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Transportation Nation

PATH Service Restored Between Hoboken-World Trade Center

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hoboken's PATH station (photo by Sean Marshall via flickr)

For the first time since Sandy struck the Northeast 13 weeks ago, PATH trains will roll once again between Hoboken and the World Trade Center.

Governors Christie and Cuomo announced service between the two hubs will be restored in time for the Wednesday morning commute.

This marks the first time PATH service will return to its normal weekday schedule since Sandy. The PATH system suffered $700 million worth of damage during the storm (PDF), and the Hoboken station was particularly hard hit. It took seven weeks just to open the station, and partial overnight service was restored on January 9th. Meanwhile, NJ Transit just reopened the Hoboken Terminal waiting room Monday.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

#CoastCheck: Making Money Off Sandy

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Janet Babin checks in from the next stop on her road trip from Cape May to Montauk. Also, WNYC's Robert Lewis discusses his reporting on what companies have gotten lucrative contracts post-Sandy -- and the economics of a disaster.

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WNYC News

COMMENT | Your Post-Sandy Sentiment

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Three months after Sandy hit, we're interested in your feelings about the recovery. Are you optimistic? Pessimistic? Neutral? 

We're collecting people's thoughts, and are tracking them by zip code, to see where people fall on the spectrum -- and whether geography plays a role in everyone's perspective.

 

Transportation Nation

NJ Transit Hoboken Terminal Reopens Post-Sandy, Sort Of

Monday, January 28, 2013

Hoboken station Photo: Scott Gurian

(Hoboken, NJ -- Scott Gurian, New Jersey Public Radio) The main waiting room of New Jersey Transit's Hoboken Terminal re-opened just in time for the evening commute on Monday, just shy of three months after Sandy raged through the region.

But many commuters were not impressed.  Joanne Hempel was frustrated that the terminal's regular ticket booths, news stands and bathrooms remain closed, forcing commuters like herself to use bathrooms on their trains or in a row of unheated port-o-johns. Another commuter said he wished the waiting room had been open last week, so he'd have had a warm place to sit, but he added, "I'll take what I can get."

Temporary ticket booths at Hoboken Terminal (photo: Scott Gurian)

New Jersey Transit's Executive Director Jim Weinstein did his best to apologize, as he handed out coupons for free coffee and thanked riders for their patience with the limited rail service and continuing terminal repairs.

"We know this has been a trying time," Weinstein said. "The men and women of New Jersey Transit are working as hard as we can possibly work to get the system fully restored," he said, adding, "We've still got a ways to go, but we're getting there."

He said the re-opening of the historic terminal's waiting room was a sign of "great progress." 

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WNYC News

New NYC Flood Maps Add 35,000 Structures to Danger Zone

Monday, January 28, 2013

Twice as many homes and businesses in and near the city would be in flood zones under new maps that may force more property-owners to buy flood insurance, complicate post-Sandy rebuilding for some and confront others with the choice of building higher or paying considerably more for insurance.

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Transportation Nation

NJ Rail Services Return Days Shy of Sandy's Three Month Anniversary

Monday, January 28, 2013

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamescastle/4451647796/sizes/l/in/photostream/

Historic Hoboken Terminal, pictured before Sandy. (Photo CC by Flickr user JamesCastle)

Two more links in the New Jersey commuter rail network will return to pre-Sandy levels today.

Hoboken terminal station will reopen and PATH service will run on pre-Sandy overnight levels with the restoration of Newark-World Trade Center service. The dual announcements from Northern New Jersey's two commuter rail agencies come after criticism of the slow pace of service restoration and just days before the three month anniversary of Sandy, which poured 10 million gallons of water into PATH train tunnels, and washed out dozens of miles of NJ Transit track among other damage.

 

Hoboken Terminal

NJ Transit trains have been running from Hoboken, but the station building has been closed, leaving passengers to wait in the cold without access to bathrooms. NJ Transit Executive Director James Weinstein is marking the occasion by greeting passengers at the Historic Hoboken Terminal, pictured here before and after the storm. "The waiting room, which is opening a day earlier than expected, will provide a heated shelter and temporary seating for customers as the agency continues with remediation work to address storm-related flood damage," an official statement says. 

