At 7:32 a.m. Wednesday, a person cut power to the 96th Street station on the B and C lines, according to the MTA.

It shut down the A,B, C and D service and caused massive crowds on the 7 line. 

“Pretty rough rush hour this morning," Sarah Feinberg, interim president of NYC Transit, said at the MTA's monthly board meeting.

What You Need To Know

  • Transit officials said the MTA is hiring transit workers to make up for a staffing shortfall during the pandemic

  • NYC Transit's subway chief said more train operators and conductors will be on the rails in the coming months

  • MTA Chairman Pat Foye said next month's board meeting will be his last, though lawmakers in Albany have yet to approve Gov. Cuomo's plans to change transit leadership

Police say officers responded to a report of an emergency alarm box that had been pulled.

While the cause of the snarl was out of the MTA’s control, a staffing crunch caused by retirements and a hiring freeze has made it tougher to get train service back on track after disruptions and get crews to run trains — all while riders are returning to the subway as the coronavirus pandemic wanes.

“The pain point is not only in service delivery; the hiring freeze means there’s fewer people across the board who can respond to incidents and maintenance issues, operate work trains, operate vacuum trains, do inspections," Feinberg said.

"I think we’re really making strides, and I think over the next several months we do have an aggressive plan to bring more people on," Demetrius Crichlow, vice president of subways at NYC Transit, said.

The MTA saw a decrease in the number of trains running on time, though it’s still better than in 2019, before the pandemic.

Meanwhile, there were more victims of assault, robbery and grand larceny in May, but police say June has so far been a safer month for riders.

“A trend that has now begun to stabilize in the first three weeks of June,” NYPD Transit Bureau Chief Kathleen O’Reilly said at the meeting.

Still MTA board member Robert Linn worried about the subway’s backslide on its improvements made before COVID-19.

“It sounds like the future may before too long start reminding us of the past," Linn said.

Meanwhile, MTA chairman and CEO Pat Foye said his final board meeting will be in July, even though Albany lawmakers have not approved Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan for a leadership shake-up by splitting the role into two positions.

Nor have lawmakers approved Cuomo’s nominees for those posts.

Still, Foye is confident Albany will do so, and he offered no plan B if it does not.