Not Again: Signal Problems Cripple Subway System, No C Train for Hours

C service has been down for more than three hours, causing major headaches ahead before the evening rush

What to Know

  • Signal problems forced a suspension of the entire C line for the second time in roughly two weeks
  • The MTA has been plagued by train breakdowns, signal problems and other issues as of late
  • On Monday, a train got stuck with no power for 45 minutes; riders tried to claw their way out and started taking off their clothes

Signal problems created yet another nightmare for subway riders Friday afternoon as the MTA was forced to shut down the entire C line for the second time in roughly two weeks and reroute other lines to accommodate passengers.

The MTA first cautioned of signal problems at Jay Street-MetroTech in Brooklyn shortly before noon. At that time, C service was suspended between Brooklyn and Manhattan and A, F and G trains were subject to delays and disruptions.

Hours later, the MTA advised of "ongoing signal problems" at the station -- and C train service remained suspended as maintainers investigated on the scene. 

An NBC employee was stuck on an A train running on the C line for over a half-hour. The train briefly moved toward Hoyt-Schmerhorn before it stalled again. He says despite an announcement of the signal problems, riders were irritated. 

Finally, by 4:30 p.m., the NYC subway Twitter account said the C train was back in service, though signal problems were ongoing at Jay Street. A trains were running local in both directions, and the A, C, F and G trains were running with delays. 

The C train was shut down for hours on a Thursday late last month because of a similar issue, though that time the signal problems were at High Street.

The headaches come on the heels of hundreds of riders getting stuck in an air condition-less F train car in Manhattan for nearly an hour Monday after the power went out. Video showed sweating riders trying to claw their way out of the motionless train; some took off their clothes as they dealt with sweltering heat. The windows fogged up, and someone scrawled "I will survive" in steam.

Three days later, on Thursday, some riders were stranded again for a time near the Fulton Street station; one subway rider tweeted it was because of a power outage. The MTA said it was investigating a situation at Jay Street-MetroTech, the same station where Friday's signal problems originated, but nothing more.

Riders have become increasingly frustrated by power outages, signal problems and other breakdowns. According to the Associated Press, the number of delays in the city's subway system has tripled in five years. 

Gov. Cuomo concedes the subway system is "at its breaking point." He says decades of underfunding and inattention to maintenance created the current situation. 

He says changes will come in the form of a nearly $30 billion plan to modernize outdated infrastructure. 

Riders say they just want better service.

Contact Us