Friday, September 19, 2014

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MTA Reports Only Scattered Service Interruptions During Storm

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TWC News: MTA Reports Only Scattered Service Interruptions During Storm
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There were some delays and diversions, but riders and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority say that subway service during the snowstorm was hardly a disaster. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.

The heavy snow slowed the city, but the trains kept rolling. Most of the time, that is.

"The B train is out of order, so I don't know what's going to happen now," said one person, but he and other riders simply had to sit back and wait a few minutes, because it wasn't too long before commuters were moving again.

During a winter storm when commuters showed up early expecting a nightmare trip into work, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority reported only scattered service interruptions during the storm.

While express service was halted on Thursday night so trains could be stored underground, riders were pleasantly surprised.

"That's really the best that you can expect, that it moves," said one commuter. "Because when the system shuts down, everything else shuts down."

"The train crews were working hard removing the snow from the sidewalks," said another. "As far as I can tell, everything is working well."

In advance of the storm, the MTA emptied railyards to keep trains from getting snowed in and rolled out its heavy track-clearing equipment at vulnerable outdoor stations.

There are more than 200 miles of track exposed to the elements in the subway system, but it's at the so-called cut-and-cover stations like the one at Prospect Park where MTA officials were focused on keeping critical equipment from being overwhelmed by the snow.

At those shallow open-air stations, however, the snow didn't pile up high enough to top the power system in the subway. That was a marked difference from the 2010 blizzard that caught the MTA off guard.

"In the past, the attitude was, 'No matter what's happening, we need to keep running these trains,'" said MTA spokesperson Adam Lisberg. "And what we realized after 2010 is sometimes, the best thing to do is to do an orderly shutdown of part of your service in order to protect the trains, protect the equipment and, most importantly, protect our customers and our employees."

The trains also served as an alternative to those who couldn't travel on the roads.

"We've been trying to call cabs and no cabs were available, so we just decided to take the train," said one woman, who was headed to the hospital so her daughter could give birth.

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