Copper Thieves Cause Transit Nightmare; Goldfeder questions contingency traffic plans in Howard Beach

Copper Thieves Cause Transit Nightmare; Goldfeder questions contingency traffic plans in Howard Beach

Amidst massive transit delays and gridlock due to disrupted A train service on Wednesday morning this week between Howard Beach and Rockaway, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D – Howard Beach) has asked Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Thomas Prendergast to immediately investigate alarming security breaches that reportedly allowed thieves to remove copper track wiring and cut service to the line. Goldfeder also blasted the agency for catastrophic breakdowns in contingency transit plans, including reports of buses blocking vital roadways and leaving thousands stranded during their rush hour commute.

At around 8 a.m. Wednesday morning, the MTA first reported service disruptions due to damaged power cables near the Howard Beach A Train station. Shortly thereafter, the agency confirmed on its website that the disruption was due to a security breach by thieves stealing valuable copper wiring (currently just under $3/pound) used to supply power to the station. According to the MTA, this stranded train cars in the Rockaway Park yard, disrupting service to both the A and S trains servicing southern Queens and Rockaway.

Limited shuttle service was implemented between 88th Street and Broad Channel and between Broad Channel and Rockaway Boulevard in Queens. The MTA directed commuters to existing bus service along Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards. Commuters faced at least 30-minute delays on the heavily-utilized Q53 bus between Woodside and Rockaway Park. Buses also reportedly blocked lanes of traffic at bus stations, extending travel times for motorists and causing bumper-to-bumper gridlock in the borough.

“Families in southern Queens and Rockaway have some of the longest commute times in the entire city. On a normal day, our roads, trains and buses are stretched to capacity. Outages like this have devastating consequences for families simply trying to commute to work or school,” said Goldfeder. “I am alarmed by reported security breaches along the A train and the failure to put in place effective alternative travel plans for our families. I demand a full investigation by the MTA to ensure that this never happens again.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>