Security and Safety

East Coast transit agencies brace for storm, urge customers to stay home

Posted on January 26, 2015

National Weather Service New York, N.Y.
National Weather Service New York, N.Y.
Transit agencies on the east coast are making significant preparations for a blizzard that is expected to touch down later today, and warning customers about "significant shutdowns."

RELATED: December 2011 blizzard costs N.Y. MTA $30 million

The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for the “potentially historic” storm in many areas in the New York region effective Monday at 1 p.m., as well as increased the snow accumulation and wind speed forecast. As of Sunday evening, the National Weather Service expects general snowfall from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 feet, with local amounts in excess of 3 feet, and wind gusts that may reach up to 65 MPH. Snow may fall at a rate of up to 4 inches per hour and visibility may be reduced to zero, according to a statement released by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's office.

NYDOT snow plows on I-84
NYDOT snow plows on I-84
The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), which has been hard at work making preparations over the weekend, is urging customers to consider going home early on Monday and staying home on Tuesday.

Read about MTA's storm preparations here.

New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit), which is operating a regular schedule so far, is advising customers to check njtransit.com before traveling for up-to-the-minute service information before starting their trip.

Additionally, NJ Transit will offer systemwide cross-honoring from Monday through Wednesday to give customers additional travel options during the expected winter weather conditions. This will enable customers to use their ticket or pass on an alternate travel mode — rail, light rail or bus — including private bus carriers.

NJ Transit's preparations to handle the impending winter weather include:

  • Snow plows and salt spreaders ready for service and snow-removal contracts are in place with outside vendors.
  • Stocked with 16,000 bags of snow-melting supplies, and hundreds of shovels and snow blowers.
  • Performed maintenance and testing on its two rail-mounted jet snow blowers in the event they are needed to help clear train tracks of snow and ice, particularly in rail yards.
  • More than 750 rail switches, switch heaters and overhead wires have already been inspected as part of NJ TRANSIT’s preventative maintenance program.
  • Onboard heating systems, thermostats, weather stripping and electronic components have been inspected on NJ TRANSIT railcars, light rail cars and locomotives.
  • Bus maintenance personnel have inspected and performed necessary maintenance on a fleet of nearly 2,200 buses - from the heating and airbrake systems, to the engine fluids, tires, windshield wipers and doors.

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