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Queens Chronicle

Buses back, trains ahead of schedule

Transit restart tops most optimistic estimates; some tunnels remain shut

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Posted: Thursday, November 1, 2012 10:30 am | Updated: 11:52 am, Thu Nov 8, 2012.

Buses were back in full operation Wednesday morning in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, and limited subway service began coming back on line by 2 p.m. on Wednesday, three to four days ahead of the most optimistic estimates of Monday evening.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority had shut down bus, subway and commuter train service at 7 p.m. on Sunday night in anticipation of the storm.

It was the second such shutdown in the authority’s history, the first being for Hurricane Irene in 2011.

Bridges and tunnels were shut down by the MTA and state as weather conditions worsened.

According to a statement from Gov. Cuomo’s office the 7, C, E, G and Q lines, which all serve Queens to varying degrees, remained suspended.

The A line began service making all local stops between Lefferts Boulevard and Jay Street/Metro Tech in Brooklyn; and Penn Station and 168th Street in Manhattan.

F trains began operating on a schedule that included all local stops between 179th Street in Jamaica and Herald Square-34th Street in Manhattan.

J trains are operating between Jamaica Center and Hewes Street in Brooklyn, while the M train is running between Myrtle Avenue-Broadway and Metropolitan Avenue in Middle Village.

N trains will serve all local stops between Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria and Herald Square-34th Street.

Lower Manhattan, with some of the most severe damage, is likely to be the last area to get subway service fully restored.

All bridges and tunnels were at least partially open on Wednesday with the exception of the Queens Midtown Tunnel and the Hugh Carey, or Brooklyn Battery Tunnel.

On Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Bloomberg banned vehicles with fewer than three occupants from entering Manhattan from 6 a.m. to midnight on Thursday and Friday.

Bloomberg also temporarily lifted the ban on ride-sharing in taxis and livery cabs. The taxis are required to charge the normal metered fare, with the fee for extra passengers to be negotiated up front. The mayor’s office suggested $10.

Long Island Rail Road service remained suspended at Penn Station though Cuomo was anticipating shuttle buses between there and the Jamaica hub by Wednesday night.

He said the MTA was aiming to have hourly service on the LIRR’s Ronkonkoma and Port Washington branches by morning rush hour on Thursday.

John F. Kennedy International Airport remained open throughout the storm, though individual carriers all suspended flights into and out of the city. LaGuardia Airport was closed, but reopened on Thursday.

Thousands of flights were cancelled, and both the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates both airports, and the governor’s office were asking passengers with tickets to check with their individual airlines to determine flight schedules in the coming days.

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