Today, limited subway service finally resumed in New York City, after being shut down on Sunday for Hurricane Sandy. The limited subway service doesn't go into lower Manhattan (below 34th Street on the West side and 42nd Street on the East side) because the area is still crippled by a power outage as well as devastating flooding in subway tunnels. So the MTA devised "bus bridges," as a way to shuttle people between Brooklyn and Manhattan. And at the Barclays Center location, one of the three Brooklyn stops, hundreds of people are waiting on line. Totally makes sense—they are free after all!
According to Colleen Lynch, who was trying to travel into Manhattan from Prospect Heights, "The 3, 4 & 5 trains are all running about every 10 minutes, but once you get to Atlantic Pacific, the MTA fun begins. There is a steady stream of busses which are being packed full, but the line to get on them is utter chaos. The line at 7am went from the entrance of Barclays center all the way to the end of the block & doubled back, although MTA staff were still yelling instructions to go to the end of the block. Around 7:10 the congestion on Atlantic got bad enough for the police to take over & wrapped the line around the stadium. As of 7:15, the line is all the way down Dean & onto 6th Ave."
Then she just checked in, "The line now wraps all the way around Barclay's. They finally put up barricade fences to stop people from forcing their way in. Crazy. I actually threw in the towel & decided to wait for a car service :) Eastern is taking multiple people in the same cab FYI, so there is hope." Another person Tweeted:
Such a mess at the shuttle bus area at Barclays. Dont wanna do this again. Sooooo disorganized.. esp. with soooo many ppl.
— Frank Eng (@fe505) November 1, 2012
At Barclays Center waiting for bus to midtown now. About 200ppl in front of me and growing. Lots of buses for us though.
— Frank Eng (@fe505) November 1, 2012
Been on the Barclays Center bus line 45 minutes and I haven't completed the FIRST wrap around the block. #TellNYT
— TheRealTavie (@TheRealTavie) November 1, 2012
However, at the Hewes Street route, which goes over the Williamsburg Bridge, one person said, "MTA is not messing around with two person to a car to get over the bridges - just flew across the Williamsburg in a subway bus shuttle."
Last night, MTA Chairman Joe Lhota said during a press conference with Governor Cuomo that New Yorkers should "just bear with us" as the MTA gets back to business as it also assesses the toll from the horrible damage. He said that the agency "[asks] for understanding," acknowledging it would likely be very crowded today. He also said if you have the opportunity to leave earlier or later, take it!
Here's how the Governor's office described the bus bridges:
The MTA and the New York City Department of Transportation have established routes for a bus bridge service and dedicated bus priority lanes from three Brooklyn locations to Midtown Manhattan.
Starting Thursday, Nov. 1 at 6 a.m., MTA/NYCT shuttle buses will travel to and from subway stations at Atlantic Avenue, Jay Street and Hewes Street.
The Atlantic Avenue and Jay Street routes will operate via a new, two-way bus lane across the Manhattan Bridge and into Manhattan via bus-priority lanes on Bowery and 3rd Avenue, making stops at major cross streets all the way up to 55th Street in the inbound direction, and via bus-priority lanes on Lexington Avenue, 23rd Street, and 3rd Avenue and Bowery in the outbound direction.
The shuttle bus from Hewes Street will operate over the Williamsburg Bridge and Delancey Street, then via Bowery and 3rd Avenue up to 55th Street before returning downtown via Lexington Avenue, 23rd Street, 3rd Avenue and Bowery.
NYPD will provide enforcement along the bus route and keep the lanes clear for buses.
The bus service will operate 24 hours until further notice.