New York Subway
New York subway riders walk past a warning sign about potential service changes as they enter the Bowling Green station in Manhattan on Saturday. Reuters

All subway, commuter-railroad, and bus service in New York will begin grinding to a halt Sunday at 7 p.m. EDT at the direction of state Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said.

The MTA runs mass-transit services not only in the city but also in counties to the east and to the north.

The decision to shut down the largest transit system in the U.S. was made to protect its customers, employees, and equipment from the effects of Hurricane Sandy, aka the Frankenstorm, as it continues to move up the East Coast, the agency said.

MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph J. Lhota said service on NYC Transit subways will be curtailed starting at 7 p.m., and the bus network within the following two hours.

The Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad will begin their final trains by 7 p.m. at their terminal locations.

Subway and railroad stations will be closed after the last trains pass through them.

"Customers are advised to adjust their plans and travel early in the day as possible and not wait until the last train or bus. Anyone who does not leave for their destination before 7 p.m. runs the risk of being stranded when service is suspended," the MTA said.

The MTA Hurricane Plan calls for suspending service hours before the approach of winds of 39 mph and higher, and winds of 39 mph and higher are predicted to reach the New York metropolitan region during the predawn hours Monday, the agency said.

The duration of the service suspension is unknown, and there is no timetable for restoration. Service will be restored only when it is safe to do so, after careful inspections of all equipment and tracks. Even with minimal damage, this is expected to be a lengthy process, the MTA said.