NYC's crumbling, oozing transit stations

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'Name that substance!' is a line nobody wants to hear when they're in the MTA system, especially when that substance is overhead and dripping down.

A brownish substance started oozing from the ceiling at the Atlantic Terminal this week. Some started wondering what it is: rainwater or sewage?

In this case, cracks can be seen in the structure above with clusters of a rust-colored substance. The area has mostly been covered by a tarp, although we saw adjacent areas coming apart.

The MTA said that tests suggest that this is rainwater and not sewage. Repairs are underway. For now, the tarp has this mystery contained.

Earlier this week, some parts of the ceiling collapsed in a different section of the Barclays Center transit hub.

Other subway stations have had ceiling collapses as well.  Earlier this summer a part of a water damaged ceiling at the Borough hall subway station in Brooklyn collapsed onto the tracks.  Only one rider suffered a minor injury in that incident.

The MTA said water flows into the subway system, which is the underbelly of the city. Even on a dry day, workers pump out 13 million gallons of water. That makes for some science-experiment-looking situations.

The subway stations are not the only problem.  Equipment now fails twice as often as it once did, thanks to a shoddy power grid running a signal system now obsolete for decades, directing too few trains running an archaically long distance apart.

And if all of that has not been unpleasant enough, there have also been several other high profile crimes on in the subway system for the past few months, from an incident where two woman slashed a man for stepping on one of their feet to a subway conductor being assaulted by angry passengers.