Major Subway Delays Cripple Commute for Tens of Thousands

The MTA said 17-degree temperatures caused ice to build up in the drains at West Fourth Street, prompting a water condition

A water condition prompted by ice build-up in the drains at West Fourth Street crippled the commute for tens of thousands of subway riders Monday morning, with reports of delays of an hour just to go one stop on some lines. 

New York City Transit, on Twitter, warned of "extensive delays along the Queens corridor" affecting the blue and orange lines, with delays also reported on the R. M service was suspended between Essex Street and 71st Avenue.

Workers cleared the water shortly before 10 a.m., but major delays lingered. Emergent signal problems didn't help matters. 

Passengers reported lengthy waits for a train in Queens and Brooklyn, while some of Manhattan's busiest stations saw platforms full almost to capacity. An NBC 4 New York reporter in Queens said it took an hour to go one stop; another reporter said two trains passed before she could squeeze herself on. 

Video posted to social media showed hundreds of bundled-up straphangers packed on the above-ground platform at Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights, barely able to move. Frustrated riders bombarded the MTA's Twitter account. 

The MTA said there were multiple sick passengers on the E at Queens Plaza, which compounded the problem; it's not clear if the illnesses were related to crowding. 

Meanwhile, New Jersey Transit customers on the Northeast Corridor were also experiencing 45 minute delays in either direction due to a wire problem at the Jersey Avenue station.

Contact Us