Updated, 11/05 12:40 a.m.:Looks like the Monday morning commute is shaping up as expected.
Update, 9:12 p.m.: Service has been restored on the J-train into Manhattan, but service on the B/D/F/M line remains suspended because of “unforeseen problems with electrical service” at the West 4th Street station, according to an MTA statement. “Crews are still pushing to restore service on additional subway lines between Brooklyn and Manhattan before midnight,” the statement concludes.
Original post: So the MTA has done an unbelievable job restoring subway service after so much of the system was knocked out following Superstorm Sandy. Even MTA chief Joe Lhota said as much this morning at a press briefing. “I’m really proud of the MTA for coming back as fast as it did,” he said standing outside the 69th Regimental Armory. “It exceeded most of the public’s expectation and it exceeded my expectations, too. I didn’t think I’d be standing here today telling you we’d be at 81 percent.”
Service will be back to 84 percent by Monday, covering most of Lower Manhattan with many lines fully restored. In addition to the 4/5/6 and 7-train resuming full service this morning, the B/D/F/M lines will all be back later today. The Q-train will be back, as well, from Astoria all the way to storm-ravaged Coney Island. The 2/3 will resume full service between Brooklyn and the Bronx tonight or tomorrow. Thanks to the resumption of subway service, the MTA will stop running the bus bridge that has been bringing Brooklynites into Manhattan Saturday afternoon.
By Monday, the E-train will resume service from Jamaica to the World Trade Center and the N train will run from Astoria to 59th Street in Sunset Park though service beyond there will not be back. The A-train will also resume service downtown, from 168th Street in Harlem to Lefferts Boulevard/Ozone Park in Queens. The 1-train will be running to Rector Street but not South Ferry, where photos of flooding have been a sensation on the Internet. “We should be back to close to full service in time for the commute Monday morning,” Mr. Lhota said.
Trains to the Rockaways are still months away, due to destruction on the Broad Channel crossing, as The Observer previously reported. And North Brooklyn and their hipster-beloved trains remain out of luck—there will be no service on the L or the G trains until those lines can be pumped out at some point next week.
“The L, I’m particularly worried about because of how long the water is,” Mr. Lhota said. “My hope is it’s one day next week, I really do.” The MTA is pointing to restored M and J service into Manhattan as an alternative route for North Brooklynites into the city.
There are other outlying sections of the train without service, like the piece of the A-train in Washington Heights and Inwood north of the 168th Street station.
The system now has full power, and it is only residual flooding that is holding stations back from opening. “As of Friday night, we had 60 percent of our system up and running, by tonight we’re adding another 21 percent, so we’ll be at 81 percent, and by Monday, we’ll only have 16 percent to go,” Mr. Lhota said.
The system has been coming back “inch by inch, rail by rail,” Mr. Lhota added.
Update:An MTA spokesman just provided the following explanation for why the MTA has yet to be able to provide at least partial service along the L and G lines within Brooklyn where the tracks are not flooded:
“The answer on the L is that it’s impossible to turn trains around easily mid-route for a Brooklyn shuttle service,” Mr. Lisberg wrote in an email. “Very difficult to set up because of the track layout. They may try now that other lines are getting better service, but that’s just a discussion at this point. As for the G, enough of it is parallel to other lines—plus the naturally low ridership.”