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MTA’s plans for subways, buses, trains as winter storm approaches NYC

Posted at 12:25 PM, Dec 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-02 07:56:33-05

NEW YORK — With a powerful winter storm set to hit the tri-state region Monday into Tuesday, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is gearing up to keep New Yorkers moving.

NYC started seeing precipitation Sunday afternoon but it turned to rain by evening, before tapering off Monday morning.

Snow is set to return by around noon Monday, with 2 to 4 inches likely to accumulate in the city by Tuesday morning.

While the road conditions are important, most New Yorkers rely on public transportation to get where they're going.

So, what can commuters expect from the trains, buses and beyond during the storm? The MTA has rolled out their expectations in a press release:

NYCT Subways:

New York City Transit willl run a normal schedule for subways and buses, but will closely monitor conditions via its Command Center. Third-rail and switch heaters will be activated systemwide, and crews will also be sanding and de-icing platforms and stairs throughout the system. Subways will have a multitude of snow-fighting equipment available, including more than 500 snow melting devices at switches, over 1,600 3rd rail heaters, about 10 snowthrowers, four jetblowers, and seven de-icer train cars.


Approximately 700 articulated buses will be outfitted with chains. That’s all articulated buses in Manhattan and the Bronx, where the worst of the storm is expected. The process to chain up buses began on Saturday afternoon.


Customers may experience additional travel and wait times. Depending upon conditions, customers may want to reconsider travel, unless medically necessary. The Paratransit fleet is ready with 899 vans equipped with snow tires, 446 MV1s with snow tires and 200 sets of chains.

Metro-North Railroad:

Metro-North is planning to run normal service on Monday, but will continuously monitor conditions ahead of the storm. They will be ready to deploy specialized equipment as the conditions worsen. This includes 220 snowblowers, 70 pickup truck plows, and over 1,800 ice scrapers.

Long Island Rail Road:

LIRR is planning to run normal service on Monday. LIRR will have staff prepositioned throughout the system for snow removal and de-icing operations. Storm fighting equipment at the ready includes, nine snow jets, two snow brooms and 3 cold air blowers. Additionally, LIRR has 46 snowblowers, 28 salt spreaders, 30 third rail heaters, and 60 snow switch covers.

Bridges and Tunnels:

MTA Bridges and Tunnels is asking customers to avoid unnecessary travel on the roads during this weather event. B&T's Command Center will monitor conditions to ensure efficient deployment of personnel and resources. Electronic weather sensors are functional and all facilities have the ability to monitor weather real-time weather and roadway conditions. There are 8646 tons of roadway de-icer on hand and 99 pieces of storm fighting equipment including trucks and plows at the ready.

For the latest service updates and schedule changes, customers are encouraged to check

Customers can also follow and set up alerts on the MTA's twitter accounts for individual service lines: NYCT Subway, NYCT Bus, LIRR and Metro-North.

With this blast of winter weather, New York City officials have declared a "Code Blue." Warming shelters are open for anyone without a place to go. If you see someone at risk, call 3-1-1 to get them help.

In New Jersey, you can call 2-1-1, and on Long Island shelters are open through tomorrow.

For more information call the "warm bed hotline" at 1-866-WARM-BED, or 1-866-927-6233.