The Hoboken Terminal had reopened in mid-November only to be shuttered less than a month later when mold was discovered. State Senator Paul Sarlo had been threatening to hold hearings on the delay last week.

 

PATH

Hoboken is served by both NJ Transit commuter rail and PATH. PATH tunnels under the Hudson to lower Manhattan were particularly hard hit. It took seven weeks to restore PATH service to Hoboken at all, and one line from the city is still out. Round the clock service has been offered since earlier in the month on some lines while repairs on others continued. 

Starting tonight, the agency announced, the route connecting Newark and World Trade Center will run 24-hours.

The statement reads:

"Service on the Newark-WTC line had only been running weekdays between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. since service resumed on the line after the storm. Return of the Newark-WTC PATH line overnight on weekdays, in addition to the ongoing overnight service from Journal Square to 33rd Street via Hoboken, means PATH’s overnight schedule during the week has returned to pre-Sandy status.

"Exchange Place and World Trade Center Stations remain closed weekends from 10 p.m. Fridays through 5 a.m. Mondays during the month of February to allow crews uninterrupted time to complete necessary repairs.

Crews continue to work around-the-clock to return weekday Hoboken to World Trade Center service and weekend service between Newark and the World Trade Center. Those are the final segments of service yet to be restored."

 

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WNYC News

Rebuild or Retreat from the Jersey Shore?

Monday, January 28, 2013

WNYC

Three months after Sandy,  some New Jersey shore communities remain uninhabitable, without utilities and other amenities. There’s a rush to rebuild, but some geologists endorse what they call "strategic retreat" from the ocean front, especially on barrier islands.

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WNYC News

Follow the #CoastCheck Roadtrip

Monday, January 28, 2013

As communities struggle with the question of whether to rebuild or retreat after Sandy, WNYC reporter Janet Babin and videographer Amy Pearl are touring coastal towns.

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WNYC News

SEE | Sandy by the Numbers

Monday, January 28, 2013

We've collected key numbers around the Sandy story, three months after the storm.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Rebuilding After Sandy

Monday, January 28, 2013

This week, it will be three months since Sandy hit. WNYC’s Janet Babin will check in as she travels from Cape May to Montauk to assess the situation along the coast. Plus: a conversation about whether to rebuild after Sandy; Connecticut Congressman Jim Himes on post-Newtown recovery and FEMA aid from Sandy; the president of J Street discusses his endorsement of Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary; and your calls on how to improve Times Square for New Yorkers.

WNYC News

Sandy Aid Bill Faces One More Beltway Twist

Friday, January 25, 2013

WNYC

WNYC has learned that the $50-billion-dollar Sandy Relief bill will be voted on by the Senate Monday afternoon and it will be debated.

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WNYC News

New Lessons for Bellevue in Post-Sandy Return

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Providing limited service in the emergency room, while also repairing parts of the physical plant damaged by Sandy, has forced Bellevue to improvise, and has taught the staff new things about operating a large urban hospital.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

FEMA's Sandy Deadline Approaching

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The deadline to apply for FEMA assistance for damage from Sandy is Monday, January 28. And many who have already applied are frustrated with the results.  Yisroel Schulman, co-founder, president, and attorney at large at the New York Legal Assistance Group, gives an update and answers your questions.

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Transportation Nation

Governor Cuomo's Budget: $6 Billion for Sandy Recovery to MTA, Port Authority

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Gov. Cuomo assessing flood damage after Sandy. (Image courtesy of the Office of the Governor)

Governor Andrew Cuomo is offering more details on how he'd like to spend federal Sandy recovery funds -- even though Congress hasn't yet passed the legislation. When he unveiled his $142 billion budget Tuesday, Cuomo laid out how the state will allocate a hoped-for $30 billion in aid, including:

  • $2 billion for replacement or mitigation of 2,000 miles of highway
  • $6 billion for mitigation for MTA and Port Authority, including vent covers, tunnel bladders and pumping capacity to protect transit tunnels.
  • $159 million for coastal mitigation – $34 million to repair Fire Island inlet and $125 for “soft barriers” like dunes on beaches
  • $2 billion to harden energy utilities

Read Anna Sale's story at WNYC.

