The Queensboro Plaza subway station in New York City on Dec. 11, 2014.
Thursday night's commute on New York City's subways was worse than rush hour — you could call it "commute-ageddon."
According to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the trouble began when a power outage hit a group of subway lines, causing signals to go out. Then a fire in a manhole south of West 4th Street damaged more signal cables, which knocked out signals to subway cars, creating hours — yes, hours — of delays.
New York City's subway system uses a signal system that helps drivers operate the trains. Colored lights on the track — red, green, yellow — tell drivers when to go, when to stop and inform drivers when there is a train ahead of them on the same track.
#SubwayNews Fire damaged signal cables outside West 4th St; fire impacted #A #C #E#B #D #F #M and #R service pic.twitter.com/Do6ZvWAKPq— NYCT Subway Service (@NYCTSubway) December 12, 2014
The fire affected the A, B, C, D, E, F, M and R lines, and the power outage affected the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 lines. For those unfamiliar with New York City's subway system, that is a majority of the lines.
— Jessica Plautz (@jessicaplautz) December 12, 2014
Thousands of miserable commuters were left stranded.
"It took me about [an] hour and a half on what's usually a 3- minute commute," one person toldThe Gothamist. "Once people started getting moving, I ended up walking the last 16 blocks home."
The NYC subway system is having a banner night. pic.twitter.com/FkNrPIp5wd— Stina Sternberg (@StinaSternberg) December 11, 2014
This subway platform is downright dangerous.. Too many people, fights starting and no room to move pic.twitter.com/CpYOiHxQco— Ev (@evelinav) December 11, 2014
@NYCTSubway queensboro plaza waiting for the 7 flushing bound
Tags: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK SUBWAY, TRAVEL & LEISURE, U.S., US & World