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Subway Crash Strands Students

A 1-train carrying almost 300 people collided with an off-duty train close to 96th Street, on Jan. 4 around 3p.m. Firefighters helped the riders evacuate. 26 people suffered injuries from the crash, although all were relatively minor. This disturbance on the 1, 2, 3 line rerouted or inactivated other trains for days, forcing New Yorkers to adjust their commutes by taking either a different train or a bus, both of which were packed due to the overflow. 

The cause of the crash was human error, as both trains believed they had the right of way. The empty train had been stalled at its station since vandals had activated its emergency brakes. The occupied train had a green light to go around the empty one, but instead of waiting, the empty train continued to inch forward, causing the crash. 

As a result, one train car derailed and got stuck. Attempts to remove the trapped car caused the extended delays and suspensions of other lines.

Many Heschel students rely on the 1, 2, and 3 trains to get to and from school, so students were left scrambling to find a different mode of transit. Many resorted to taking expensive Ubers. 

Sophomore Juliette Heisler, who lives on 232nd Street, felt more gratitude for the subway following the crash. 

“I was forced to take a car home for a couple days,” Heisler said. “It allowed me to appreciate the subway even more than I did before.”

Not all students had such a positive reaction.  

Junior Eli Goldman was forced to take an unfamiliar train that stopped very far from his house and had to walk home from school the next day, making him late for his weekend plans.

“The MTA has completely destroyed my trust in them,” Goldman said. “I feel unsafe ever riding the subway again.”

The 1-train was back on track after a few days. Less than a week after the crash, an F train derailed near Coney Island. After this streak of serious subway incidents, New Yorkers’ faith in the subway has been shaken, and it will take some time to recover.

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