NEW YORK (PIX11) — Police are searching for whoever smashed dozens of windows on subway trains in the early morning hours of Wednesday, leaving the W subway line shut down for much of the day. The mass act of vandalism also affected a handful of other subway lines as well, slowing down train service during the morning rush hour.
The W train is now offering limited service between Astoria-Ditmars Boulevard and Whitehall Street-South Ferry, and as of 9:30 p.m., is expected to be fully running for the morning rush.
About a third of the damaged trains were still out of service during as the evening rush hour began.
Vandals smashed 97 panes of glass on 45 different subway trains sometime between midnight and around 6 a.m. on Wednesday, according to the MTA. Each train had to be taken out of service while work crews removed the broken panes and replaced them.
The cancelations and delays provoked an emotional response from Richard Davey, the president of New York City Transit.
“Pissed off,” Davey said, describing his reaction. “Can I say ‘pissed off?’ Seriously.”
“When this stuff happens, it frustrates the hell out of me,” Davey continued, “and I know it frustrates the hell out of our commuters.”
The MTA reported that it had been able to repair windows on 25, as of Wednesday evening’s rush.
Davey said that a big part of the reason that more trains had not been able to be placed back in service was a matter of available supplies.
“We … literally have exhausted the number of windows in our supply and are stealing windows off of cars that are in our train yard,” he said.
The damage was on other train lines, as well. In addition to the W train, windows were damaged on the B, F, N, and Q trains, according to the MTA, which also said that service was reduced on those lines for the morning commute into the afternoon.
W train commuters were instructed to take the R train instead.
Logan, an R train passenger who declined to give his last name, was among many commuters who reacted to the changes unfavorably.
“It shouldn’t happen,” Logan said. “People are just trying to get to work and where they need to be. They don’t need to vandalize anything.”
Tasha Clarke was headed for the R train, the alternative to the suspended W, when she commented on the situation.
Clarke said that the vandalism was part of a larger set of issues in the city that have compromised the quality of life.
“I can’t even say that I feel safe with my children taking the train,” Clarke said. “I can’t even say I feel safe getting on the train myself. We’re paying for this. The MTA needs to step it up. We’re sick and tired of it.”
New York City Transit’s president said the MTA is taking action, and is doing so, swiftly.
“I don’t know of a place that has more cameras than a Las Vegas casino than we do,” Davey said at a morning news conference. “We will find you. We have your picture, I have no doubt. We will find you.”