Following Irene's fury, America's largest metropolitan city is back in business on Monday as most subways and buses resumed service. Commuter traffic is lighter than normal as many in the region still lack power and others who fled remain out of town, but it was a quick turnaround for New York.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority announced that limited service resumed across the area at 5:40 a.m. EDT. Metro-North Railroad, which serves New York's northern suburbs, remains closed early Monday because of flooding and storm-related damage. Otherwise, trains were up and running on Monday. On most weekdays, New York's subways carry as many as eight million passengers per day.
The subway is running very well. I can't believe it, they did a great job, Dominic Cecala, who took an E train from the city's west side to lower Manhattan, told The Associated Press. If they hadn't stopped the trains on Saturday, it would have been a mess.
Trains were only one-third as crowded as normal at 7 a.m. The E train arriving at New York's Port Authority bus station was sparse, with many open seats, but the train filled more after stopping to pick up commuters from New Jersey.
In advance of Hurricane Irene, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg shut the city down Saturday in an unprecedented move. City subways and bus lines were closed from noon Saturday through early Monday morning. Evacuation orders in place for Lower Manhattan were lifted on Sunday afternoon.
The New York Stock Exchange plans to operate as usual Monday.
The MTA said it expects service to return to near normal by Monday on six of the Long Island Railroad's 11 branches but riders can expect some cancellations. Most New Jersey Transit trains remained out of service on Monday. Staten Island Rapid Transit trains were running, if sporadically, as commuters attempted to make their way into Manhattan Monday morning.
PATH trains in both directions from the city to New Jersey are operating on schedule, however.
The center of Irene passed over New York's Central Park on Sunday at mid-morning as the tropical storm -- no longer a hurricane after hitting Long Island at hurricane strength -- packed winds of 65 miles per hour. Damage to New York was considerably less than feared, however, as the storm's easing and city preparations in advance mitigated damage.