Snow and Rain Expected to Impact the Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island Starting Saturday Evening into Sunday
MTA Crews will be Prepositioned to Respond to any Weather-Related Issues
All MTA Agencies to Operate Regular Weekend Schedules
With the first snowfall of 2024 and rain expected across the New York area this weekend, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today detailed all-agency preparations being made to keep customers and employees safe, while delivering as much reliable service as possible.
MTA employees will be deployed throughout the operating region spreading salt and clearing surfaces of snow, keeping signals, switches, and third rails operating, and attending to any weather-related challenges.
“Metro-North crews will be prepositioned throughout the system as we monitor conditions for the duration of the storm, with the ability to respond quickly to any issues,” said Metro-North President Catherine Rinaldi. “Customers, particularly those in the northern regions of Metro-North territory, should plan extra travel time and use TrainTime for real-time updates if they expect to travel this weekend.”
Metro-North's snow-fighting equipment is winterized, tested, and strategically positioned at facilities around the system.
Protective heat circuits are being verified to be operational, air brake lines are being purged of any moisture to prevent them from freezing, and electric trains are being fitted with special third rail shoes to prevent snow from accumulating. Switches – the interlocking tracks that allow rail traffic controllers to route trains from one track to another – use electric switch heaters to melt snow.
Customers should monitor service on new.mta.info, the TrainTime app, or Metro-North's social media feeds.
New York City Subway
While the underground portions of the subway system remain unaffected during rain and snow storms, there are nearly 220 miles of outdoor track throughout the boroughs. The Rockaway, Sea Beach , Flushing , Brighton and Dyre Av lines are particularly vulnerable to snow and freezing precipitation. To prevent subway trains from being blocked in yards, they may be moved and stored underground.
Due to the nature of the subway system, rainwater will inevitably go down into the system and impact infrastructure. NYC Transit’s focus during heavy rain events is to minimize impacts to service by responding and removing water quickly when it does infiltrate the system.
NYC Transit’s Department of Subways has a fleet of emergency response equipment including emergency trucks, deployable pumps, debris trains, pump trains and de-icer trains ready to deploy and respond to flooding or icy conditions. Field personnel inspects and clean vents at flood-prone locations, and personnel are staged at critical locations including stations and yards, ready to deploy and respond to flooding conditions.
New York City Buses
MTA personnel will monitor routes for known flooding situations and have detours prepared. Extra personnel will be on standby in the event of service disruptions or subway shutdowns.
All bus facilities will have roof drains checked to ensure they are clear of debris and any loose materials will be secured. Emergency generators are being checked and will be ready in the event of a power outage.
MTA Bridges and Tunnels
MTA Bridges and Tunnels personnel have activated full inclement weather preparedness for all facilities and the Operations Command Center Weather Desk will monitor the forecast. Staff will coordinate ahead of the storm to ensure a quick response to any weather-related issues that may arise.
Bridges are equipped with embedded roadway sensors which measure temperature and above-ground atmospheric sensors that deliver real-time information on wind velocity, wind direction, humidity, and precipitation via wireless communication.
Restrictions may be put in place if weather conditions warrant.
Long Island Rail Road
Long Island Rail Road crews will be pre-positioned around the system ready to respond to any weather-related issues.
Crews have equipment on hand to be able to respond quickly as conditions warrant – chainsaws for clearing downed trees, pumps in the event of flooded areas, identifying locations and availability of supplies for replacing damaged utility poles and crossing gates. Diesel locomotives will also be pre-positioned to minimize any potential service impacts.
Personnel will survey and clear drainage areas where necessary, fortify key locations as well as any track structures requiring attention.
Access-A-Ride paratransit will continue to provide service. Customers may experience additional delays and wait times. Customers may want to consider adjusting their travel plans.
Paratransit Command Center will be monitoring the storm to track and respond to any customer or day of service issues.