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Subway riders across the city faced a hellish commute Friday after a power outage at a midtown station crippled the system
The MTA says it's a Con Edison power issue, but a utility spokesman says the cause hasn't been pinpointed
Service was inching back on but delays persisted
An MTA spokesman says subway service is "fairly normal" after an hourslong power outage at a midtown subway station caused torturous delays across the city Friday, while New Jersey Transit riders were recovering from their own miserable morning commute.
Con Edison and MTA crews are still working to determine what triggered the outage at the 7th Avenue-53rd Street subway station at about 7:30 a.m. An MTA spokesman said some passengers were initially stranded on trains.
The entire B train line and parts of the C, D, E and M lines were suspended for hours as a result. Massive delays were reported across nearly every other subway line. The B and D resumed service before noon, but customers encountered extensive delays into the afternoon.
Crowds swelled on platforms as delays piled up, and some trains stood at a standstill on the tracks. Reporter Andrew Siff was stuck on one train for nearly an hour.
Gov. Cuomo says he's ordering an investigation into the power outage that resulted in the loss of signals, escalators, communications and station lighting. Generators were deployed to restore the signals, allowing trains to bypass the stations, but service was still slow.
The state Department of Public Service and the MTA will be investigating, Cuomo says.
"The New York City subway system is the lifeblood of the city and a critical means of transportation for millions of people... The MTA will continue to deploy emergency resources to address the short-term issues, and our investigation will address all aspects of today’s events to get to the bottom of what happened," he said in a statement.
Meanwhile, NJ Transit had extensive problems of its own Friday. The Raritan Valley line saw delays of up to an hour at one point because of an Amtrak switch problem near Newark. The switch problem also delayed Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast Line and MidTown Direct trains between Newark and New York.
NJ Transit riders in particular have had a rough stretch recently, having seen delays from disabled trains twice in a less than a week, and dealing with the aftermath of a derailment earlier in the month.
Commuters seeking alternate means of getting to their destinations also faced frustration in the notorious surge-pricing feature of Uber: riders complained of seeing prices as high as $43 for about a 2.5 mile ride in an UberX in Manhattan.