Andrew Cuomo Lifts New York City Travel Ban

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday morning that the travel ban for all city roads and railways has been lifted. MTA bus and subway service is also expected to be up and running by noontime. New Yorkers are already digging out from a foot of snow, following a weaker-than-expected snowstorm, also known as the Blizzard of 2015.

Cuomo says that the transit system will begin at 9 a.m., with a full Sunday schedule in the next coming hours. That includes service for the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North commuter lines, according to NY1. Citizens can learn about the latest MTA service updates at mta.info.

This came in from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office this morning.

“Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today held a morning storm briefing to discuss the winter storm and the reopening of roadways and public transportation in the Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island region.”

“Public Transportation”

“The PATH will resume service at 9:30 a.m. on a weekend schedule, and resume normal service on Wednesday.”

“Metro North, the Staten Island Railroad, and the Long Island Rail Road west of Babylon, Huntington, and Ronkonkoma will resume service at 12:00 p.m on a weekend schedule, and resume normal service on Wednesday. Information will be released later today regarding restoration of LIRR service further east.”

“MTA buses and subways will begin to resume this morning and by 12:00 p.m. will be operating on a Sunday schedule for the rest of the day and will resume normal service on Wednesday.”

“Roads and Bridges”

“The travel ban for all state and local roads has been lifted. Drivers should continue to use extreme caution and prepare properly as driving conditions remain poor and other states still may have travel bans in effect.”

“All Port Authority and MTA bridges are open.”

“Airports”

“Many flights remain canceled at LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy Airports. Travelers should contact individual airlines to see if their flights are delayed or canceled.”

The winter storm wasn’t as bad as meteorologists predicated on Monday night and Tuesday morning. Andrew Cuomo shut down New York City’s subway system on Monday night in the event of a potentially “crippling” blizzard. Despite Cuomo’s announcement, the Brooklyn Paper reported that the trains will continue to run because they have to.

“The halting of subway service is the first ever for a snowstorm. It is ill-considered because an actual turning-off of the entire system requires moving all the cars to far-flung facilities for storage, as the agency did during Hurricane Sandy, when flooding was a concern, and rebooting from that takes ages.”

“Emergency personnel will be riding the trains overnight while no one else is allowed to, per the source. The closure will strand people and put lives at risk, not because the subways can’t run, but because Cuomo wants to look good.”

MTA workers were reportedly “blindsided” by Cuomo’s decision to shut down the subway system, according to the Brooklyn Paper. By 11 p.m. Monday night, all non-emergency personnel had to find an alternative route as LIRR, Metro North, New Jersey Transit, and PATH trains were shut down. Uber also halted its service, and the driving ban took effect across most of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Cuomo issued the travel ban in the event of Winter Storm Juno, which was expected to drop up to 3 feet of snow in the state. Those who violated the ban would be fined $300, according to the Express.

“If you are in your car, and you are on any road, town, village, city, it doesn’t matter, after 11 o’clock, you will technically be committing a crime. It could be a matter of life and death, so caution is required.”

Gov. Cuomo issued a state of emergency for all of New York City counties on Monday. National Guardsmen were station throughout the city and on Long Island. Cuomo warned residents to avoid traveling on major cities and highways, and to use precaution when venturing out on Tuesday.

Some would say that Winter Storm Juno was highly sensationalized. The National Weather Service has downgraded the Blizzard of 2015 to a winter storm. The reclassification comes after only a half of foot of snow was on the ground, as all of the roads and public transportation remained shut down as part of the city’s storm response.

[Image by Azi Paybarah]