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Subway Riders Vent Frustrations, One Jumps Off Train, After Signal Problems At Herald Square Cause Major Delays

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Subway signal malfunctions at 34th Street-Herald Square brought the morning rush to a crawl again on Tuesday, creating potentially dangerous crowding on platforms and trains.

Hundreds of thousands of riders were impacted by the delays on A, B, C, D, E, F and M trains. MTA spokesperson Kevin Ortiz said one rider jumped off a stalled F train and onto the tracks, risking electrocution. 

"I cannot stress enough how dangerous this is," Ortiz said. "With a live third rail and the possibility of the train moving at any time, this individual could have been seriously injured or worse. Under no circumstances should customers leave a train unless instructed to do so by the train crew."

"It's a bold move. I would have done the same thing," one man said.

"I wouldn't do that, but I can easily see how someone would get that frustrated," a woman added.

Angry subway riders took to social media to vent their frustrations with photos from Herald Square to Brooklyn.

Straphanger Sam Bahtel said there was no B line service from Coney Island all the way to Bedford Park, a route he takes every day.

"Being late to work all the time, sometimes you have to leave an hour before your regular time taking into account your commuting time and you're still late," he said.

"I found out the B trains are not working and every Q train that passed by was so full that you can't get on the train. So I actually missed four trains before I actually got there," said Leanna Babi of Brooklyn. "Every day I experience delays. Every day."

"Got no choice. Can't drive, got to make a living," another rider added.

Stemming from a June 5th incident, when passengers got stuck on a stalled F train for an hour without air conditioning, the MTA now says riders will no longer be left with prerecorded updates, CBS2's Emily Smith reported. Instead, they will receive live information.

"That'll be wonderful," one man said sarcastically. "No. What will that do? You're still sitting there and you're still frustrated."

CBS2 recently reported a scathing finding by the Independent Budget Office that the MTA is years behind in fixing the 1930s era subway system and could take decades to catch up on the signal issues.

"We need to see a real plan from Governor Cuomo -- a sustainable source of funding. That is what is going to fix our trains," said Masha Burina, of the Riders Alliance.

The red, green and yellow lights that riders see tell the train conductor when to move. A defective signal can stop a train in its tracks as part of an automatic spacing function that monitors how close trains are to each other.

"This morning the 1930's-era signal interlocking at 34th Street failed and, as a result, emergency repairs were required which severely impacted service and greatly inconvenienced and frustrated our customers," the MTA said in a statement. "We apologize for this inconvenience and are working to improve service. The signals and interlocking at this location are currently being upgraded as part of the MTA's capital program and we are focused on accelerating this work. We also plan to look at other methods to improve our signaling system during the MTA Challenge later this month."

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