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Transit

Only on the NYC subway: U2 performs underground, de Blasio bemoans train delays and a garbage can explodes

Earlier this week, the bureaucrats that keep the delay-ridden, overcrowded subway system in more-or-less working condition sounded an alarm.

"The MTA and its transit system are at a crossroads," MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast wrote to First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris in a letter calling on the city to devote at least $1 billion to the Second Avenue Subway over five years.

The city has said it would give the MTA $657 million over the next half-decade.

Here's what else happened on the subway this week.

We learned that U2 are the coolest subway buskers

U2 have pulled some stunt concerts in unusual
Photo Credit: Instagram/ mariobatali

U2 have pulled some stunt concerts in unusual places before to promote their music, like the time they blasted through a song at a Kmart lingerie department. But none of them had virtuoso drummer Larry Mullen Jr. playing plastic buckets like a subway busker.

The band turned up at the S train platform in the subway station below Grand Central Terminal to perform songs on Monday night. It turned out the performance was a stunt for Friday’s Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Chef Mario Batali was even there to catch the show on Instagram!

Whatever the reason, U2 surely make better subway buskers than your typical eccentric with an acoustic guitar.

We learned that even de Blasio isn’t immune to the city’s subway delays

Mayor Bill de Blasio has a reputation for
Photo Credit: Rob Bennett/Mayoral Photography Office

Mayor Bill de Blasio has a reputation for being tardy, but even he was perturbed when train delays caused him to be 20 minutes late to a speaking event. In an email to his staff that was also mistakenly sent to a New York Times reporter, de Blasio complained that his security detail that dropped him off at the station had left “rather than waiting to confirm we got on a train.”

He also said the delays were “knowable info. Had we had it, we would have avoided a lot of hassles,” the Times reported.

All of this happened as the MTA called for the city to invest more in the transit system, late or not.

Police are investigating what appears to have been
Photo Credit: YouTube

Police are investigating what appears to have been a potentially dangerous prank on the subway tracks. A video posted to YouTube on Sunday night shows a subway worker trying to remove a garbage can that had become lodged under a northbound No. 6 train at Cypress Hills in Brooklyn.

Using what appears to be a piece of wood, the worker tries to remove the can only to spark an explosion that sends smoke billowing through the station.

A spokeswoman for the subway system says the explosion didn’t cause any injuries. But transit officials are investigating whether the power to the third rail was supposed to be switched off or whether the worker didn’t know it was still on.

The YouTube video was posted by a group of teenagers known to the police for subway pranks, the MTA spokeswoman said. The NYPD didn’t immediately have an update on the investigation.

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