NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Sunday evneing begun the system-wide shutdown of subway, Metro-North and Long Island Railroad service for the duration of the storm.
The MTA did not provide details as to when the system will be reopened. Additionally, final bus service ended at 9 p.m.
“The storm is still coming…and now it is time to take action,” Cuomo said.
The mass transit agencies will all be cross-honoring tickets and passes until the closures take effect, Cuomo announced.
1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reports
The cancellations were out of an abundance of caution and in an effort to prevent damage to trains and buses.
“This is when it really counts and this is when the rubber meets the road,” Cuomo said.
As the last trains left, Danielle from Queens said she would just try to enjoy a three-day weekend.
1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports
“I’m not going to work. This is the first time I’ve ever gotten to work for weather,” she said.
But Shane did not have such luck.
“I’ve been told I’m expected to be at work, so I don’t know what the cab situation is going to be,” he said.
There was a mad dash through Penn Station as the last trains rolled out. Kathy took the shutdown in stride as she boarded the LIRR to Valley Stream.
“Better safe than sorry, I’ve got to say. It’s a hurricane, or whatever they call it, a superstorm,” she said. “We’ll live.”
Around 6:40 p.m., 20 minutes before the shutdown, turnstiles were locked and emergency exit doors were wide open. Fares were free, and many passengers were wildly confused.
WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reports
But the MTA agents had their own trains to catch, and they just pointed people toward the open door.
By 7:10 p.m., the trains had grown less frequent, and some trains didn’t stop at all. A 1 train just honked and passed through the station.
But there was no mad dash — at least not everywhere — as there was before Hurricane Irene. The platform was almost deserted, as the MTA had done its job in spreading the word.
All 6,282 cars had made their way toward the end of their lines, where they will stay for the foreseeable future.
It was announced Sunday that all PATH train service and stations will be shutdown at 12:01 a.m. Monday, October 29 until further notice due to Hurricane Sandy. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates PATH service.
At the Port Authority’s five major airports, the Port Authority expects all carriers to cease operations tonight. American Airlines and United Airlines already indicated they will halt flight activity and Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, USAirways and other carriers are expected to make announcements later today, according to a release from the Port Authority.
Air passengers are advised to check with their airline before heading to the airport, officials cautioned.
In addition, AirTrain service to Newark and JFK airports will be shut down in winds surpass 30 mph. AirTrain service to JFK will be inaccessible after 7 p.m. due to the mass transit closures, according to the Port Authority.
Gov. Cuomo was joined at a news conference on Long Island Sunday morning by the county executives of Nassau and Suffolk Counties and other local officials.
WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reports
Gov. Cuomo said the main goal is to keep all residents inside their homes where they will be safest, he told reporters.
Bridges and tunnels will be closed on a case-by-case basis if the situation presents, Cuomo said. Sustained winds of 60 mph or higher will cause bridges to close, officials announced.
Watch Gov. Cuomo’s News Conference:
Gov. Cuomo also announced that 1,100 Nation Guard troops have been activated to help deal with the storm.
In addition to the high winds and pounding rains anticipated when the storm reaches the area, officials warned of severe tidal surges. Officials cautioned the storm will likely hit the area late Sunday night through early Tuesday morning, before possibly clearing out.
“We’ve issued a state of emergency in the county. Following the complete evacuation of Fire Island, LIPA will be de-energizing because the concern is without emergency personnel on Fire Island, is for fires and not having the ability to respond,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.
There is no word as of yet when the service suspension may be lifted. Residents can call 511 or click here for the latest updates from the MTA.