The Harlem subway derailment Tuesday created a ripple effect of chaos through a large swatch of the transit system that included stalled trains and dangerously overcrowded platforms — the latest in a growing number of MTA failures.
The incident – in which four people were hurt on the A train — resulted in a cascading series of delays on the A, B, C and D lines, among others.
On the F line, frustrated riders fumed as trains stalled for up to half an hour with little explanation beyond ever changing excuses from announcers that ranged from a “power outage,” “an investigation” and “train traffic.”
When a passenger finally read aloud from Twitter that a train had derailed, one car exploded with cries of, “Why don’t they just tell us the truth?”
One announcer advised passengers to shift over to an express D train at West Fourth Street, only for the conductor on the D train to send them scuttling back across the platform — it was terminating at 34th Street, he announced.
One passenger posted a video of a darkened train car and tweeted as @kirkajames: “We need better emergency protocol!!!”
A 24-year-old mother of three described her frustration with the bedeviled subway system.
“I got off welfare and got me a job three weeks ago,” said the woman, who did not want to be named. “”I’m sick of calling in late because of problems on the D train. They think I’m lying and I’m embarrassed. Five minutes ago, I called in and said, ‘I quit’ because I just can’t do it anymore.”
The derailment also left a group of schoolchildren stuck.
“This was supposed to be a field trip,” said a guidance counselor who also declined to provide his name. “The only thing they’ve learned so far is the subway doesn’t work.”
Last week, a busted switch at the Lexington Avenue-59th Street station caused morning delays on the F, Q and R lines.
Recent signal problems at Manhattan’s 145th Street station on the A line also caused delays on the A, B, C and D lines that affected a morning rush.
The MTA has faced mounting backlash for widespread system outages caused by its aging infrastructure.