The Subways Melted Down Real Good (Again) This Morning

Only the 1, 4, 5, 6, A, C, D, E, F, G, L, M, N, Q, R, and W lines experienced delays today


You may have looked at your weather app when you got up this morning and noticed the forecast for tomorrow and Saturday is in the 70s and and sunny. Woo-hoo! Spring is finally here! With a little bounce in your step, you headed off to work anticipating the glorious weekend.

And then you went to take the subway, which this morning was experiencing delays only on the 1, 4, 5, 6, A, C, D, E, F, G, L, M, N, Q, R, and W lines.

The biggest problem was on the A, C, F, and G lines, which, according to the official NYCT Twitter account, were delayed thanks to an “altercation on an A train at High St.” (with weapons!) that required a police investigation. But that wasn’t all. Apparently, a small plague has descended upon our great city, as sick passengers held up trains at Eighth Avenue and Myrtle-Wyckoff on the L, plus 86th Street on the 4/5. Throw in some signal problems on the N/Q/R/W at Herald Square, a dash of an unruly customer on the 14th Street 6 train platform, signal problems at Parkchester, an M train with mechanical problems at Steinway Street, a D train with mechanical problems at Bay 50th Street, a train with mechanical problems at Bergen Street on the F/G, and a 1 train with mechanical problems at 145 Street, and have you forgotten about the nice weather yet?

All in all, it was an impressive display of a system-wide meltdown masquerading as a morning commute. Aspiring commuters took to Twitter to lament their predicament. Representative examples:

If you’re looking for some kind of detailed explanation of precisely how everything went so wrong all at the same time, here’s the best I can do:

Every once in a while, it’s not only likely but quite predictable that when a system routinely experiences lots of delays, on some occasions it will experience a crap ton of delays all at the same time. In this case, the fight on the A train at High Street exacerbated an already bad commute where sick passengers and trains with mechanical problems were discharging entire trains onto already crowded platforms. High Street is a particularly inconvenient place to pick a fight, as there is no express track on that part of the line to which trains can be easily diverted. So the A/C had to be sent along the F line while the police investigated the fight. This resulted in at least some F trains being diverted to the G to relieve congestion along the F, as well as widespread delays on the A/C/E all the way up to Columbus Circle.

Because the A and C were diverted to the F line, that meant further delays for the B, D, and M as congestion increased between Broadway-Lafayette and West 4th Street. Add to that all the prospective A/C and G riders seeking alternative routes, and a broken door here or sick passenger there is all it would take to put the icing on the broken-train cake.

But if all you want is some recognition that your commute really was that bad and that the subway really isn’t getting any better despite the spending of hundreds of millions of dollars to “stabilize” the system, then here is that acknowledgment. And, I’m very sorry to tell you — again — that this will happen again sooner than you would like.