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MTA Suspends Bus Service Below 23rd Street After Dark

By  Jill Colvin and Leslie Albrecht | October 31, 2012 9:27pm | Updated on November 1, 2012 12:03am

MANHATTAN — The MTA has suspended all bus service south of 23rd Street because it's too dangerous to drive.

“No street lights, no traffic control agents. The conditions were deemed to be too dangerous,” said MTA spokesman James Seaton, who explained that the buses were pulled off the street when it was too dark to see.

The roads in the lower part of Manhattan have been plunged into chaos as drivers and passengers across the East Village, West Village, Lower East Side and Downtown attempt to navigate powerless streets without signals or street lights in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

At many intersections without traffic cops, cars appear to be playing chicken as others invent their own road rules.

Some residents are using flashlights to try to alert cars to their presence as they make their way down darkened streets, where — ironically — the only illumination on many stretches had been from bus headlights.

"It is so dark in Lower Manhattan right now, and it takes a lot to stop a bus," MTA Chair Joseph Lhota told DNAinfo at a press briefing Wednesday night.

Lhota said the suspension had also been in effect Tuesday night, but dozens of people were spotted waiting in the dark at a bus stop on Avenue A after 8 p.m. Wednesday — apparently unaware of the after-dark rule.

Lhota said the outage had been communicated via its website and social media — but acknowledged that was little help for many without power and limited cell service.

Bus service is set to resume at daybreak, the MTA said.