MTA Suspends Metro-North, Keeps Subways and Buses Rolling Through Snowstorm
NEW YORK CITY — The Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced plans to suspend Metro-North Railroad service and close Grand Central Terminal Friday night as a massive snowstorm arrived in New York City.
The Metro-North suspension started at 10 p.m. and will last until further notice, the MTA said. Grand Central was scheduled to shut down at about midnight, after the final trains of the evening had arrived.
The storm, which was expected to worsen Friday night, could dump 10 inches of snow on the city, and even more in other parts of the region, forecasters said.
MTA officials said they planned to keep as much of the transit system running as possible, though with some modified service.
As Friday evening, most trains on the Long Island Rail Road were still running, but the MTA suspended service east of Speonk on the Montauk branch. Officials warned that additional service suspensions were possible if the region saw more than 10 inches of snow.
The city's subways and buses continued operating Friday evening, though buses were running less frequently than usual because of decreased demand, the MTA said.
Trains on several subway lines were running local on at least part of their route because of worsening weather conditions, and as of 8:30 p.m. there were delays on the 7 and F lines.
The MTA planned to suspend 7 train service between Times Square and Vernon-Jackson Avenues before midnight to store subway cars in the tunnels, officials said.
Thomas Prendergast, the MTA's president, had advised commuters to head home as early as possible Friday afternoon.
"If you take care and travel early, it will be better for you," he said.
The MTA took to social media to show workers lashing chains to the massive wheels of city buses while snows began to blanket the city Friday morning.
Along with buses being fitted with chains, larger articulated buses will be replaced with smaller ones that are less likely to get stuck, and some trains will be stored underground rather than outdoors, MTA officials said.
The MTA could suspend bus service if the storm becomes severe, but officials said there has been "no talk" of fully shutting down the subway system as happened during Hurricane Sandy.
Metro-North and the Long Island Rail Road ran additional trains during the early afternoon to accommodate commuters who wanted to return home ahead of the worst of the storm.
The MTA also uploaded a YouTube video showing the massive machines they'll use to clear roads and rails along with a text page that explained the same.
"Jet engine snow blowers and plow trains are positioned to start operation as soon as snow accumulations begin," the MTA's site read. "[And] snow fighting material is dispatched to all stations and crews are positioned at numerous locations ready to clear platforms and stairways and rescue equipment is fueled."
The storm — dubbed Winter Storm Nemo by the Weather Channel — worsened as rush hour ended, with winds picking up and snow falling faster.
For more information about forecast in your neighborhood, check out DNAinfo's weather page.