NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A pair of Metropolitan Transportation Authority buses collided, and dozens more got stuck, due to Thursday’s stronger than expected nor’easter.
Some say the MTA was caught totally off guard by the storm, which dumped over a half-foot of snow in parts of the city.
The empty snow-covered buses idled in the wet sludge for hours, leaving riders stranded and looking for a way to get home. 79th Street was closed with at least five of the large accordion-style MTA buses sprawled across the road after getting stuck trying to get up the incline.
Nearby at Central Park West and 81st Street, two of the mammoth vehicles collided and blocked traffic for over an hour.
Passengers were left frustrated and freezing.
“Everybody is in gridlock,” one person said. “I just gave up waiting for buses and taxis and put on my boots.”
Several stopped buses also jammed up 86th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue, and the scene was more of the same in the Bronx. In all, it was a city-wide major transit mess at the peak of the evening rush.
One thing many noticed was that there weren’t any chains on any of the MTA buses’ tires, something the agency claims it didn’t feel the forecast warranted the use of.
“I wouldn’t know about the mechanics of the bus,” Upper East Side resident Meredith Silfen said. “I just wish I could get on one.”
The MTA did say all their buses are equipped with what they call “all weather tires,” something stranded and shivering New Yorkers didn’t take any solace in.
“Get it together,” Upper East Side resident Rosa Valentin said. “It’s really getting worse.”
The MTA says they had 5,000 buses on the streets on Thursday, and claims only a small number of them experienced any issues. As for riders, they only hoped to fare better in their Friday morning commute.