Human error caused widespread subway outage, MTA investigation finds

Local News

NEW YORK — Human error grounded subway service to a halt on a recent Sunday night, Gov. Kathy Hochul said.

Officials had previously said a power surge snarled service for more than half of New York City’s subway lines on Aug. 29. Hochul launched an investigation and enlisted outside engineering firms.

“The teams worked expeditiously to identify the source of the problem and recommend improvements. I am directing mitigation steps to ensure riders are not interrupted by these causes ever again,” Hochul said. “New Yorkers deserve absolute confidence in a fully functioning subway system, and it is our job to restore that confidence.”

An emergency push button may have been accidentally pressed, officials said. A plastic guard that would have stopped someone from accidentally activating it was missing.

Internal MTA process flaws prevented the agency from immediately fixing the issue, the investigation found. The transit agency will take steps to change that, MTA Acting Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said.

“The agency will also install additional cable connections to improve power redundancy in the building, as well as a more comprehensive Building Management System that will provide detailed visibility into the status of the building’s electrical distribution, mechanical, and security systems,” he said.

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