Questions Remain About MTA's Blizzard Preparedness
On Thursday, service was restored on all of the city's subway lines for the first time since the weekend blizzard, but there were still lingering questions on how the Metropolitan Transportation Authority handled the snow. NY1's Transit reporter John Mancini filed the following report.
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On Thursday morning, the N train finally rolled again in Brooklyn. Coney Island, after being blocked by snow for most of the week.
"I'm glad to have it back. It definitely made my trip a lot shorter today," said a rider.
The N line, which was knocked out between Coney Island and Manhattan since Monday, was the last major subway line to return to service. With snow piled as high on the Sea Beach line as on miles of unplowed streets, some riders were surprised it came back even this soon.
"Because the mayor hasn't done anything, and the city hasn't done too much," said a transit user.
Open stretches of track, like the N line in Brooklyn, are always a big problem in big storms. Yet officials want to review how the Metropolitan Transportation Authority handled this last blizzard.
The MTA will see whether subway managers were caught off-guard by the ferocity of the storm, and if they failed to take many of the usual precautions, like moving track-clearing equipment into position before snow piled up.
At one point, 12 N trains were stuck. Some riders were trapped for hours.
"I was one of those people stranded. So I think that as far as the preparation, it definitely could have been better," said a rider.
All service was blocked on eight lines, and some lacked service for days. Once transit workers cleared drifts, switches and signals had to be tested before trains could run again.
Riders said they felt abandoned.
"They usually get the transportation running, and I've relied on it when I went to school and stuff. But this time, it just wasn't working at all," said a straphanger.
Protesters outside MTA headquarters in Midtown said on Thursday that the storm exposed the impact of too many transit cutbacks.
"This shows what happens when you cut essential people and services," said Tony Murphy of the Bail Out The People Movement.
They also wanted to see the fare hike rolled back, but the odds on that are a snowball's chance in hell.