On Monday morning, for the second time in 41 days, New Yorkers faced a terror attack after a man detonated an improvised explosive device in a busy Times Square subway station.
Though commuters were understandably shaken, determined residents and city officials refused to let the attack interfere with their lives.
Comedian Nick Jack Pappas tweeted that he and his wife take the subway toward Port Authority almost daily. “After hearing about the bombing, we got on the train as if it were any other day. The terrorists will never beat New Yorkers because we’ve got shit to do,” he said.
My wife and I take the A C E line toward Port Authority nearly every day. After hearing about the bombing, we got on the train as if it were any other day.
The terrorists will never beat New Yorkers because we’ve got shit to do.
— Nick Jack Pappas (@Pappiness) December 11, 2017
Pappas was not alone, as many residents went about their business as usual, even despite the mass subway delays that ensued.
“It took me more than an hour to get home from an appointment downtown,” said Becki Jacoby of Harlem. “But I just settled in as I would with any other delay.”
When asked if she was fearful that two attacks occurred in the span of 41 days, Jacobi shrugged.
“I think we always have to be fearful that this will happen, especially here, especially now, but we can’t not live,” she said. “You just have to be much more aware of what’s happening around us.”
To that end, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill urged all New Yorkers to help keep their city safe.
“It takes all 6M people who ride the trains every day — everybody’s eyes and ears. If something doesn’t look right, doesn’t feel right — flag down a cop, give us a chance to investigate. Public safety’s a shared responsibility,” he tweeted.
How can #NYC can keep such a vast subway system safe? It takes all 6M people who ride the trains every day — everybody’s eyes and ears. If something doesn’t look right, doesn’t feel right — flag down a cop, give us a chance to investigate. Public safety’s a shared responsibility. pic.twitter.com/zd1Pk7u5Fl
— Commissioner O’Neill (@NYPDONeill) December 11, 2017
The explosion initially halted the morning commute, especially on the subway lines that pass through the busy Midtown transit hub, but even the trains carried on. MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota said service would be resumed by the evening rush hour, and he was right. By 2 p.m., service was restored on all train lines, including the A, C and E, which had bypassed 42nd Street/Port Authority since the blast. Service was expected to be normal on Tuesday, though customers will need to exit the station to transfer to 1 Subway, 2 Subway, 3 Subway, N Subway, Q Subway, R Subway, W Subway and 7 Subway trains at 42 St-Times Square because the passageway is closed due to the ongoing police investigation. No additional fare will be charged for transfers.
“This is one of my nightmares,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo told NY1 just hours after the incident, adding that “the reality is not as bad as the fear.”
“When we hear of an attack on the subway, it’s incredibly unsettling,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference soon after the attack, but was quick to add that there were no other “credible and specific threats against New York City at this time.”
De Blasio, Cuomo and O’Neill applauded New Yorker’s resilience when faced with incidents such as Monday’s explosion or the truck attack in Lower Manhattan on Halloween.
“This is most resilient place on Earth, we’ve proven it time and time again,” the mayor said. “We’ve proved it just over a month ago. We proved it on 9/11. We are going to prove it again today. The terrorists will not win, we are going keep being New Yorkers.”
The department and FBI are asking witnesses or anyone with information about the explosion to call 888-NYC-Safe or 800-Call-FBI or visit the 10th Precinct at 230 W. 20th Street.