MTA prepares to run mostly normal service during Tuesday winter storm

A B train at Cortelyou Road in Brooklyn during a 2015 snowstorm.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin

The MTA intends to run mostly normal transit service during what’s expected to be a major snowstorm in the Big Apple on Tuesday, with the authority taking several measures to ensure service can run relatively smoothly.

The subway, buses, Access-a-Ride, and the Long Island Rail Road will all be running on normal schedules on Tuesday, MTA chief Janno Lieber said at a press conference in Midtown on Monday afternoon, ahead of an expected 8 inches of snow set to dump onto the five boroughs and surrounding areas starting Tuesday morning. PATH trains will also run on a normal schedule.

The nor’easter is expected to deliver even more inches of snow in Westchester County and points north, so Metro-North Railroad will run “robust, but slightly modified” service, Lieber said. Metro-North head Cathy Rinaldi said the railroad will seek to avoid service over switches that tend to get icy, and the railroad tweeted that service would be modified in the morning and evening rush hours and on branch lines.

An MTA worker shovels snow from the A train tracks at Broad Channel in Queens during a January 2022 snow storm.Marc A. Hermann / MTA
The MTA’s Snow Thrower train clears the white stuff from the tracks at Broad Channel in January 2022.Marc A. Hermann / MTA

On the subway, the area of greatest concern is the 220 miles of track located above-ground. The MTA’s fleet of snow-clearing trains will traverse the subway and commuter rail tracks to clear the white stuff from the right-of-way, while de-icer trains will be deployed to protect tracks and switches from freezing.

Meanwhile, subway trains will be equipped with “third rail shoes” intended to clear snow from the third rail, which powers trains with electric current. 

City buses are being fitted with tire chains designed to increase traction on slippery roads, Lieber noted. Further, the MTA will take double-length articulated buses out of service during the storm in order to improve maneuverability.

A worker affixes snow chains to the tire of a city bus at the Quill Depot in Manhattan on Feb. 12, 2024.Marc A. Hermann / MTA
A B61 bus on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn during a January 2022 snow storm.Marc A. Hermann / MTA

The MTA’s nine bridges and tunnels are equipped with 9,000 tons of de-icing material, Lieber said, and traffic restrictions may be put into place. Earlier on Monday, Mayor Eric Adams warned drivers to stay off the roads if they can, and to use public transportation instead.

Public school buildings will be closed, but students will take classes remotely instead of getting a full snow day.

New York City saw significant snowfall last month for the first time in over 700 days, the longest snowless stretch in the city’s recorded history, but Tuesday’s haul is expected to dwarf the levels seen last month.

For more information about your commute, check mta.info, the Train Time or MyMTA apps, and social media channels. You can also dial 511 or check digital screens in stations for information.