New York governor Andrew Cuomo held a live webcast and announced that he's declaring a transportation emergency in the storm affected region
He has given permission to the MTA to waive fares through the rest of the week.
Here's the full release from the Governor's Office. It has all the details:
Albany, NY ( October 31, 2012 )
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo tonight declared a transportation emergency for the storm affected region. In addition, the Governor, joined by MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph Lhota, announced that fares on all mass transit, including buses, subways, Metro North and Long Island railroads and Access-A-Ride, will be suspended for Thursday, November 1 and Friday, November 2. In addition announced that the MTA has restored limited Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) service between Jamaica and Penn Station tonight and Metro-North Railroad will restore additional service from Grand Central Terminal to Stamford and Mount Kisco on Thursday.
“The gridlock we experienced today shows that the New York metropolitan region is in a transportation emergency,” Governor Cuomo said.
New York City buses ran normal service all day, Metro-North and LIRR ran limited service in the afternoon, and the New York City subway will begin offering limited service at 6 a.m. Thursday.
“We want to get people back to work, but we are asking our customers for patience and understanding as they confront crowding and long lines as we repair our system,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph J. Lhota. “Be flexible about your travel times. We have come a long way in a short time to repair the damage from the most devastating event to strike our transportation system.”
LIMITED LIRR SERVICE RESTORED
The LIRR has implemented hourly service between Jamaica Station and Penn Station. The LIRR expects to restore limited hourly service on Ronkonkonma Branch and on the Port Washington Branch from Great Neck for Thursday’s morning rush. There will be no stops during peak periods at Kew Gardens and Forest Hills – these stops will only be made during the off-peak. At 6:45 PM tonight, Penn Station opened to customers.
Earlier today, the LIRR restored limited, hourly service between Jamaica and Atlantic Terminal, Brooklyn. In conjunction with the restored Jamaica-Brooklyn service, beginning tomorrow, customers will be able to connect to shuttle buses from Barclays Center (adjacent to the LIRR’s Atlantic Terminal) to Manhattan. Customers heading to downtown Manhattan should travel to Penn. The special buses running from Barclays Center in Brooklyn are dropping customers off in midtown, not downtown.
All trains leaving Jamaica to Atlantic Terminal and Penn Station tonight will follow the same times, which is at 10 minutes after the hour until 11:10 PM. After that time, all trains to Atlantic and Penn Station will leave at 45 minutes after the hour.
Schedules for the Service Restorations are below:
LIRR employees have been working around the clock to restore as much service as possible on the LIRR’s four main branches – Port Washington, Ronkonkoma, Babylon, and Huntington. The LIRR’s primary obstacle to restoring service is restoration of power at its substations along its branches that feed the third rail. More than 20 substations remain without power. The LIRR has been in close contact with LIPA to coordinate work crews on this priority.
Two of four East River tunnels remain flooded and cannot be used at this time. In restoring the limited LIRR service to Penn Station, the LIRR will only be able to use two of four tunnels, which they share with Amtrak and NJ Transit.
Ronkonkoma Branch: Limited Hourly Service to be Restored for AM Rush Thursday
The LIRR will be restoring limited, hourly train service from Ronkonkoma to Penn Station for tomorrow morning's rush hour (Thursday, 11/1) starting at 5:37 AM. The restored Ronkonkoma Branch trains will not be stopping at Merillon Avenue, New Hyde Park, Westbury, and Carle Place.
Port Washington Branch: Limited Hourly Service from Great Neck to be Restored for AM Rush Thursday
Limited, hourly shuttle train service from Great Neck to Penn Station will be restored on the Port Washington Branch for tomorrow morning's rush hour (Thursday, 11/1) starting at 5:45 AM. Customers advised to be dropped off at the Great Neck Station, as limited parking is available.
LIRR Customers Should Anticipate Crowding
Because service will be limited, waits will be longer and trains will be more crowded. Customers are advised to consider changing their normal routines to travel later in the morning or later in the evening. Customers should anticipate crowded conditions on all LIRR trains that run until more service is restored. For safety reasons, some trains may be required to skip stations if they become overcrowded. Customers may have to wait for the next train. The LIRR will make every effort to add additional trains whenever possible.
LIRR Fare Policy During Hurricane Sandy Recovery Period
Off Peak fares will be in effect on all LIRR trains until full service is restored. No onboard penalty fares will be charged. All LIRR customers are advised to hold onto their current monthly and weekly tickets; they will remain valid for travel through Monday, November 5.
