Subway Disruptions, MetroCard Machine Outages Cause Mass Transit Headaches

A bevy of service disruptions and outages at the city's MetroCard vending machines caused headaches for subway riders Monday, transit officials said.

Service disruptions were reported on the J, M, N, Q, R, B, G, D and No. 7 lines throughout the day following a series of unrelated problems, from hanging wires to stalled trains to signal and switch issues. The problems came hours after another issue caused most of the subway system's MetroCard vending machines to stop accepting debit and credit card payments.

The No. 7 line was suspended between Times Square and Queensboro Plaza in both directions for about five hours because of signal problems, the MTA said. Limited service on the line was restored by about 4 p.m., but the transit agency said it was running with delays. 

Switch problems at Columbus Circle shortly before 3 p.m. prompted other service changes, including a suspension of B and D train service through Manhattan and in parts of Brooklyn. Service was restored after about 70 minutes but widespread delays were reported.

Signal problems also caused delays on the G line in Brooklyn.

N and Q trains also had intermittent suspensions between Manhattan and Queens Monday; service resumed shortly before 5 p.m. but lingering delays were reported on all yellow lines. Earlier in the day, throngs of straphangers crowded platforms at Queensboro Plaza, and subway rider Andrew Harts tweeted that many had been waiting for nearly half an hour.

The MTA said Con Edison was doing work on a high tension feeder cable near Queens Plaza, and the work caused a disturbance in the utility's network that affected the transit agency's signal system.

Service on the J and M lines was also affected Monday between Marcy and Myrtle avenues and Essex Street and Myrtle Avenue because of hanging wires at Flushing Avenue, authorities said. Those suspensions only lasted about half an hour and were cleared up by lunchtime.

MetroCard machines couldn't process credit and debit card transactions for most of the morning due to network issues. The outage trickled down to a handful of stations over the course of the afternoon, and the MTA said the problem had cleared up across its entire network before the evening rush.

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