MTA to Consider Phasing in Subway Service

By Alan Neuhauser and Wil Cruz  on October 31, 2012 8:26am

 The MTA is considering phasing in subway service on Oct. 31, 2012, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
The MTA is considering phasing in subway service on Oct. 31, 2012, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
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Dnainfo/Andrea Swalec

NEW YORK CITY — The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said Wednesday it is considering phasing in train service at some of the train stations severely affected by Hurricane Sandy.

The authority, which shut down the city's entire transit system Sunday night in preparation for the storm, will announce at a noon press conference a possible time-table for restoring service on some train lines.

"We're still assessing," said an MTA spokeswoman.

The announcement is scheduled to be made at a noon news conference Wednesday with Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota called the devastation after the hurricane the worst in the system's 108-year history.

The MTA was forced to keep the system out of service indefinitely while workers pump out water and wait for some of the flooding to recede out of the stations that were most affected. Seven tunnels underneath the East River, for example, were completely flooded, officials said.

Workers had to clear out debris in the stations, too.

But after a full day of cleaning out the system, officials are looking into the feasibility of getting some trains back in motion.

"That's the logical plan," the spokeswoman, who refused to give her name, said. "There are some places that are really high and dry, and some that are wet."

Some of the challenges facing the authority, however, is the opening train lines that are connected to damaged and flooded locations.

"It does all fit together," the spokeswoman added. "We still all have to inspect the whole thing.

"You don't know if it's high and dry until you walk the track," she said. "It's logical, but I just don't know which lines will be first."

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