How the snowstorm is affecting mass transit, travel

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A wicked nor'easter is battering the New York area, bringing snow and whipping winds, and bitterly cold temperatures are expected in its aftermath. Here's how the storm is affecting public transportation and travel.

MTA subways and buses

Station crews are deployed to clear snow and to salt platforms, as well as station entrances, sidewalk vents, emergency exits and other transit operational and employee facilities. Mobile wash operations for stations and refuse trains are suspended during this time. Personnel have activated 500 track switch heaters, more than 1,600 third-rail heaters and lift-rail heaters systemwide. While the underground portions of the subway system are unaffected during snowstorms, nearly 220 miles of outdoor track throughout the boroughs are particularly vulnerable to snow and freezing precipitation, including portions of the A, S, N, 7, B, Q and 5 lines.

To combat ice buildup, non-passenger trains will continuously operate in outdoor tracks to help snow and ice accumulation. Trains are also deployed with ice-scraping shoes, and diesel trains will be activated as de-icers. Personnel will have access to 600,000 pounds of calcium chloride and 200,000 pounds of sand to melt snow and ice.

There are no weather-related or emergency disruptions of MTA service at this time. For more information visit:


The LIRR continues to experience system-wide delays averaging 30-45 minutes, as well as cancellations, due to winter weather conditions.

Service was suspended on the Ronkonkoma Branch in both directions between Farmingdale & Ronkonkoma due to a broken rail near Central Islip Thursday night.

For the Friday morning commute, lingering effects of Thursday's major storm, as well as the extremely cold temperatures, may impact Friday AM service. Customers are advised to allow extra travel time in the morning.

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Metro-North is operating a reduced weekday schedule with some combined and canceled trains due to the impact of the winter storm and extremely low temperatures on infrastructure. Please use caution when entering/exiting trains and on platforms/staircases.

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New Jersey Transit

Train service is subject to up to 15 minute delays system-wide due to inclement weather. Bus, rail and light rail are cross honoring passes/tickets system wide due to extreme weather conditions.

Customers are advised to regularly check for the latest service information.


PATH train service is operating on a normal weekday schedule, but delays are possible due to inclement weather.


Amtrak is operating a modified schedule between New York and Boston on Thursday, Jan. 4, with a reduced frequency of Acela Express and Northeast Regional service. Additionally, Shuttle service, operating between Springfield, Mass., and New Haven, Conn., will also operate on a modified schedule.

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The Staten Island Ferry is operating on modified service due to reduced visibility as a result of the snowstorm.

Due to the current blizzard conditions, gale force winds and hazardous evening forecast, NYC Ferry has suspended service to all routes for the remainder of the day.

Please check for Service Alerts and updates via App Notifications, or online at Ferry.NYC for updates.


Newark and LaGuardia airports are open, but travelers are urged to contact their airlines for information regarding the resumption of specific flights. JFK Airport resumes flights at 7 a.m. Friday.

Bridges, tunnels and roadways

The nor'easter is causing treacherous driving conditions, and drivers are urged to avoid driving if at all possible. Road crews across the area are scrambling to keep up with snow driven by strong northerly winds, and speed restrictions are in place.

When driving in snowy or icy conditions:
--Drive slowly. Vehicles take longer to stop on snow and ice than on dry pavement.
--Use major streets or highways for travel where possible.
--Install good winter tires that have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions.
--Four-wheel drive vehicles may make it easier to drive on snow-covered roads, but they do not stop quicker than other vehicles.
--Know your vehicle's braking system. Vehicles with anti-lock brakes require a different braking technique than vehicles without anti-lock brakes in icy or snowy conditions.
--If you are driving and begin to skid, ease your foot off the gas and steer in the direction you want the front of the car to go. Straighten the wheel when the car moves in the desired direction. If you have an anti-lock braking system (ABS), apply steady pressure to the brake pedal. Never pump the brakes on an ABS equipped vehicle.
--Try to keep your vehicle's gas tank as full as possible.
--Keep the name and phone number of at least one local towing service in your car in case you break down or become stuck.
--If you get stuck on the road, stay with your car and contact a towing company.

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