MTA Press Releases

Press Release
August 4, 2020
TRANSCRIPT: MTA Chairman Foye Appears on WCBS 880 with Michael Wallace and Lynda Lopez

MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick J. Foye appeared on WCBS 880 with Michael Wallace and Lynda Lopez to discuss the impact of Tropical Storm Isaias on the MTA’s service region.

A transcript of the interview appears below.

Michael Wallace: The storm has made for a very tough commute this afternoon. Subway service has been affected, LIRR and Metro-North as well. On our Newsline, MTA Chairman Pat Foye, Pat thanks for joining us on this busy afternoon. Give us the update on what’s running and what’s not.

Pat Foye: Sure, Michael. Extreme weather, we’ve just experienced. I’ll give you an example, gusts up to 75 m.p.h. on the Cross-Bay Bridge, that was an hour or two ago, 71 m.p.h. on the Verrazzano Bridge. The bridges and tunnels have opened, except with respect to the Brooklyn-bound upper level on the Verrazzano. Other than that, bridges are open. Empty trucks and tandem trucks are banned until midnight, but passenger car vehicles can travel all our bridges and tunnels. In terms of subways, we’ve still suspended some outdoor elevated service, however the D Subway has gone back into regular service. The M Subway is running with delays, the 3 Subway is regular service and the F Subway train is back. This was a storm with frankly no flooding to speak of, but with high winds and lots of trees down, which account for the report I’m going to make now on Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road. All lines on Metro-North are suspended at this time. A substantial number of trees and wind damage on both Metro-North and the Long Island Rail Road. On the Long Island Rail Road there’s been full-service suspension across the entire system since about 2:30 today. Many trees on the Babylon branch, the West Hempstead and Oyster Bay branches, but every branch of the Long Island Rail Road is shut down now and has been experiencing, as a result of the wind, downed trees.

Lynda Lopez: Pat, so much of that mass transit has been disrupted, was this storm more damaging than you expected it to be?

Foye: This was a wind event, Lynda, primarily. Not a great deal of rain as I said before, no flooding. But as a result of the high winds, the 75 m.p.h. and 71 m.p.h. that I cited, and even now in the Rockaways, we’re seeing sustained winds of nearly 50 m.p.h. with gusts up to 62. The winds have clearly fell off, but a significant amount of damage done as a result of downed trees affecting subways, Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road of course.

Wallace: A lot of this has just happened in the last couple of hours when the wind really picked up. Do you have any estimate on when some of these lines will be back up and running?

Foye: Well, we’ve done a good job bringing service back on the subways and I’ve just reported that. I think there will be additional elevated lines that will go into service. I want to commend the transit workers, subways, buses, Metro-North, Long Island Rail Road and Bridges and Tunnels for being out in this weather. They were pre-positioned in many cases, in some cases had been working through the storm, in some cases that was safe to do. We’ll be updating Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road service, Michael, as the afternoon goes on.

Wallace: MTA Chairman Pat Foye, we appreciate you joining us. Good luck getting everything back up and running again.

Foye: Thanks Michael, take care.