For More Information
The LIRR will provide Service Advisories around the clock, as required. Customers should monitor news reports, the MTA website, www.mta.info, and sign up for free E-Alerts for updates on LIRR service. Customers can also contact the LIRR's Travel Information Center by calling 511, the New York State Travel Information Line, and say: Long Island Rail Road. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, use your preferred relay service provider for the free 711 relay to reach LIRR at 511.
METRO-NORTH LIMITED SERVICE RESTORED
Starting Thursday, November 1, close to regularly scheduled service will be provided on the Harlem Line between Mount Kisco and Grand Central Terminal and on the New Haven Line between Stamford and Grand Central Terminal. This will provide service to about half the customers usually served on a weekday.
Hudson Line service will remain suspended due to extensive storm damage.
Service on the Port Jervis and Pascack Valley Lines, which are operated by NJ TRANSIT, remains suspended. NJT continues to work toward service restoration. See www.njtransit.com for updates.
Hudson and West-of-Hudson tickets will be honored on Harlem Line trains.
Customers should expect crowded trains. Parking will be limited. Because not all tracks have been returned to service, bridgeplates may be used to board trains at some New Haven Line stations. Customers should use caution getting on and off trains. In addition, power has not been restored to all station platforms. Generators are in place to provide lighting. Not all ticket vending machines will be operational.
In addition, customers should be aware that there is no subway service south of 42nd Street. Customers can take the following buses downtown: M5 at Fifth Ave. and West 42nd Street; M15 at Second Ave. and E. 42nd Street; and the M103 at Lexington Avenue and E. 42nd St. See http://www.mta.info/status/1 for more information on subway and bus service.
All Metro-North customers should hold onto their October monthly and weekly tickets; they will be valid for travel through Monday, November 5.
Before service can be restored to other areas of the railroad, there are a number of challenges that must be addressed.
The right-of-way on the Upper Harlem Line to Wassaic has been cleared of trees but two critical substations near Bedford Hills and Katonah were flooded and are not operating. We are working with the power supplier, New York State Electric and Gas Company, to get these critical substations on line as soon as possible.
Damage on the New Haven Line between Stamford and New Haven remains significant. Numerous trees have to be removed and catenary and signal wire has to be rehung in numerous sections along the route. All the controls for moveable bridges were submerged during the storm; they must be fully inspected and repairs made. Additionally, there is significant catenary damage at a critical switching location in the area of Fairfield. Service also remains suspended on all three branch lines, New Canaan, Danbury and Waterbury. Work crews still have a tremendous amount of work to do removing trees and restoring power in those areas as well.
The Hudson Line has also been hard hit. It will remain out of service Thursday due to extensive storm-related damage from flooding, fallen trees and power outages.
Major issues include:
There are several water-damaged substations on the Hudson Line.
Washouts that have undermined the track structure so greatly it is unsafe to operate trains across those sections; One section alone between Croton-Harmon and Cortlandt will require up to 8 rail cars of ballast stone to repair;
Third rail damage in several areas caused by fallen trees;
Debris along the right of way still needs to be cleared.
The railroad’s employees will continue to work hard to restore service for all customers as quickly and safely as possible.
Until full service is restored to all lines, customers should expect some delays and crowding on trains and should stagger their travel times.
Continue to check www.mta.info, listen to news media reports and listen for announcements at stations and onboard trains.
Metro-North employees have been working around the clock to remove fallen trees, repair damaged overhead catenary wires, broken third rail and damaged electrical components, including substations and the signal system.
BUS BRIDGE ESTABLISHED FROM BROOKLYN
The MTA and the New York City Department of Transportation have established routes for a bus bridge service and dedicated bus priority lanes from three Brooklyn locations to Midtown Manhattan.
Starting Thursday, Nov. 1 at 6 a.m., MTA/NYCT shuttle buses will travel to and from subway stations at Atlantic Avenue, Jay Street and Hewes Street.
The Atlantic Avenue and Jay Street routes will operate via a new, two-way bus lane across the Manhattan Bridge and into Manhattan via bus-priority lanes on Bowery and 3rd Avenue, making stops at major cross streets all the way up to 55th Street in the inbound direction, and via bus-priority lanes on Lexington Avenue, 23rd Street, and 3rd Avenue and Bowery in the outbound direction.
The shuttle bus from Hewes Street will operate over the Williamsburg Bridge and Delancey Street, then via Bowery and 3rd Avenue up to 55th Street before returning downtown via Lexington Avenue, 23rd Street, 3rd Avenue and Bowery.
NYPD will provide enforcement along the bus route and keep the lanes clear for buses.
The bus service will operate 24 hours until further notice.
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