MTA Chairman: Service To Be Restored For Straphangers, Half Of Metro-North Customers
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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Limited commuter rail service on Metro-North and the Long Island Rail Road has resumed, with limited subway service set to begin Thursday.
Grand Central Terminal has also reopened to the public.
“It’s my goal that every day, we’re going to bring back more and more service,” MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota told WCBS 880 Wednesday evening.
Beginning at 6 a.m. Thursday, partial service will resume on 14 of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s 23 subway lines.
Subway service in Manhattan will not go further south than 34th Street on some lines; others will terminate service at 42nd Street, the MTA announced.
“There will be more service, literally, on a day-by-day basis as the MTA is working through this,” Cuomo said.
Metro-North restored limited service on its Harlem Line between North White Plains and Grand Central Terminal, officials said. The service will operate every hour. Off-peak fares will be in effect an no onboard penalty fees will be charged.
The Harlem Line will be running on a regular schedule on Thursday from Mt. Kisco to Grand Central, making all normal stops. The same is true on the New Haven Line from Stamford to Grand Central.
The two lines will be running on regular day service.
“We are going to be able to serve 50 percent of the customers that normally come into Grand Central Terminal everyday tomorrow by having that service,” Lhota told WCBS 880.
The Hudson Line sustained a lot of damage in the storm, but Lhota said crews are working to get service up and running as quickly as possible.
Hudson and New Haven lines continue to be suspended.
Metro-North and LIRR customers should hold onto their October monthly and weekly tickets; they will be valid for travel through Monday, November 5, according to the MTA.
“There will be more robust service tomorrow,” for the LIRR, Lhota told CBS 2 Wednesday evening.
LIRR began operating hourly train service between Jamaica and Atlantic Terminal/Brooklyn on Wednesday.
Off-peak fares will be in effect on LIRR trains until full service is restored and no onboard penalty fees will be charged. Starting Thursday morning, more LIRR service will be operational.
“We will be having service into Penn Station on the Main Line, the Ronkonkoma Line, we are also have service continuing from Brooklyn to Jamaica as well. And finally, on the Port Washington Line, we’re going to have service from Great Neck into Penn Station,” Lhota said.
Speaking on CBS 2 Wednesday evening, Lhota said Queens and Bronx residents will be able to get into Manhattan with the limited subway service.
The MTA has set up free shuttle bus service to bring Brooklyn residents into Manhattan. 330 buses will run in dedicated bus lanes from three locations in downtown Brooklyn and Williamsburg to shuttle residents to Manhattan.
The shuttle bus pick-up points are:
- Barclays Center
- MetroTech-Jay St. Station
- Hewes Avenue in Williamsburg
EXTRA: MTA Service Alert
The buses will all drop customers off at 57th Street and Lexington Ave. That will be the same for pick-up point for shuttles back to Brooklyn, Lhota said.
The service disruptions led, in part, to the postponement of the Knicks-Nets game at Barclays Center on Thursday. That was to be the first Nets game at the new arena.
Earlier in the day, Mayor Bloomberg said the Nets game scheduled for Saturday will tip off as planned.
“Saturday is a much better day,” Lhota told CBS 2.
One sign things are getting back to normal – the free MTA bus rides that have been offered since Tuesday evening will be ending Wednesday night. Be prepared to dip your Metrocard to board the bus come Thursday.
Commuter rail service between Stamford and New York’s Grand Central Station is also set to resume.
A Connecticut Department of Transportation spokesman says the first Metro-North train since superstorm Sandy is set to leave the Stamford station on Thursday at 4:43 a.m.
The Stamford-to-New York service represents about 52 percent of the daily New Haven Line service.
The MTA shut down all services Sunday evening in preparation for Sandy. The superstorm flooded seven East River subway tunnels, three of which have now been cleared.
“We are going switch by switch, signal by signal, power substation by power substation and making sure that everything is up and running,” Lhota said.
New Yorkers have been trying to cope with a lack of mass transit two days after Sandy slammed the area.
Morning rush-hour traffic seemed thicker than on a normal day as people started to return to work Wednesday. Cars were bumper to bumper during the morning commute on several of the city’s major highways, including the westbound Long Island Expressway in Queens. Monitoring cameras showed backed-up traffic.
EXTRA: Click Here To Check Traffic
In lower Manhattan where power was out, traffic streamed off the Brooklyn Bridge but slowed as it approached downtown.
1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon reports from Brooklyn
People trying to get from Park Slope onto the Brooklyn Bridge were inching along, bumper-to-bumper. Minor accidents snarled traffic there even more.
It was very also congested around a Lincoln Tunnel exit at 42nd Street in Manhattan.
People arriving from New Jersey and Rockland County said the commute had taken them longer than usual.
The morning traffic also was thicker than usual on the Upper West Side.
On Long Island, roads were jammed in some areas on the first real rush-hour since the storm. Traffic was much worse than usual Wednesday morning on Route 110 in Farmingdale. The corridor leads to high-tech office buildings near the Long Island Expressway.
It was a free for all at some major intersections with darkened stop lights before police were deployed to direct traffic.
At Park Avenue and 34th Street, a steady stream of rush-hour vehicles rolled in all directions as drivers passed dead traffic lights. Two police officers in bright yellow vests stood in the street — one in each direction of Park — gesturing wildly to direct the traffic. Similar traffic-control measures were being taken at other intersections.
Some vehicular tunnels remain closed, including the Brooklyn-Battery, Holland and Queens-Midtown.
New York City buses were operating at full service and the city has modified taxi rules and encouraged drivers to pick up more than one passenger at a time.
LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane With Bus Passengers At 145th And Broadway
The New York City Department of Transportation announced that there is still no service on the Staten Island Ferry.
(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)