Train Late? MTA Writes Excuse Notes

If your subway train is late in New York, your boss may not understand, and a note from Mom may not further your career.  However, in New York City, there’s an alternative: the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will be happy to write the excuse note, and Mom won’t have to after all.

Over the last 3 years, the MTA has written more than 250,000 such notes, according to reporting by Matt Flegenheimer in The New York Times (Dec. 10). The notes, called a Subway Delay Verification, won’t just be provided on a rider’s say-so; to get one, you have to provide the times and locations of your entry and exit in the subway system.  The Authority takes its time researching riders’ claims, and it may take hours or even days to verify them.  Sometimes the notes quote a large list of trains that may have been delayed at the time in question, and a potential maximum delay (in one case, hopefully extreme, the maximum delay was quoted at over 6 hours!  Some feel that the quoted delay times are over-generous.)  The system can be accessed online at the Authority’s website.

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