Delays on 15 Subway Lines as Cuomo Celebrates Free Wi-Fi

A 7 train platform became dangerously crowded this morning.
Photo: Luke Ohlson

A whopping 15 of NYC’s 21 subway lines (plus the Staten Island Railway), were running with some sort of delay this morning. The MTA attributed many of the delays to ice and meltwater at the West 4th Street station, which set off a cascade of troubles.

The crowding was excruciating on some lines and led to real public safety hazards:

But look on the bright side — at least you don’t have to wait to exit the station to tweet about your miserable commute.

Following months of publicity, cell service and free Wi-Fi are officially available at every MTA subway station as of this morning. The technology upgrades are part of what Governor Andrew Cuomo has called his “transformative agenda” for the MTA.

With the exception of plans to buy open gangway train cars, however, the governor’s New York City transit agenda has been all bells and whistles: buses with USB ports, underground internet connectivity, and the like. (Cuomo doesn’t get credit for the Second Avenue Subway, set in motion by his predecessors.)

Those are nice things, especially if you enjoy getting a barrage of texts when your train comes into a station, but they don’t do anything to improve reliability or speed up trips, which is what transit riders really want.

So there you have it: The subways are as overcrowded and unreliable as ever; they remain vulnerable to routine weather events setting off enormous disruptions; and the installation of modern signals to increase capacity throughout the system is still not on track to be completed in the foreseeable future.

A round of applause for Governor Cuomo.