NYC weather transit guide: How snow will affect subway, buses

While the storm is over, commuters may still face obstacles ahead.

Subways and buses

The MTA says subway lines will run local again after the Monday evening rush hour so crews can store trains on express tracks to clear snow from train yards. 

The B also won’t run express in Brooklyn for a few days, the MTA said.

During the Saturday blizzard, trains didn’t run on the elevated sections of lines and bus service was halted. Outer-borough areas without underground trains were particularly affected, such as large sections of the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. Manhattan only has a few stops on the No. 1 train that are above ground.

On Sunday morning, buses started running again and the MTA began restoring subway service. All lines were back by Monday morning.

The shutdown of elevated service during the storm as underground trains kept running was lauded by advocates.

“I believe the public anger at last year’s total shutdown played a part in a much better plan this time,” said Andrew Albert, chairman of the Transit Riders Council.

Mitchell Moss, who is the director of the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation, also thought it was a good move.

“The MTA made a series of wise decisions — to close down the LIRR and MetroNorth commuter systems and elevated subway lines, but to operate the underground subways,” he said.

LIRR/Metro North

The LIRR began restoring some service just after 6 a.m. Monday morning, though some lines remained down as of Monday at 11 a.m.

Metro-North wasn’t hit as badly and service began running from Grand Central at about 3 p.m. on Sunday.

The LIRR’s train yards were blanketed with more than two feet of snow and its rail switches were frozen over, making it difficult to clear snow.

“Maybe an answer is getting more cleanup equipment in place before the storm, in anticipation of needing to use it — but of course people will then criticize them if they don’t need it,” said Denise Richardson, executive director of the General Contractors Association, which represents the companies that do most of the MTA’s capital work. “They really have to get it right today, or they will be roasted tomorrow.”

The LIRR section of Penn Station was mostly empty on Sunday morning, with large crowds of people waiting for New Jersey Transit.

LIRR commuter Orlanzo Williams, 61, of Wyandach said he went into work on Saturday at the Bronx Botanical Gardens. He went to wait at Penn Station to see if trains would start running again on Sunday.

“They have no information on when trains wil start running, or suggestions on getting back to Long Island,” he said. “They know even less than I do.”

Citi Bike

Citi Bike users were not able to take out bikes during the blizzard and its aftermath, but riders should note that, at 6 a.m. Wedneday, the service will resume on a limited basis. The bike-share company will be updating its map with in-service stations in blue.

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