Editor's Note

Editor’s note: If there’s one way to get straphangers angry, it’s a subway delay

A work stoppage after a grisly attack on a conductor made for a hellish morning commute that was totally unnecessary.

An A train leaves the Columbus Circle station.

An A train leaves the Columbus Circle station. Ralph R. Ortega

Subway riders, including City & State Senior State Politics Reporter Rebecca C. Lewis, were left waiting for severely delayed A and C trains Thursday following a horrific attack on a conductor. The 59-year-old was slashed in the neck by an unknown assailant around 3:40 a.m. Thursday morning while sticking his head out of an A train window at a Brooklyn station. Then, transit workers around 8 a.m. failed to roll out A and C trains at their scheduled departure times from their Upper Manhattan stations. That left straphangers stranded and service disrupted for up to two hours until the trains were rolling again. “I was fortunate that I only waited like 15 minutes before I just went back to my apartment to work from home,” recalled Lewis.

The City reported that Transport Workers Union Local 100 management told union members not to staff the trains on the A and C lines at their Manhattan stations that morning. The union, however, denied there was an official work stoppage, despite concerns raised over safety after the conductor’s assault and a recent spike in crime on the subways. “Work stoppages don’t solve a damn thing,” Metropolitan Transportation Authority President Richard Davey told The City. “We’re looking forward to continuing to see what we can do to make safety improvements for our folks.”

Davey’s response shows the stoppage, sanctioned or not by the union, got the MTA’s attention. But the conductor’s attack was tragic enough to prove more needs to be done about safety. Disruptions on an already delay-prone, century-old subway system accomplish nothing except pissing people off. We’ve learned you don’t want to do that on the subway.