Governor Cuomo at his emergency cabinet meeting (Governor Cuomo's Office)

With the mandatory evacuation of NYC's Zone A and the Rockaways, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an Executive Order (#18) to give a little reprieve by suspending some MTA fares and tolls in those areas. Residents are to be out of those areas by 5 p.m. on Saturday as Hurricane Irene heads north and Cuomo said, "The only approach to a storm of this magnitude is to act preemptively. Waiving fares may be the factor that convinces some people to leave promptly when they might otherwise be tempted to stay and confront this hurricane."

Here are the details:

  • Tolls are already suspended at the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge and the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge.
  • Starting at 8:00 PM today, the following changes will go into effect:
  • Tolls will be suspended on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.
  • Fares will be suspended on buses throughout the city.
  • Fares will be suspended for subway and rail passengers at stations in the mandatory evacuation area.

Of course, the MTA will be shutting down its subway, bus and commuter rails at noon tomorrow (Saturday, 8/27) and bridges may also be closed if winds are above 60 MPH. MTA CEO Jay Walder said earlier today, "Please do not wait for the last train. There is simply not capacity for everyone to get on the last train.... We will work to get everyone out of the low-lying areas as efficiently as possible...If you don't need to travel tomorrow, please don't."