Monday, April 21, 2014

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Transit-Weary Commuters Endure Slow Trip Home

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Weary transit riders endured another slow and crowded commute home Wednesday evening, hours after torrential rains tore through the city, flooding subways stations and roadways and causing major mass transit disruptions.

By just after 5 p.m., NYC Transit reported that most service had been restored throughout the system, but said that some service was still suspended, while other trains were running with delays. Overall, the message from the MTA to commuters was to plan their route carefully.

“I’m gonna to go to Queens Plaza, I’m gonna try and take a bus to the train that’s supposedly running. I’ll believe it when I see it. It’s gonna be another four hours!” said one commuter.

“A question mark is all over my face, right?” added another. “I’m just wondering. The only alternative it seems is to go for the LIRR because I’m going right to Jamaica Center and it stops at Queens Plaza. What next?”

“It was terrible,” said a third. “All I can say is it was terrible."

MTA officials are also suggesting that commuters take the bus wherever possible instead of the subway.

Nearly every subway line in the city was affected by the storm during the morning commute and into the day. At one point, NYC Transit was urging people to stay home until they could get things sorted out after the severe weather led to massive mass transit delays during the morning rush.

As of 10 p.m. Wednesday, the following transit disruptions were still in place:

Service on the Queens Boulevard corridor is slowly returning to normal, but there are still disruptions.

E trains has resumed with residual delays between World Trade Center and Parsons — Archer.

F trains are suspended in both directions between the 71st Street - Continental Avenue Station and the Jamaica - 179th Street Station.

G trains are suspended in both directions between the Long Island City — Court Square Station and the Bedford — Nostrand Station.

G train service is operating between Bedford — Nostrand G station to Long Island City - Court Square Station.

V trains are suspended in both directions between the 2nd Avenue Station and the Forest Hills - 71st Avenue Station.

R train service has resumed with residual delays between Bay Ridge — 95th Street and 71st/Continental Avenue.

W trains are suspended in both directions between the Astoria — Ditmars Boulevard Station and the Whitehall Street Station.

NYC Transit is hoping to have all service fully restored in time for Thursday morning’s commute.

Some people simply said “forget about the train system” and walked 20 sometimes 30 blocks to get to their destination.

"The E train hasn’t been running for 30 minutes,” said a frustrated traveler. “It’s packed downstairs. I’m going to walk it."

Transit officials say the subway system just couldn't handle the large amount of rainfall.

"The timing and the intensity of this storm took us by surprise, because it was not predicted by the National weather Service,” said MTA Executive Director and CEO Elliot “Lee” Sander. “The storm then hit right around high tide, putting further pressure on our infrastructure. Finally, the intensity of this storm brought torrential rainfall, as the governor was saying, in a short period of time, overwhelming both our pumps and the sewage system that is needed to accept the pump water."

All of the flooding related service-issues on the LIRR were cleared by Wednesday afternoon, but some changes were made to rush-hour service in anticipation of eastbound NYC Transit customers from the Queens Boulevard subway lines using LIRR service and/or buses.

The LIRR canceled and combined some trains to provide capacity for dedicated shuttle trains stopping at Penn Station, Woodside, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens and Jamaica. Specific announcements were made at Penn Station.

Customers at Penn Station faced numerous track changes, long lines and delays. LIRR staff and MTA Police were on hand to regulate the flow of customers onto trains.

MetroNorth reported that all service — northbound and southbound — was restored on the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven Lines through the Mott Haven area just before 9 a.m.


The tracks of the LIRR train station in Bayside, Queens, were flooded Wednesday morning.



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