MTA Prepares For Winter Storm

Just a few minutes ago, the MTA sent out word on their preparation for the first winter storm of the season:

The MTA is preparing for this weekend’s anticipated snow storm, forecast to bring up to six inches of snow to parts of the metropolitan area. Personnel are being deployed, snow-fighting equipment is being prepared to keep rails free of ice and snow, and chains are being put on bus tires. All preparations are being made to ensure safe travel across the region.

We expect to run normal Saturday service on all MTA services tomorrow morning, but please monitor as well as media reports for the latest service update. Customers are also urged to utilize the MTA’s new Winter Weather Guide that explains possible service adjustments for all MTA agencies during inclement weather. This service poster is available for viewing online and posted in subway and rail stations.

“Our goal is to provide service as long as it is safe for our customers, employees and equipment,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph J. Lhota. “Our dedicated employees are set to work hard throughout the weekend in order to minimize service disruptions, but customers should utilize our website and media to learn about any potential impacts on service.”

NYC Transit Subways and Buses:

Additional personnel will be brought in for snow fighting duty, the Incident Command Center will be up and running, and Local Storm Fighting Centers will be manned and activated.

Some weekend work has been canceled, however, the critical capital work being performed in the Steinway Tube will continue as planned, so 7 line riders should be mindful that planned service diversions remain in effect, meaning that N and Q line service is the best way to travel from Queens Plaza to Manhattan and shuttle bus service will be making the connection between Vernon-Jackson and Hunters Point Ave. stations and Queens Plaza.

The subway system’s fleet of snow fighting equipment has been fueled, prepped and deployed near outdoor locations historically vulnerable to heavy snowfall. In order to minimize the number of cars that will have to be stored over the weekend, full-length trains will operate on all lines. To the extent possible, out of service subway cars will be stored in underground locations throughout the system which may impact express service on certain lines.

Personnel will be putting chains on bus tires on overnight service, and tomorrow, deploy a combination of chained standard and articulated buses while substituting articulated with standard buses where appropriate. The Department of Buses will also be deploying snow crews and snow fighting equipment, and opening our situation room and satellite desks. We will be monitoring conditions as the storm progresses, to make ongoing route-by-route assessments about service.

Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad:

The railroads will activate switch heaters, treat switches and third rails with anti-freeze agents and will have personnel stationed at key locations. Snow fighting material is dispatched to stations and crews will be positioned to be ready to clear platforms and stairways.

The railroads will also operate electric trains equipped with special scraper shoes to help reduce icing on the third rail and ensure that electric trains can draw their power properly. Employees are also spraying door panels with anti-freeze and purging air brake lines of moisture to prevent them from freezing. LIRR station waiting rooms will be kept open around-the-clock to provide shelter for customers waiting for trains.

Bridges and Tunnels:

MTA Bridges and Tunnels has prepared and put into position its fleet of 102 snow-fighting trucks and other pieces of heavy equipment. In addition, MTA Bridges and Tunnels uses a system of technologically-advanced weather sensors to help keep motorists safe. All seven MTA bridges use small, rocket-like atmospheric weather sensors that deliver highly-accurate weather information, including wind velocity, wind direction, humidity and precipitation, via wireless communication. Other sensors are embedded in the roadway and on the snow-fighting trucks to monitor icing conditions on the roadways.

We urge all of our customers to take extra care when traveling during the storm. Stay clear of the platform edges, use handrails on staircases and walk carefully when entering or exiting stations and boarding or leaving trains and buses. Please allow extra time for travel during and immediately after the storm.

Something tells me that too much of a big deal is being made about this storm, mainly stemming from the fact it is the first one of the 2011-2012 winter season.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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There definitely wasn’t quite as much snow as anticipated, but it sure is better to be safe than sorry. You never know what could happen with the weather.

Yes “better to be safe than sorry”. Tell that to the thousands of people who lost normal rush hour service and were delayed because the mta was preparing for a storm that didn’t come for another twelve hours.They stopped my rush hour service and as a result trains became stuck behind one another. The delays caused major overcrowding on platforms. As well as adding to the nypd’s already impossible job of keeping the stations safe. I myself returned home that evening one and a half hours later than normal due to the delays.If this delay was a one time occurrence you would overlook it of course-but there are delays everyday at some point. Better to be safe than sorry? At who’s expense? Oh that’s right ours again and again. How’s about some common sense and let the Friday evening rush finish instead of upending service at 5p.m. with no notice for a storm that didn’t start until the next day!!! Is this going to happen every time there is a threat of a winter storm? Because that was no New York storm…Please! Common Sense

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