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Subways Will Run in Snowstorm 'as Long as It’s Safe,' MTA Says

By Trevor Kapp | January 22, 2016 11:35am | Updated on January 23, 2016 9:33am
 The MTA is bracing for the first major snowstorm of the season.
The MTA is bracing for the first major snowstorm of the season.
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DNAinfo/Sarah Tan

MIDTOWN — The MTA promised Friday to keep trains running through this weekend's storm "as long as it’s safe to do so” — but as conditions worsened Saturday afternoon, all exterior lines were suspended.

“We will make every effort to keep our services up and running so that our customers can get to where they need to be,” MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas Prendergast said in a statement Friday.

“We have a tremendous investment in equipment, manpower and experience. However, we will only provide service as long as it’s safe to do so.”

UPDATE: Some subways will shut down at 4 p.m. Saturday.


About 1,000 track workers and 800 station workers were deployed to keep stairs and subway platforms clear beginning Friday night, along with dozens of trains with scraper shoes to reduce ice accumulation on third rails above ground, officials said.

Snow throwers, de-icers, jetblowers and diesel locomotives will also be used, officials said.  

Hundreds of buses will also be fitted with tire chains to prevent skidding, and articulated buses will be replaced by shorter buses starting Friday night, the MTA said.   

Mayor Bill de Blasio urged New Yorkers to remain indoors this weekend.

“It is crucial for people to stay off the street to the maximum extent possible,” he said.

The MTA said as part of its storm plan that unused subway cars will be stored underground, which could cause delays on its express lines. All scheduled weekend subway work has been canceled.

Metro-North and the Long Island Rail Road service has also been suspended.

Greyhound has canceled service beginning at noon Friday along its routes running in both directions from New York to Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Norfolk, Va.

Amtrak has also canceled several of its normally scheduled trains this weekend and will be operating on a modified schedule.

Ferries to Liberty and Ellis islands have also been canceled for Saturday.

De Blasio warned that while the storm could at times be dangerous, the city has seen far worse.

“This isn’t anywhere near as bad as Sandy,” he said. “We can handle a storm like this.”