NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) –– The plan to restore mass transit systems in the Tri-State Area began hours after Hurricane Irene headed north. Sunday night, the MTA announced that it would begin restoring subway service at 6 a.m. Monday morning.
The routine workings of the subway were derailed thanks to fears of the damage Hurricane Irene would bring, leaving passengers without public transportation more than 24 hours.
“It was terrible. They should have started running them. I don’t see why they didn’t,” resident John Aristo told CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey.
Aristo was happy, however, with the buses on modified schedules Sunday night.
“I thought I was going to walk back home to Middle Village,” he said.
Fortunately, Irene wasn’t as damaging as first feared. “The good news is that our worst fear, that the under-river tunnels in the East River would flood with salt water, were not realized. We certainly dodged something there,” said MTA Chairman Jay Walder.
Workers went down below to put the finishing touches on the inspections Sunday. Track supervisor Andy Weber said getting the system back up and running is an immense task.
“Making sure all the parts they put back are working, making sure all the signals are working,” he told Hennessey.
Another time-consuming task involves having MTA personnel actually walk these tracks to make sure they didn’t fall victim to any flooding.
With all systems go for Monday, commuters won’t find themselves walking as much as they feared.
“I’m really happy because both my parents take the subway to work in Midtown and I have to go to Midtown tomorrow as well,” said straphanger Diana Li.
“My boss probably going to be happy I’m going to be at work because I work in a doctor’s office and I have to see the patients in the morning, 8:00, so the first patient going to be there. I have to be there too,” said commuter Violeta Khaimova of Forest Hills.
The MTA also said that Long Island Rail Road would restore near-normal service on six branches for Monday morning’s commute. Meanwhile, Metro-North train service will remain suspended on Monday.
The MTA also restored limited bus service in New York City at 4:30 p.m. No fares were being charged for service provided on Sunday, the MTA said. The regular fare policy will resume Monday morning at 5 a.m.
Despite Tropical Storm Irene moving out of the region, the aftermath — including downed trees and flooding — was making it difficult on various other transit agencies trying to return to form.
NEW YORK CITY SUBWAY SERVICE (Details)
According to a release from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, service will be “less frequent than normal” and commuters should expect to face longer wait times and more crowded trains. The release said that “frequency of service will improve over the course of the day.”
Here are some notable exceptions for subway service:
- 3 trains will operate between 137th Street/City College and New Lots Avenue; Substitute bus service will be provided between Harlem 148th Street and 135th Street connecting with the 2 train.
- C trains suspended; A trains will make all local stops from 207th St. to Lefferts Blvd.
- No service in the Rockaways. (Rockaway Blvd. to Far Rockaway and Rockaway Park)
- 6 trains runs local in the Bronx
- 7 trains run local
- S Franklin Avenue Shuttle (FAS) Suspended
- N trains terminate at Kings Highway. Shuttle bus service between Kings Highway and Stillwell Terminal.
Earlier, MTA crews worked to assess damage to subway tracks, signals and equipment in the extensive transit system. Crews pumped water from the 148th Street/Lenox subway yard. The tracks on the N line were also flooded in Brooklyn at the 86th Street station.
“On the subway system, the good news is that the worst fear we had, which was that the under river tunnels on the East River would flood with salt water, were not realized,” MTA Chairman Jay Walder said. “We certainly dodged something there, however there are clearly impacts on the system.”
NEW JERSEY TRANSIT (Details)
NJ Transit said rail service would remain suspended until further notice because of the impact from Hurricane Irene, with the only exception being the Atlantic City Rail Line. The agency’s bus service will operate on a modified weekday schedule as crews work to assess damage and make necessary repairs.
Some of the bus routes may be subject to delays, detours or cancellations because of flooding. Light Rail service will operate on a weekend schedule.
There will be no service on the New Jersey Coast Line, Gladstone Branch and no service to the Meadowlands for the Giants/Jets game Monday night.
System-wide cross honoring will also allow customers to use tickets for alternate travel on rail, bus or light rail.
PATH TRAINS (Details)
The Port Authority announced Sunday afternoon that PATH train service would be restored at 4:00 a.m. on Monday morning.
LONG ISLAND RAIL ROAD (Details)
The Long Island Rail Road said it is restoring near-normal service for Monday’s morning rush on six of its branches, but that customers were advised to expect some cancellations and fewer cars than normal.
AM rush service will be restored to: Babylon, Huntington, Ronkonkoma, Port Washington (half-hourly service west of Great Neck), Hempstead and West Hempstead branches.
Service remains suspended on: Oyster Bay, Port Jefferson, Long Beach, Far Rockaway and Montauk braches.
Metro-North announced that service would remain suspended on Monday because of “still significant damage” to many parts of the system.
“Metro-North’s goal is to restore as much service as possible as soon as it is safe to do so. This will take some time as employees and equipment must be in place before any level of service can begin,” a statement read.
Is your work or school maintaining a regular schedule on Monday, given the transportation difficulties? Sound off in our comments section below…