NYC Transit Interim President Sarah Feinberg appeared live on NY’1 Mornings on 1 with Pat Kiernan and Jamie Stelter to discuss the impact of the winter storm on regional public transportation service.
A transcript of the interview appears below.
Pat Kiernan: The MTA has got buses and subways running, trying to get you around as necessary. Subway service was shutdown overnight but it has resumed this morning. Buses are running but they are struggling with the same routes that anybody else would be struggling with, we do have some modifications to Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North schedules. New York City Transit Interim President Sarah Feinberg is on the phone with me. Sarah, we've got more snow to come, it's snowy but not impassible right now.
Sarah Feinberg: That's right. That's right. I was just out in the system early this morning and things are not bad right now. Obviously, you know, give yourself a few extra minutes, take your time, be careful on our stairways and, and as you're walking. But the important thing here is that things are going to deteriorate. So if you head in to run some essential errand this morning, just keep an eye on things because it's going to get worse throughout the day.
Jamie Stelter: Hey, Sarah, it's Jamie Stelter. Good morning.
Feinberg: Good morning.
Stelter: So is there any timeline for when you might move service to either all local or all underground only?
Feinberg: Yeah, exactly. So after the morning rush, we're going to start laying up trains on the express tracks. And so things will shift relatively quickly after the rush hour from express and local to just local. So, you know, that's something people are pretty used to at this point with these big snowstorms, that keeps us from, you know, trains getting stuck in yards and frozen switches, things like that. No plans to go to just underground for now. We'll see how things go, but obviously we're prepared if we need to do that so folks should keep an eye on that. But hopefully, hopefully, we won’t get to that point.
Kiernan: And Sarah how are you making those decisions? Are you getting constant feedback from the drivers as to how one neighborhood might vary from the next?
Feinberg: Yeah, so we do an operations call, it's almost like a running call. So we do this throughout the day, we get updates, every hour, every couple of hours. We're hearing constantly from the field about how are the conditions on the roads, how are the buses doing, are people sliding around. So all the buses are chained, so you'll hear that, that noise of the buses, you know, rolling through your neighborhood with chains on them, and we're just keeping a close eye on things so we can be really nimble.
Kiernan: Sarah, I’ve been vocal about this. I think it's crazy that we close the subways overnight on nights like this because it's the one place where you can stay safe and not be affected by the snow. Have you had discussions about opening the subways, either last night or tomorrow night?
Feinberg: Not for this storm specifically, but we're constantly talking about when we're going to be able to reopen. You know, I think that timeline still looks like when we get past this pandemic and the city starts to come back a little bit we'll be able to open up and I think we're all looking forward to that.
Kiernan: Good to have you with us this morning, Sarah. Thanks for keeping us moving.
Feinberg: Okay, great to talk to you.