New Jersey Transit shut down until further notice as storm batters region

Posted at 9:10 AM, Jan 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-24 06:28:31-05

NEW JERSEY — New Jersey Transit is shut down entirely -- bus, rail and light rail -- Saturday as heavy snow continued to blanket the region, with no word on when the suspension would end.

The temporary shutdown began at 2 a.m., spurred by a powerful winter storm that is packing a stronger punch than first predicted.

"#NJTRail will resume as weather permits & mandatory federal inspections are completed," the agency tweeted Saturday morning.

Snow was quickly piling up across the Garden State, with 8 inches in East Brunswick and nearly that much in Waretown as of 8:30 a.m. It's expected to continue to snowing heavily for several more hours.

Crews will have Sunday -- which is forecast to be in the mid-30s -- to clear tracks and get service up and running, but it's still too soon to tell whether that will be enough time.

"We can't make any guarantees yet" because the storm is not finished, Gov. Chris Christie said in a midday news conference, but "I'm hoping" New Jersey Transit will be running in time for the Monday commute.

Though there is no estimated time of restoration, once service is back on, NJ Transit will be cross-honoring systemwide until Sunday and possibly later depending on the conditions, transit officials said.

No commuter trains are running during what is forecast to be the brunt of the storm but NJT patrol trials are operating to keep the tracks, switches and overhead wires clear of snow and ice, the agency said.

Access Link is suspended Saturday, as well, and is expected to start at a delayed time of noon Sunday, NJ Transit said.

For updates on service, call 973-275-5555 or visit the agency's website, here.