Some subway riders itching to get home after work encountered delays thanks to bugs in the MTA system — bed bugs, that is.
According to the transit agency, a control tower worker at Forest Hills and 71st Street in Queens spotted two of the bothersome insects inside around 4:30 p.m. — just as rush hour was set to begin. The tower was evacuated and fumigated, and staff wasn’t able to return until around 7:30 p.m., MTA President Andy Byford said.
The worker who saw the bugs operates the switch to change lines from local to express, and because no employees were allowed to continue working at the tower during fumigation, trains on the E, F, M, R and W lines were delayed and re-routed, according to the MTA.
Although M and R trains gradually resumed their regular service, some M trains were reset to end at Chambers Street on the J line, and some would go to the 96th Street Q station instead.
The LIRR said it would accommodate MetroCard holders in both directions at a handful of stations in Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan.
“We apologize for the inconvenience to our customers as we worked to address the issue and ensure the safety of our employees,” Byford said. The agency maintained that service should be completely back to normal by Thursday morning.
There was no word of any bed bugs on any MTA subway trains.