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Eyeing the possibility that Hurricane Sandy will continue on its path toward the New York City metropolitan area, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to begin planning for an orderly suspension of all subway, bus and commuter railroad service.
Director of State Operations Howard Glaser, Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah, MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph Lhota, and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Executive Director Pat Foye gave an update on preparations this afternoon at the Governor’s New York City Office.
A final decision on whether to suspend service will be made by Sunday, but due to the logistics and the sheer size of the system, the MTA must begin preparing immediately for a possible suspension to protect its customers, its employees and its equipment.
If a decision to suspend service is made by Sunday, New York City subways and buses would begin an orderly suspension of service at 7 p.m. Sunday. Metro-North Railroad and the Long Island Rail Road would suspend service at 7 p.m. Sunday. Some lines may be curtailed over a period of several hours before all service is suspended, but no one would be able to rely on any MTA service after 7 p.m. Sunday.
If the decision is made to halt service, New York City subways and buses would start phasing out service at 7 p.m. Sunday.
NJ Transit also began preparations for the possible shutdown of service. The systematic shutdown would require a minimum of 12 hours to complete.
Bloomberg said that 65 shelters located in public schools would be open, fully staffed and stocked, Sunday morning at 9 a.m. He added the all city parks would be closed by 5 p.m. on Sunday. As of now, city offices would be open on Monday. A decision on whether city schools will be open Monday is expected Sunday afternoon.
Still Bloomberg warned people to take be prepared, suggesting they get a "go-bag" ready, store water and to stay indoors.. "Don’t get lulled [Sunday] when there’s not a lot of rain and not a lot of wind. This is a dangerous storm,” Bloomberg said. “But if it were to strengthen unexpectedly or change it’s expected path it could do a lot of damage and you could be at risk.”
In anticipation of Hurricane Sandy, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the MTA will suspend all mass transit service beginning at 7PM on Sunday.
The "orderly suspension" will shut down all subway, bus, and commuter rail service in New York City.
MTA chief Jay Lhota said service should be restored by Wednesday.
AmtrakNEC service north of New York cancelled starting at 7:00 p.m.tonight. Nearly all service on the eastern seaboard on Monday, Oct 29.
Philadelphia transit agency to suspend all service at end of Sunday due to nearing storm