New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that fees for the MTA buses and subway trains would be waived on Thursday and Friday after declaring a transportation emergency Wednesday night.
This comes after Mayor Mike Bloomberg noted that New York City schools will remain closed for the rest of the week as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Teachers are expected to come into work Friday to prepare for students return on Monday.
Cuomo said subway service will resume Thursday morning with limited service. He hopes New York residents will be encouraged to take public transportation after roads were congested on Wednesday with people trying to drive to work. This posed a danger to themselves and other drivers, especially due to the lack of traffic lights in lower Manhattan following power outages.
There will be no subway service below 34th street in Midtown to downtown Brooklyn due to the lack of power. There will be a bus shuttle between downtown Brooklyn and Midtown. There will be no service on the 3, 7, B, C, E, G, and Q lines. According to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority chief, Joseph Lhota, there will be about 330 buses in Brooklyn to transport residents to the city via bus-priority lanes up to East 55th Street.
“Just bear with us as we come back from what I’ve described as the most devastating event ever to happen to the MTA,” Lhota said.
The LIRR and Metro North resumed service on Wednesday around 2 p.m.
New York State is still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which left millions of homes and businesses without power and hundreds of people without a place to live.
The New York Daily News reported that the death toll from the storm has reached 74 in the United States, including 22 deaths in New York City and 30 in New York state.
“I believe there is a silver lining to this storm. We will not just rebuild, we will build back better. We are stronger, we are smarter,” Cuomo said.