An ostensibly win-win program to reincarnate old subway cars as artificial subterranean reefs off the eastern seaboard has proven largely unsuccessful because the damn things are just falling apart. The city has been paying millions to ship the cars to other states, who received them for free, and last April the program was said to be so successful off the coast of Delaware that marine officials were struggling to cope with the influx of fisherman drawn to the suddenly populous underwater metropolis.

In New Jersey, however, a survey of 48 cars at the Atlantic City Reef found only two of them remained upright and intact. According to the Press of Atlantic City, the Garden State has suspended the program and told the MTA not to send any more subway cars. It's not clear why the cars deteriorated so rapidly, and Jersey DEP spokeswoman Darlene Yuhas says that while they still provide "some level of habitat," it's not "the quality of habitat that meets state standards." And apparently other states are finding similar problems.

The good news is that the older subway cars—the Redbirds, which were used in Delaware and some New Jersey reefs since 2003—are still intact, perhaps because they're made of steel, not stainless steel like later models. New Jersey originally expected to use some 600 of the newer subway cars, but only about 100 were deployed before problems arose. Below, a simple yet entertaining video of the subway cars plunking into the sea:

Creating a reef from subway cars