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NJ TRANSIT Plans To Resume Bus Service Thursday; Commuting Still A Challenge

Engineers Still Inspecting About 500 Miles Of NJ Rail Track Hit By Flooding
NJ TRANSIT busses are seen in a once flooded lot October 31, 2012 in Hoboken, New Jersey. (credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

NJ TRANSIT busses are seen in a once flooded lot October 31, 2012 in Hoboken, New Jersey. (credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

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Superstorm Sandy

SOUTH AMBOY, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Commuters used to hopping on a train to get to work in New York or northern New Jersey either hopped in their cars and braved long gas lines and closed traffic tunnels Wednesday or simply resigned themselves to another day at home.

Rail lines in the state remained shut down a day after one of the worst storms in the state’s history, and there was no clear end in sight.

NJ TRANSIT engineers and officials were still inspecting about 500 miles of track, spokeswoman Nancy Snyder said. In northern New Jersey, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey had suspended PATH service from Newark, Jersey City and Hoboken into New York because of flooding.

On a bright note, New York Waterway began restoring ferry service Wednesday from Hoboken and points north into New York and was expected to add more service Thursday.

NJ TRANSIT planned to resume most bus service Thursday. Academy Bus, which has several commuter routes into Manhattan, resumed some lines Wednesday night between New York and Ocean, Middlesex and Monmouth counties.

Some of the worst damage to NJ TRANSIT tracks was on the North Jersey Coast Line, where two cargo containers and several boats were pushed onto tracks on top of a drawbridge in South Amboy, about midway on a line that runs from Bay Head in Ocean County into New York. A tidal surge from the Raritan Bay destroyed most of a marina where the boats were moored.

Workers on Wednesday began removing some of the boats that were wedged together on the span. Snyder said a barge and boom would be used to remove the containers.

Snyder said it was impossible to tell when service would be fully restored on the agency’s 12 commuter and three light rail lines. By Wednesday afternoon, the River Line light rail was scheduled to resume service between Camden and Trenton.

In Hoboken, where the National Guard rescued stranded residents from flooded homes, the main rail terminal that sits steps from the overflowing Hudson River was shuttered, leaving commuters stranded.

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(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.)