August 28, 2011 / 7:50 PM / 8 years ago

New York mass transit still halted, unclear when will resume

* No timeline on when subways and buses will resume

* Monday morning commute will be “tough”: Bloomberg

* Buses are likely to be the first to run: MTA Chairman

By Angela Moon

NEW YORK, Aug 28 (Reuters) - New York City’s mass transit system remained shut down on Sunday afternoon even after Hurricane Irene had roared through, and there was no immediate word on when services would resume. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Sunday that Monday’s morning commute will be “tough”.

The following are the latest transport updates.

MASS TRANSIT SYSTEM

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s subway trains and buses are still halted after they stopped running at noon on Saturday. It remained unclear whether any parts of the subway and commuter rail systems would be back up for Monday morning. But buses are likely to be the first to run when the system is back on track, MTA Chairman Jay Walder told a news conference after Bloomberg had given an overall assessment of the hurricane’s impact.

Many of the low-lying train yards and bus depots expected to be affected by the storm are now underwater, including subway yards in Coney Island and Upper Manhattan. Subway trains and buses were removed from those yards on Saturday and stored elsewhere so they would not be damaged by water.

The Metro North commuter rail serving the suburbs north of the city was the most affected with three lines flooded, the MTA said. Mudslides, fallen trees and downed wires were causing problems throughout the rail network in suburban New York and Connecticut. The Long Island Rail Road was seeing similar difficulties.

New Jersey Transit officials said it was unclear when the agency would resume its bus and commuter rail service. PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) trains and commuter railroads connecting Manhattan to New Jersey, Long Island, Westchester County and Connecticut had also been halted as of noon on Saturday.

The one bright spot was that the Staten Island Ferry service, which stopped running on Saturday, resumed on hourly schedule at 3 p.m. on Sunday, though the train and subway services at the ferry terminals were not.

BRIDGES

After some flooding earlier, the entire lengths of two major roads in Manhattan, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive and the Henry Hudson Parkway, had both reopened. All major bridges and tunnels were open to traffic, except for the Cross Bay Bridge to the Rockaways, in Queens.

The George Washington Bridge’s lower level reopened at 11 a.m. on Sunday, after being shut down Saturday night

The north tube of the Holland Tunnel, which connects Manhattan with New Jersey, reopened after being shut down earlier in the day due to flooding.

AIRPORTS

The region’s major airports — Kennedy International Airport, La Guardia Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport — remained closed, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said that flights are unlikely to resume until late on Monday. United Continental Holdings Inc UAL.N said United and Continental services to New York airports would resume no earlier than noon on Monday.

Reporting by Angela Moon, Editing by Martin Howell

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