The New Yorker recently published a profile of mass transit-veteran Andy Byford, president of New York Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA). The piece gives a behind-the-scenes peek at how New York's subway system functions—SPOILER ALERT: It's not the most well-oiled machine.
One of the best anecdotes of the bunch revolves around ticket vending machines that suddenly stopped taking debit and credit cards, a helpless MTA control center, and an unreachable IT guy named Miguel.
According to the piece, it was a Friday evening and our wayward hero, Miguel had clocked out to head home (a 3-hour drive upstate) when the MTA ticket vending machines ground to a halt, refusing to accept debit and credit card transactions.
Twitter began to erupt with complaints, folks were jumping the turnstiles, and the peeps back at the MTA control center could only sit and watch as the crisis fanned out to include New Jersey transit —and all because the one man with the keys to the kingdom, an IT guy named Miguel, had turned off his cell phone.