Subway delays-- whether caused by signal malfunctions, train traffic, or a sick passenger-- are New Yorkers' most common excuse for running behind schedule.
Blaming the MTA for being late, however, is often met with skepticism, especially by one's boss. But unbeknownst to many straphangers, there is a system dedicated to corroborating your excuse for being tardy.
The New York Times reports passengers can request online what is essentially a late pass from the MTA. If the train you were riding was in fact delayed, the MTA will issue you a Subway Delay Verification note to hand over to your unconvinced employer. (7 train riders scrambling late into work this morning, take note.)
One such recent note read:
There was a disruption in service, specifically signal trouble, sick customer, brakes in emergency and track circuit failure, which caused massive service delays, reroutes and/or trains to be discharged on the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, A, B, C, D, F, J, L, M, N, Q and R lines. As a result, any one delay lasted up to 82 minutes.
Since the program launched in 2010, The Times reports, the MTA has seen the number of late pass requests balloon up to 250,000.
Prior to the online system, passengers in desperate need of a notice were forced to call or write to the MTA. A long three weeks later, the MTA would write back confirming a train delay.