MTA Prepares for Winter Storm
MTA personnel will continue to monitor the U.S. National Weather Service and have direct access to a customized weather prediction service that provides regularly updated weather forecasts. Substantial MTA service changes are anticipated across subways, buses, Metro-North and LIRR.
Customers are strongly encouraged to sign up for the MTA’s various electronic notification systems – including direct email and text alerts for a customer’s specific travel – via www.mymtaalerts.com and check www.mta.info for updates, including modified emergency schedules.
Express service will stop running after rush hour on Monday night. Starting at 4 a.m. on Tuesday, above-ground subway service will be suspended. Please check the Underground Service Map for more details.
Snow-fighting equipment for subways will include more than 2,000 snow melting devices staged along the tracks at crucial track switches and along other infrastructure, including: 1,500 third rail heaters; 80 trains with scraper shoes, which are used on in-service trains to scrape ice off the third rail as a train moves along the tracks; 10 snow throwers, which have precise directional snow throwing equipment with rotating brushes that throw snow up to 300 feet from the track and can remove up to 3,000 tons of snow an hour; 7 de-icer train cars, which are trains equipped with ice scraping shoes that scrape off ice that has accumulated on the third rail. They also use pumping equipment to dispense a stream of nontoxic, biodegradable de-icing fluid to prevent ice buildup on the third rail. If ice is permitted to build up, subway car power pickup equipment will not be able to draw electric current from the third rail and the train will stop; 4 track jet blowers, which use a jet engine to remove accumulated snow from the roadbed. This piece of equipment is used primarily to keep the yards clear.
All previously planned subway maintenance, rehabilitation and construction projects have been canceled through Tuesday afternoon.
Normal bus service will run on Monday. Bus service is likely to be suspended on Tuesday morning based on local road and blizzard conditions. All articulated buses are being replaced by standard 40-foot buses.
Bus operations has more than 90 pieces of snow-fighting equipment to supplement the work of municipal agencies. All local buses in service will have tires chained.
LIRR and Metro-North railroads anticipate a normal evening rush hour on Monday night. Both railroads anticipate the likelihood of suspended service on Tuesday as conditions worsen and deep and blowing snow interfere with operations of third rail power, creating the potential to strand trains and customers. Service announcements on Tuesday service will be made before 4:30 a.m.
Anti-freeze trains have been deployed throughout the systems to spray de-icer on the third rail along LIRR, where the rail is exposed, in an effort to prevent ice-build-up; non-passenger patrol trains will operate along the right-of-way to prevent snowdrifts from forming on the tracks. At stations, extra personnel have salted and cleared platforms of snow. Waiting rooms are being kept open around the clock on Long Island to provide shelter for customers and selected rooms are kept open at Metro-North stations. Scheduled maintenance work has been canceled during the storm.
Metro-North has approximately 1,500 personnel working specifically on storm preparation and response. Metro-North has more than 270 pieces of storm-fighting equipment on hand, including: 212 snowblowers, 35 pickup truck plows, 3 rail-bound jets, 767,000 pounds of salt.
LIRR has approximately 1,500 personnel working specifically on storm preparation and response and more than 400 pieces of equipment on hand, including: 362 snowblowers, 18 pickup truck plows, 22 front end loaders, 7 rail-bound jets, 800,000 pounds of salt.
BRIDGES AND TUNNELS
Bridges and Tunnels will remain open Monday night. Pedestrian walkways will close once sustained winds reach 40mph; All bridges will close to trucks when sustained winds reach 50mph and all traffic will be barred at 60mph.
Approximately 350 maintenance and operations personnel will be deployed during the storm, including about 270 specifically for snow-fighting. Electronic weather sensors are functional at all facilities to monitor weather and roadway conditions in real time. There are more than 9,000 tons of roadway de-icer on hand and more than 100 pieces of storm fighting equipment including trucks and plows are ready.
Paratransit service will be suspended – other than extreme emergencies – starting Tuesday morning at 5 a.m.
New York City Transit has also coordinated a procedure with New York City first responders and the Office of Emergency Management for rescuing customers on immobilized vehicles or those who develop medical needs during storms.