Fed Up Commuters Demand Changes After Signal Problems, Falling Debris Snarl Subway Service

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Two separate issues made a mess for commuters Friday morning.

The first was due to signal problems at the Lexington Avenue-59th Street station.

There was no N and W train service between 57th Street and Seventh Avenue and Astoria-Ditmars Boulevard in Queens in both directions for a time, but service has since resumed.

The incident caused extensive delays on the F, N, Q, R and W lines.

Falling debris at the Hoyt Street station also caused problems for a time on the 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 lines.

Normal service has since resumed on those lines, but the MTA says riders should still expect extensive delays.

By the evening rush, the MTA reported delays on the 4, 5, 6, 7 and J lines.

Earlier in the day, commuters were stranded for an hour on platforms, CBS2’s Brian Conybeare reported. Passengers posted pictures on social media of the crowded platforms.

“It’s ridiculous because it’s almost every day,” commuter Carlos Vargas told Conybeare. “To go to work and tell your boss the train is late… The MTA has to do something. Last night, around 6 o’clock, on the way to Queens, the same thing on the N. We were in the tunnel for a half an hour at least.”

After a series of recent nightmare commutes blamed on power outages, switching and signal problems, the MTA this week unveiled a new six-point plan to make short term improvements, including changing management, speeding up maintenance, and adding more rapid response teams.

“It’s another day, another meltdown on the subway, and people are starting to lose patience for it,” said John Raskin, who runs the Subway Riders Alliance.

Raskin blames decades of deferred maintenance, and he says he wants Gov. Andrew Cuomo to take a stand and invest in improvements now.

“Governor Cuomo ultimately runs the MTA and the subway, and he’s been missing in action: no vision, no plan and no funding, which is really what we need to fix the problem,” he said. “Cuomo is not the first governor to neglect the MTA, but he is the latest and he’s the one that has to turn it around.”

On Thursday, the governor defended his efforts to improve the system, but also backed away from taking responsibility for the MTA’s recent problems.

“I have invested more in the MTA than any governor in the history of the state of New York,” Cuomo said. “I have representation on the board, the city of New York has representation on the board.”

Cuomo said the subway is over capacity and outdated, and pointed to a multi-billion dollar capital plan to make improvements.

But during a radio interview Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio blasted the governor’s efforts to distance himself.

“That’s a fantasy. That’s absolutely inaccurate,” he said. “If you like something happening in our subways or don’t like it, talk to the governor, he’s in charge. He should just own up to it and take this responsibility seriously and put forward a plan.”

For more information, click here.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS New York

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
Get Our Morning Briefs
Bloomberg WCBS Tri-State Business Index

Watch & Listen LIVE