Citing a "extraordinary response by Sanitation" Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday praised the city's response to a weaker than expected winter storm that dumped about a half a foot of snow across the five boroughs.
The mayor's remarks came as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority restored subway and bus service by noon with most lines operating on a Sunday schedule, including the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North commuter lines.
"Would you rather be ahead of the action or behind? Would you rather be prepared or unprepared? Would you rather be safe or unsafe? My job as the leader is to make decisions and I will always air on the side of safety and caution," de Blasio said.
"You act on the information that you have at the time. I'll also say this: the predictions that we acted on obviously in this region, there was less snow than anticipated," said Governor Andrew Cuomo.
While the mayor says it will take a few days to calculate the cost of the storm, the city comptroller is providing some information regarding last years efforts.
Scott Stringer says in 2014, snow removal efforts came with a price tag of $130 million.
"Look, when Broadway closes and mom and pop stores around the city have to close or people are basically in their homes because they can’t use mass transit—that’s how we get around in New York—then I think this is a policy we have to look at and obviously at the time decision's made, you make the decision and you stand by it. But I do think we have some time now to look at different procedures and protocols about when we shut things down in this kind of way," he said.
This was the first time that the entire New York City subway system was closed to the public due to snow – although many trains were continuing to run empty overnight to keep the tracks clear.
The subway system was previously shut down during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
For the latest MTA service updates, visit mta.info.
While, the Port Authority says all of its bridges and tunnels have also reopened. They include the George Washington, Lincoln Tunnel, Holland Tunnel, Bayonne Bridge, Goethals Bridge and Outerbridge Crossing.
PATH service resumed at 9:30 a.m. and will operate on a weekend schedule until further notice.
The agency says minimal flight activity should be expected at area airports Tuesday. Only a limited number of flights are anticipated to arrive and depart at John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International and LaGuardia airports.
Travelers should check with their individual carriers before going to the airport.
While the city avoided record-breaking accumulations, Governor Cuomo says Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island were the hardest hit.
Staten Island Ferry service resumed as of 7:30 a.m. The system will maintain a 30 minute schedule from both terminals with regular service returning Wednesday.
All city parks have reopened.
With the worst of the blizzard having passed through the city, the National Weather Service has downgraded the Blizzard of 2015 to a winter storm.
The reclassification comes with about half a foot of snow on the ground, as all roads and public transportation remained locked down as part of the city's unprecedented storm response.
NY1 meteorologist John Davitt says he expects 4 to 7 more inches of additional accumulation for a total of 12 or more inches by the end of Tuesday.
The National Weather Service had been calling for up to 30 inches of accumulation, which would exceed the city's record of 26.9 inches on February 11, 2006. The winter storm warning will remain in effect through midnight.
The city was under a vehicular ban and without subway service since 11 p.m. Monday, in an unprecedented response to what many forecasters said could be an historic storm.
By early Tuesday, the storm had dumped more than half a foot of snow on Central Park, and almost 8 inches on LaGuardia Airport.
On the streets, the vehicular traffic ban left roads deserted except for plows and official vehicles. Authorities say non-emergency vehicles caught out on the roads would be issued a summons and given a fine of up to $300.
The city's online snow plow tracker is up and running.
Plow NYC allows residents to check the progress of snow plows and salt spreaders.
To access the map, go online to nyc.gov/plownyc.
Public schools are closed Tuesday and all canceled regents exams have been rescheduled for Thursday. Those regents include Global History and Geography, Integrated Algebra, Comprehensive Testing in Writing and Mathematics for special education students.
The Archdiocese of New York says its schools in the boroughs of Manhattan, Bronx and Staten Island will also be closed on Tuesday.
All CUNY schools are closed Tuesday, though essential employees are expected to go to work.
The city deployed 15 homeless outreach teams and is encouraging homeless New Yorkers to go to shelters during the storm. The shelters will be open to anyone who might be left stranded in the snow.
Courts are closed Tuesday in New York City and on Long Island, as well as in Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties.
Alternate side parking is suspended through Wednesday. Garbage and recycling collections will also be suspended.
Anyone with a heat or hot water problem should call 311.
The snow postponed both the Knicks game at Madison Square Garden and the Nets game at Barclays Center on Monday. The Knicks game has been rescheduled for March 3, while the Nets game is rescheduled for April 6.
All Broadway shows were canceled for Monday night, as were performances at Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Opera.