Snow Expected to Impact the MTA Region This Evening Into Late Morning Tomorrow
New York City Articulated Buses Will Be Fitted with Chains for Tuesday Morning Rush Hour
With a winter storm expected to bring up to six inches of snow across the New York Metro area, 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.
“Crews will be prepositioned as we monitor conditions for the duration of the storm, with the ability to respond quickly to any issues,” said Metro-North President and LIRR Interim President Catherine Rinaldi. “Customers should still plan some extra travel time and use TrainTime for real-time updates if they expect to travel later this evening and early tomorrow morning.”
New York City Subway and Staten Island Railway
While the underground portions of the subway system remain unaffected during snowstorms, 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 in anticipation of heavy snow or ice.
New York City Transit has a fleet of snow and ice-fighting trains designed to keep outdoor tracks, switches and third rails clear of snow and ice. High-powered snow throwers, jet-powered snow-blowers, and de-icing cars – retired subway cars modified with tanks and other specialized equipment to spray de-icing fluid on the third rail – are ready for immediate deployment. Additional employees will be at stations and in yards to assist with snow response.
New York City Buses
Articulated buses will be fitted with chains ahead of the Tuesday’s morning rush hour. Bus managers have technology that tracks headways and service in real time, allowing them to make service-related decisions more efficiently. Bus service will be adjusted based on road conditions around the city, and service curtailments on a route-by-route basis are possible.
New York City Transit and the MTA Bus Company have 35 snow-fighting vehicles in their fleet, which operate on predetermined routes to quickly reach terminals, lay-over locations, and other highly trafficked areas and known hotspots.
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. Over 9,600 tons of roadway deicer and 115 pieces of storm fighting equipment readied and available for deployment.
Bridges are equipped with embedded roadway sensors for temperature and above-ground atmospheric sensors that deliver real-time information on wind velocity, wind direction, humidity and precipitation via wireless communication. Additional restrictions may be put in place if conditions warrant.
Metro-North's snow-fighting equipment is 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 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/gas switch heaters to melt snow.
Long Island Rail Road
Long Island Rail Road crews will be out across the service territory working to keep trains moving. De-icing trains will be running to keep third rails clear of snow and ice, while crews will be strategically positioned throughout the system helping to keep switches clear and operable.
Those who must travel are urged to be cautious on station staircases and platforms, as well as when boarding and exiting trains. Customers are encouraged to check the LIRR Train Time app, MYmta app, or new.mta.info. Customers can chat live with LIRR customer service agents daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. through TrainTime for any service-related questions.
Access-A-Ride paratransit will continue to provide service. Customers may experience additional delays and wait times. Customers may want to consider adjusting or canceling their travel plans.
Paratransit Command Center will be monitoring the storm to track and respond to any customer or day of service issues.