabilized they will enjoy the enhanced reliability and, eventually, increased train frequencies that CBTC signaling allows, as currently seen on the L line." HA! Enjoy the ride.

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