New York's Subway System Made Me Late For Work, Then Wrote Me This Ridiculous Late Pass

Last week, I was half an hour late for work because my subway was horribly delayed, leaving me standing on an outdoor platform in freezing weather for about 20 minutes.

To prove to my boss that I wasn’t just sleeping in, I applied for a “Subway Delay Verification” from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).

The idea is simple: You fill out a form explaining what train(s) you take, when you entered and exited the subway, and the details of the delay.

If the MTA can verify the delay, it will give you a confirmation letter.

So I submitted the form, and promptly got an email promising me a response within 21 days. Fortunately, it took less than a week to arrive.

And it was ridiculous.

I expected a line confirming that my train — the M line — was delayed, maybe with an explanation. Instead, the MTA gave me a whole lot of information about all the trouble it was having that day:

“On the morning of Thursday, December 12, 2013 there was a disruption in service, specifically brakes in emergency, police investigation, unruly person, track circuit failure and signal trouble which caused service disruption on the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, A, C, D, E, F, G, J/Z, M and R lines. Your delay is validated for the date and time specified in your request.”

Yes, that’s five distinct problems that caused delays on 15 subway lines.

Here’s the full letter:

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