CITIES: End of the Line

New York City's transportation system is a precarious mechanism. All that is needed to get it out of kilter is for somebody to stop when he should go, or go when he should stop. At cold dawn one day last week, 500 subway motormen (of 3,167 total) decided to stop, walked off their jobs. Within minutes the city's 237-mile subway system was disrupted, its 4,700,000 riders were disoriented. Within two hours the city found itself locked in the biggest, messiest transportation scramble it had ever seen. Commuters flooded to the streets, turning...

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