Power outage at Dekalb leaves South Brooklyn commuters stranded

A series of signal problems resulting from a loss of power at DeKalb Avenue left many South Brooklyn commuters stranded and struggling to find alternative means of transportation this morning.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) originally stated that B, D, N, Q and R trains were running with delays at around 8 a.m., stemming from an “investigation” at DeKalb. Within the hour, the MTA announced that it was a loss of power affecting signals at DeKalb that was causing the delays. B train service was suspended in both directions and D trains were made to run via the F line in Brooklyn. N and Q trains were made to terminate at Canal Street while R trains ran over the N line between Atlantic Avenue and Canal Street.

At one point, northbound D trains were terminating at 36th Street, while northbound Q trains terminated at Prospect Park. All South Brooklyn train lines experienced extensive delays, causing chaos for commuters.

“I woke up at 8:00 a.m. and it’s 10:15 a.m and I’m in Brooklyn still trying to make my way to the city,” said Matthew Kabel, a Bay Ridgeite who regularly commutes from the 86th Street station in Bay Ridge to Canal Street. “At the end of the day it’s going to be a three hour commute.”

“Everything was doing fine and all of sudden we were just sitting there at 36th Street,” Kabel said. “They made an announcement saying ‘due to a power outage at DeKalb this train is out of service.’ Everybody had to get off and everybody made their way to the stairs to get out. It was a mess. Then they made an announcement on the overhead speaker that no trains were running.”

The streets quickly filled up with confused commuters as they were forced off trains and bypassed by packed buses. According to Kabel, several cars stopped at the bus stop outside of the 36th Street station to offer stranded commuters rides to Atlantic Avenue and Manhattan.

In order to quickly alert South Brooklynites to any issues with MTA service, Kabel started a Facebook group where members can share updates and statuses of public transportation, with a particular focus on the D, N, Q and R trains and the x27, x28, x37 and x38 buses.

South Brooklynites also took to Twitter and Facebook during and after the incident to protest the MTA’s lack of response.

Third full x27. With station closed, #mta mass transit is broken in #bayridge,” read a tweet by Bay Ridgeite Luke Quinn, referring to the express bus that runs between Bay Ridge and Midtown.

This power outage comes just two days after a similar outage occurred at the DeKalb station. In that case, the loss of power caused signal and switch problems, halting D, N, Q and R train service between Brooklyn and Manhattan.

As of press time, the MTA has reported that B, D, F, N, Q and R train service has resumed with extensive delays.

Video courtesy of Matthew Kabel.


  1. Pedro Valdez Rivera Jr.

    Blame on the state elected officials in the past several decades for causing this bureaucratic, corruptible and deceptive mess in the first place; blame on the same, governor controlled, state run, public transit agency for causing non-stop mayhem towards our fare payers and our taxpayers.

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