How a Mechanical Failure Sparked 625 MTA Delays -- NYMag: "The subway is New York City’s pulmonary system; the great class-leveling engine of urban life; the main reason, perhaps, that such an extraordinary concentration of innovation and power and culture happened here and not somewhere else. Thirty-five percent of the metropolitan area’s workforce commutes via subway, bus, and commuter rail; the national average is 5 percent. Nearly half a million children use MetroCards to get to school, and 65 percent of international tourists use mass transit, contributing $18 billion to the local economy annually, which is why delays aren’t just a matter of inconvenience; they pose a fundamental threat to the functioning of the city. This new era of delays has already taken a toll, starting with people late for work: Last year, commuters asked for delay-verification slips more than 100,000 times.
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