New York

Subway Chaos as Deep Freeze Affects Signals, Some Tracks

What to Know

  • Subway riders faced delays and crowded platforms and trains the morning after the snowstorm
  • People complained of crowds on freezing platforms and lines snaking up the steps
  • The MTA says frozen switches and signal problems caused delays

Commuters trying to get back to business as usual after the snowstorm that pounded the tri-state found the subways and rails weren't exactly cooperating.

Check Mass Transit Changes After Blizzard

Signal problems and frozen switches caused massive delays on a string of subway lines across the city Friday morning, leading to so much crowding at some stations that lines snaked out the stairs amid the brutal freeze that swept in overnight.

It Snowed Underground in NYC, Too

L train riders in Brooklyn complained of overcrowding as they waited for trains that never arrived, posting photos to Twitter of people squeezed shoulder-to-shoulder on platforms and staircases.

"Line to get down to the L platform," one woman tweeted a photo to @NYCTSubway, the official Twitter account for NYC Transit. "Some announcements would be nice!" 

Q train riders faced similar problems, with riders on the Upper East Side griping that they'd been waiting for nearly half an hour only to see trains packed to maximum capacity bypass them. 

Riders on the B and D lines also saw delays. And trains on other subway lines were crowded as a result of the overflow. MTA workers spent the day Friday de-icing and scraping and cleaning to try and catch up. 

Trains weren't the only problem for straphangers: New Yorkers have also been complaining about icy, snow-covered steps and platforms since the storm dumped about a foot of snow in some parts of the city.

NYC Transit tweeted Friday morning that "efforts to clear stairways and platforms at stations continue. Please use handrails and walk carefully on platforms, and when boarding/leaving trains." 

But some commuters were patient -- even bus riders who had to jump over big piles of snow just to get on their buses -- and willing to cut the MTA some slack the day after a blizzard. Some bus drivers still were relying on the chains on tires to cut through deep snow Friday. 

"There's just a ton of snow and only so much you can do about it," said bus rider Paul Higbie. "It runs 24 hours a day. I try to keep that in mind because if I don't I get very upset." 

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