You are reading

Morning 7 Train Delays Caused by Human Error, Not New System or Weather: MTA

File photo

Jan. 6, 2020 By Allie Griffin

Monday morning’s hellish rush hour commute for 7 line riders was caused by human error, not the expensive new signal technology or the light snow on the tracks, the MTA said in statement.

The first Monday morning commute of the new year became a nightmare for many Queens residents after the 7 train was severely delayed by a signal problem near the Grand Central – 42nd Street station.

Shortly after 7 a.m., 7 train express service was halted and overall service along the line between Queens and Manhattan was “extremely limited.” The MTA recommended commuters avoid taking the 7 train altogether soon after.

One commuter pointed out the irony that work was being done on the 7 line all weekend and come Monday, 7 trains weren’t working.

“Only the 7 train could have work done on it all weekend to then only not work come Monday,” the commuter tweeted.

But that work turned out to be the reason for the signal issue and resulting service problems, according to the MTA.

Workers incorrectly re-installed a transponder in the wrong location over the weekend, which caused the trains to not connect properly to the transponder.

“A transponder in an area of weekend track work on the 7 line that is designed to confirm the precise locations of trains was re-installed in the wrong location after work concluded before the morning rush hour,” said Sally Librera, Senior VP of Subways, MTA NYC Transit. “That caused trains to not connect properly to the transponder, resulting in slow speed operation as a safety precaution.”

Last month, 7 train service in Queens was delayed during a Wednesday morning commute because a dusting of snow interrupted the line’s expensive new signaling system on the raised tracks.

The MTA noted that today’s issue was not a weather-related.

“This was a case of human error, not weather or equipment, and was completely unacceptable to our customers and to us,” Librera said.

An unrelated switch issue caused morning delays on the E, F, M and R Queens Boulevard line which lead to more headaches.

“Because some riders had switched from the 7 line to the E,F,M and R, their trips were impacted twice,” Librera said.

She failed to note that the MTA advised passengers to take those lines to avoid 7 train delays — as well as the LIRR which was cross-honoring MetroCards.

Regular 7 train service did not resume until about 2:30 p.m.
“Teams of track workers were assigned to diagnose and resolve the conditions involved, and to eliminate impact on the afternoon rush hour,” Librera said. “They completed their work and after a period of testing for safety, regular 7 train service resumed at approximately 2:30 p.m.”
The MTA will conduct a post-incident review to evaluate contributing causes of the error to minimize future disruptions, she said.
email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 
Glenda Kuller

MTA Employees should receive
the hands-on training so vital, whenever
A new system is installed or


So a bunch of workmen including the foreman didn’t notice that this was put back in the wrong place.will they suffer any consequences?i doubt it


What is the MTA’s protocol for QA’ing these types of things and are these humans being fired? Their mistake really screwed a lot of people yesterday.


The human error that residents paid for with our tax dollars and will continue to pay for the MTA employees to fix a mistake they made.


Voting for Cuomo to oversee the MTA is a human error three times over New Yorkers will never learn.


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Crunching the Queens crime numbers: felony assaults across the borough on the rise, burglaries down slightly in northern Queens

Feb. 21, 2024 By Ethan Marshall

The number of felony assaults across Queens increased during the 28-day period from Jan. 22 through Feb. 18, compared to the same period of time last year, according to the latest crime stats released by the NYPD Tuesday. At the same time, the number of reported burglaries experienced a slight but noticeable drop in northern Queens.

Maspeth man faces life in prison for 2020 fatal stabbing in Dutch Kills: DA

A Maspeth man who was caught by transit cops vaping inside a Brooklyn subway station in January is facing as much as 75 years to life in prison for stabbing a Dutch Kills man to death four years ago.

Luis Hernandez, 36, of 56th Street, was arraigned Tuesday in Queens Supreme Court on a seven-count indictment charging him with murder, gang assault and other crimes in the fatal stabbing of a 21-year-old man and the attempted murder of two others in Astoria in 2020.