New Yorkers Start 2020 Commute With Massive Subway Breakdowns

(Bloomberg) -- New York’s subways were plagued by delays Monday as thousands of commuters returned from their New Year’s holiday to find signal breakdowns on 10 train lines.

“Expect longer waits for trains and crowded platforms,” New York City Transit said through a Twitter post shortly before 8 a.m. at the height of the city’s commuter rush hour. The agency operates the system for the state Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

After years of problems, the MTA has pushed for a $55 billion capital spending plan over the next several years, with billions committed to upgrade decades-old technology, including signaling systems designed in the first half of the 20th century. Ten subway lines had signal problems Monday, enough to shut down express service on the east-west 7 line, one of the busiest, which runs between Queens and Manhattan. Track problems at Manhattan’s Brooklyn Bridge Station afflicted the 4, 5 and 6 lines, according to Danny Pearlstein, a spokesman for Riders Alliance, a commuter-advocacy group.

“This morning’s citywide signal meltdown is an unacceptable reminder of how far Governor Cuomo still has to go to fix the subway,” Pearlstein said in an email. “Congestion pricing is coming, the MTA has a plan to modernize signals, and the governor needs to make it all happen on time.”

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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