The MTA said it began giving out the Subway Delay Verification notices in June 2010 as a service for riders who needed to show work superiors their tardiness was beyond their control, the New York Times reported Tuesday.
More than 250,000 of the notes have been distributed since the program began, the MTA said.
The MTA has riders seeking the verifications provide information about their subway line and the times and locations of their boarding and exit. Officials then examine the claims and issue notes where they are deemed appropriate.
"There was a disruption in service, specifically signal trouble, sick customer, brakes in emergency and track circuit failure, which caused massive service delays, reroutes and/or trains to be discharged on the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, A, B, C, D, F, J, L, M, N, Q and R lines," one recent Subway Delay Verification read. "As a result, any one delay lasted up to 82 minutes."
"We'd rather be at 100 percent on-time performance," said Paul Fleuranges, the authority's senior director of corporate and internal communications. "But nobody's perfect."