80 Percent of Subway Service Restored, 28 Million Gallons of Fuel on Way
NEW YORK CITY — More than 80 percent of subway service has been restored, as 28 million gallons of fuel make their way to the city, officials announced Saturday.
The 4, 5, 6 and 7 trains began running with full service through once-flooded tubes at 10 a.m. this morning, MTA Chair Joseph Lhota said — meaning that Manhattan and Brooklyn are finally reconnected by train.
The F, D, M and J trains, the Q train between Astoria and Coney Island, the R between Herald Square and Forest Hills, and the Staten Island Railroad are also expected to be running later this afternoon — with more trains expected to come online tomorrow and Monday, officials said.
Saturday or early Sunday morning, the 2 and 3 trains are expected to resume full service, and the 1 train will begin to travel south all the way to 14 St. instead of cutting off at 34th, officials said.
On Monday morning, in time for rush hour, the E train will begin running, along with the A train between 168th Street and Lefferts, the N train between Astoria-Ditmars in Queens and 59 St. in Brooklyn, and the 1 train will begin making stops as far south as Rector St.
The L train, which flooded “from wall-to-wall, ceiling-to-ceiling” will hopefully will be back up and running later this week, Lhota said.
"It's a relief," said James Felipe, 40, who was thrilled to see downtown trains running again on Saturday morning.
The day after the storm, he'd walked all the way from his 28th street apartment to his job near City Hall.
"We take these things for granted. Right now I'm just grateful for transportation, power and water," he said.
Jaime Hanson, 36, just moved to Chelsea from California, said she's been spending a fortune on taxis getting around the city.
"I'm very happy since I'm starting a new job downtown," she said, as she exited the newly reopened 6 train station at Astor Place.
The Brooklyn Bus Bridge, which has been ferrying people between Brooklyn and Manhattan since Thursday, will also cease operation Saturday afternoon — as more lines begin to come online.
But not all is back to normal yet. Numerous trains remain out of commission, including the G and R trains, and most of the stations below 42nd Street.
The Rockaway branch of the A train will also require "extensive reconstruction," and the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel and the Queens-Midtown Tunnel remain closed, with no timetable for their reopening, MTA officials said.
In addition to the new transit links, fuel for the gas-starved city is also on its way.
Five mobile gas trucks offering free fuel are being dispatched to key areas around the city, where drivers desperate for gasoline have been waiting six to seven hours in line to fill up their tanks.
The state's port has also been re-opened, making way for new shipments that had been held up. Eight million gallons of fuel have already been delivered, with 28 million more gallons set to be delivered over the next two days, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday.
Crews are also on their way, bringing generators to gas stations that don't have electricity, so they can start pumping gas, Sen. Charles Schumer said.
"Do not panic," Cuomo said. "Fuel is on the way."
The state and federal governments are also continuing to distribute food, with about 1 million meals and gallons of water on their way to residents in public housing complexes over the coming days.
The federal government has also given food stamp users a 50 percent bump in benefits this month, to replace food that was destroyed or spoiled by the storm.