Reporting Juliet Papa
NEW YORK (CBS New York) — Transit agencies across the Tri-State area and preparing for the season’s latest blast of winter to minimize delays and guarantee service for the morning rush hour Wednesday.
The MTA is keeping a close eye on the upcoming storm. The transit agency said it has begun early storm preparations and are readying the materials and equipment that will need to be deployed when the storm advances, and are prepared to deploy the necessary personnel to operate services during the storm.
MTA chairman Jay Walder said the agency has reviewed vulnerabilities in the system and have improved weather monitoring, notification, and interagency coordination since weather conditions can vary at different locations.
Incident command centers will be activated at 8 p.m. Tuesday and will be coordinated with OEM and other agencies in the metro area. The goal is to continue to provide service as long as it’s safe to customers, employees and equipment. Doing it safely means service may be temporarily suspended or curtailed for periods of time.
The Long Island Rail Road will have extra manpower at switching stations at Jamaica and Hicksville where there were a lot of problems during the last storm.
NJ transit will offer full system-wide cross-honoring beginning at 7 p.m. Tuesday and continuing all day Wednesday.
Rail station buildings and waiting rooms will have extended hours, including evenings and overnight, throughout the storm.
NJ Transit rail service will operate on a regular weekday schedule but delays are expected. Bus service is also expected to run on a weekday schedule but customers may experience delays, detours or service suspensions on certain routes due to significant snowfall expected in some regions, particularly in northern New Jersey.
The agency says hundreds of rail cars have been “winterized,” two jet-engine-powered snow blowers are available to remove ice and snow from tracks and critical switching areas, and NJ Transit has 20,000 pounds of salt on hand with the ability to obtain an additional 100,000 pounds, if needed.
The three major area airports were also preparing for this next winter blast. Port Authority officials said JFK, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty were ready with equipment and supplies.
More than 200 pieces of heavy snow equipment were said to be available, as well as snow-melting machines. There were also 2,000 tons of salt and more than 1,500 tons of sand for airport roads and parking lots.