Monday's Commute in NY: Subways Run, New Yorkers Patient

Monday, November 05, 2012 - 12:46 PM

The subway map as of 11/15/12

Eight days ago, the subway system shut down.  Seven days ago, it suffered the worst devastation in its history.  All seven tunnels under the East River were flooded.

By Monday morning's commute, most of the subways were running under the East River. The R and the L were not (more on that in a minute).

By Sunday night, the MTA had restored all of the numbered lines across the East River (2, 3, 4, 5 & 7), as well as many lettered lines. This morning, at the last minute, the A, C and E were also connected.  The #1 train ran all the way downtown to Chambers Street.

The rapid restoration of the system caused MTA chairman Joe Lhota to tweet: Who says government doesn't work? Really? Check this out.

The link was to the restored subway map.

(Lhota, by the way, is a Republican -- a former Deputy Mayor under Rudy Giuliani.)

MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg says MTA workers have been working "around the clock" to replace signals corroded by salt water.  Lisberg said increased headways -- or time between trains -- was due to reduced power and signalling issues caused by damaged signals.

Commuters, for the most part, were patient as they crowded onto train cars that were running about a third as frequently as usual. In two-and-a-half hours of riding the rails, I didn't hear any sighing, moaning, or cursing at the MTA, or at fellow passengers, a frequent accompaniment to the squeal of the trains on a morning commute.

WNYC's Jim O'Grady reports a similar amount of patience -- for now -- at the J train in Williamsburg, now the backstop for both the L and G. Jim describes the lines as "immense," but says straphangers were so relieved to be able to get into Manhattan that frustration was far from the boiling point.

But at least one straphanger was deterred. "Holy God," he said, seeing the subway line.  "Looks like I'm working from home today.

On Sunday, rider Rachel Tillman applauded outright when the F train re-connected under the East River.  "Good!' she exclaimed, giddily, "It's going all the way.  When I heard the announcement I thought it was a mistake.  Once we reached Jay Street-Metrotech I realized it was going all the way.  It makes me very happy."



Comments [4]


Matthias, I counted eight tunnels that were not able to be reopened when service initially started):
Joralemon, Montague, Clark, Cranberry, Rutgers, Canarsie/14th, Steinway, 53rd.

60th and 63rd were reopened early.

Perhaps one of the eight wasn't flooded but merely lacked power? At any rate, the language should not say "All 7 tunnels" since that number is not correct.

Nov. 05 2012 07:44 PM

Any word on when A train service will be restored north of 168th Street? Any word on why it was suspended in the first place? Haven't heard a word about this on WNYC. You might look into it, Ms. Bernstein.

Nov. 05 2012 03:54 PM

Correction: there are ten (Joralemon, Montague, Clark, Cranberry, Rutgers, Canarsie, Steinway, 53 St, 60 St, and 63 St tubes).

Nov. 05 2012 01:19 PM

What is meant by "all seven tunnels"? There are nine subway tunnels under the East River, at least seven of which took on some water.

Nov. 05 2012 01:14 PM

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