Related:
NY’s South Ferry Station Closed for Foreseeable Future (link)
As PATH Resumes after Sandy, Questions Remain about Agency, Flood Plans (link)
Totaling Sandy Losses: How New York’s MTA Got to $5 Billion (link)
Transit in NYC Suffers “Worst Devastation Ever” (link)

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WNYC News

Senate Sandy Aid Vote Not Set Yet

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Boosters of the more than $50 billion dollar Sandy relief bill that passed the House last week say they can't say for sure just when the bill will be scheduled for a vote in the US Senate, although they expect it to come to the floor sometime this week.

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WNYC News

Money Slow to Flow from Sandy Charities

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Businesses and ordinary citizens have given more than $400 million to Sandy-related charities since the storm and money is still coming in. But many of the charities have spent less than half of what they've collected so far.

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WNYC News

Coney Island Health Clinic Damaged By Sandy Still Closed

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The city’s Health and Hospitals Corporation is looking for a piece of high ground in Coney Island to replace a neighborhood health clinic irreparably damaged by Sandy.

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WNYC News

Hurricane Sandy Videos

Friday, January 18, 2013

An archive of WNYC's video reports about life after Sandy.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Lasting Impact

Friday, January 18, 2013

Local elected officials from Coney Island, Hoboken, and Long Beach discuss how federal Sandy aid will affect their communities. Plus: Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng discusses his human rights work in China and what it’s been like living in New York City; and NPR's Mike Pesca on what the Lance Armstrong admission of doping means for sports.

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Transportation Nation

To Replace One Station After Sandy, A Cost of $600 Million

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Three and a half years before Sandy, the NY MTA unveiled a new subway station, at South Ferry.  The station would enable far faster turn-arounds for trains than the old station build a hundred years ago, speeding commutes for tens of thousands of straphangers each day.

The new station was "visible proof that when the MTA is provided with adequate capital funding, we build monumental works for generations of New Yorkers for decades to come," then MTA Chief Jay Walder said.

But Sandy completely submerged the station, wiping out the vital signaling room.  Replacing it will cost $600 million, more than a tenth of the damage to the MTA during Sandy. It could take a year, or more.

Flyer, posted pre-Sandy, remains on the platform where it was washed up. (photo: Andrea Bernstein)

The storm flooded the station with 14.7 million gallons of brackish water that rose 80 feet up from the train beds and completely engulfed tracks, platforms, signs, and escalators.

And most critically, says Wynton Habersham, Chief Electrical Officer in charge of signals and power for NYC Transit, the relatively brand new signalling room was inundated with saltwater: live wires hardened, signals corroded, and even electronic track-moving equipment was rendered unusable. "It's like just taking your computer and dipping it in saltwater," Habersham says.

Habersham says crews tried to clean off the signals, but the corrosion reappeared, and the supplier advised junking them.

A room the size of a basketball court full of signalling equipment was completely submerged. (photo: Andrea Bernstein)

Four such relay rooms, out of some two-hundred systemwide, were submerged and rendered useless by Sandy.

The dispatcher's office in South Ferry, post-Sandy. (photo: Andrea Bernstein)

Rebuilding the brand new South Ferry station, opened only three years ago after a laborious expansion using 9/11 recovery money, will cost $600 million. Habersham says no construction will take place until the MTA can figure out how to defend the station from future storms. Possible fixes include installing a horizontal barrier over the station's entrance, raising the signal room, and protecting components from saltwater.

MTA officials say no one is contemplating not rebuilding the station, which is normally used by 30,000 of the 70,000 people who ride the Staten Island Ferry on a weekday.

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