NEW YORK DAILY NEWS | Jan 22, 2020 | by Clayton Guse and Bill Sanderson
A bedbug infestation in an underground subway workspace slowed the homeward commutes of thousands of straphangers Wednesday night on the Queens Boulevard line.
E, F, M and R service were affected by the delays that started around 4:30 p.m., the MTA said.
The problem arose in a subway control tower at the Forest Hills/71st St. station, said MTA NYC Transit president Andy Byford.
When an employee reported seeing bedbugs in the tower, “we immediately took action to fumigate the tower, which resulted in an evacuation until tower staff were able to safely return at approximately 7:30 p.m,” Byford said in a statement.
Because the Forest Hills/71st St. tower was evacuated, there was no subway staff available to turn around trains on the M and R lines, which end their runs at the station.
That forced the trains to be rerouted, and turned around further east on Queens Boulevard.
The problem was finally cleared up at around 8:30 p.m.
Byford said the problem wasn’t expected to affect the morning commute.