N.Y. Commuters Can No Longer Use Subway as Tardy Excuse

(Image credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

New York City commuters no longer can lie to say they were late because of subway delays.

That's because the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which manages the city's public transportation, has released a searchable digital archive of all service alerts that were issued via email and text message for all MTA services.

The service alerts go as far back as October 2008 and are updated in real-time, the MTA said in a statement.

As of yesterday, the archive has more than 58,600 individual entries, or about 40 updates a day.

Each entry has the date and precise time the message was sent, "down to the hundredth of a second," the MTA said.

The MTA provides 2.63 billion trips each year and is North America's largest transportation network, according to its website.

"The MTA is the most transparent public transportation agency in the world," said MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph J. Lhota in a statement. "The inclusion of this information on the website furthers our transparency achievement by allowing members of the public to carefully scrutinize how we provide service-related information to our customers. We're delighted to provide this level of openness."

Latecomers to work may not be so delighted, however, to find their late-subway excuse won't hold up to scrutiny.