The New York Times has some relevant information in the wake of the cataclysmic delays that plagued the L train last week: if a delay on the subway system makes you tardy for work, the MTA will write you a late pass to give to your boss. The practice isn’t even new–the Transit Authority has been writing such notes for decades.

To get one, just head here and enter some information about your commute, and, if the MTA deems your complaint just, you’ll get a note absolving you.

Of course, the late passes could be a double-edged sword if their popularity grows (they’ve been available online since 2010). Yes, being able to back up your claims of tardy trains is nice, but who hasn’t used fictional subway delays as a way to explain away other, less noble reasons for lateness? Passes might make that more difficult.

(Photo: William Ward/Flickr)