MTA Press Releases

Press Release
December 1, 2019
MTA Issues Update on Preparations for Winter Storm

Subways, Railroads and Bridges and Tunnels to Deploy Specialized Snow Removal and De-Icing Equipment

700 Bronx and Manhattan Articulated Buses will be Equipped with Chains During Winter Weather Event


With a winter storm that will bring snow, sleet and rain across the metropolitan region, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is hard at work to ensure safe, reliable service on Sunday and Monday. MTA New York City Transit, Metro-North Railroad, Long Island Rail Road, and MTA Bridges and Tunnels are once again preparing. MTA employees will be poised to drop salt and clear platforms and stairs of snow as well as react to other storm related recovery requirements. Customers are urged to use extreme caution while navigating the system, especially on outdoor platforms and stairs.

The MTA follows well-established plans to keep the region’s transit services up and running during harsh winter weather conditions. 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.

"All MTA agencies are closely monitoring this storm and we will be ready for whatever winter conditions come our way," said MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick Foye. "We have a comprehensive plan in place that includes using equipment and personnel to keep tracks, stations, platforms and roadways clear of snow and ice, so our system can continue to operate."

"We are prepared to keep our services up and running during winter storms, so that our customers can get to where they need to go,” said MTA Chief Safety Officer Patrick Warren. “We have prepositioned crews and have specialized storm fighting equipment at the ready, to ensure that we are prepared for whatever mother nature throws at us."

NYCT Subways: New York City Transit willl run a normal schedule for subways and buses, but will closely monitor conditions via its Command Center. Third-rail and switch heaters will be activated systemwide, and crews will also be sanding and de-icing platforms and stairs throughout the system. Subways will have a multitude of snow-fighting equipment available, including more than 500 snow melting devices at switches, over 1,600 3rd rail heaters, about 10 snowthrowers, four jetblowers, and seven de-icer train cars.

NYCT Bus: Approximately 700 articulated buses will be outfitted with chains. That’s all articulated buses in Manhattan and the Bronx, where the worst of the storm is expected. The process to chain up buses began on Saturday afternoon.

Paratransit: Customers may experience additional travel and wait times. Depending upon conditions, customers may want to reconsider travel, unless medically necessary. The Paratransit fleet is ready with 899 vans equipped with snow tires, 446 MV1s with snow tires and 200 sets of chains.

Metro-North Railroad: Metro-North is planning to run normal service on Sunday and Monday, but will continuously monitor conditions ahead of the storm. They will be ready to deploy specialized equipment as the conditions worsen. This includes 220 snowblowers, 70 pickup truck plows, and over 1,800 ice scrapers.

Long Island Rail Road: LIRR is planning to run normal service on Sunday and Monday. LIRR will have staff prepositioned throughout the system for snow removal and de-icing operations. Storm fighting equipment at the ready includes, nine snow jets, two snow brooms and 3 cold air blowers. Additionally, LIRR has 46 snowblowers, 28 salt spreaders, 30 third rail heaters, and 60 snow switch covers.

Bridges and Tunnels: MTA Bridges and Tunnels is asking customers to avoid unnecessary travel on the roads during this weather event. B&T's Command Center will monitor conditions to ensure efficient deployment of personnel and resources. Electronic weather sensors are functional and all facilities have the ability to monitor weather real-time weather and roadway conditions. There are 8646 tons of roadway de-icer on hand and 99 pieces of storm fighting equipment including trucks and plows at the ready.

All MTA customers are encouraged to:

  • Check for updates, including modified emergency schedules.
  • Sign up for email and text message alerts.
  • Follow MTA and its operating agencies on Twitter.