Straphangers late for work because of transit delays can utilize a little-known MTA program to help them prove to skeptical bosses that their excuse is legit.
The agency's New York City Transit division issues the equivalent of a doctor's note for tardy riders - at the rate of 34,000 a year.
Passengers can call one of the MTA's 80 customer-service agents at (718) 330-1234 to request a delay-verification letter. And soon obtaining one will get even easier with an online version.
It currently takes one to two weeks to receive an official note by mail.
By mid-2009, however, the MTA expects to have an online request form that riders can fill out. MTA reps will still research the delay but issue paperless notes.