Mass transit running again, with some changes, after snow shutters city

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NEW YORK (PIX11) -- After an unprecedented closure, the New York City subway system has resumed service on a modified schedule.

Trains began running at 9 a.m. Tuesday with the system operating on a Sunday schedule, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in morning news conference. The system is expected to return to a normal weekday schedule on Wednesday, MTA chairman Thomas Prendergast said.

Though snowfall amounts were significantly less than first predicted, Cuomo stood by his decision to close the roads and shutter transit, saying the system will come back online faster than if the bans had not been imposed.

Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road are running on a Sunday schedule, the governor said.

The LIRR has restored service on the Babylon, Far Rockaway, Hempstead, Long Beach, Oyster Bay and Ronkonkoma branches.  Trains will be running on a weekend schedule with hourly service between Penn Station and Hicksville.

Service is still suspended as a result of the storm on the following lines:

• East of Hicksville on the Port Jefferson branch,
• West Hempstead Branch,
• Montauk Branch east of Babylon
• Greenport to Ronkonkoma

On Wednesday, the Long Island Rail Road expects to run normal weekday service on the Babylon, Far Rockaway, Hempstead, Long Beach, Oyster Bay, Port Washington, Huntington/Port Jefferson, Ronkonkoma and West Hempstead Branches. Normal weekday service will be provided between Speonk and Babylon.

There will be no morning rush hour service between Montauk and Speonk, or between Greenport and Ronkonkoma, where the snowdrifts are highest.  LIRR personnel will continue their snow fighting efforts through the night.

The Staten Island Ferry is running again, as well, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

All nine bridges and tunnels operated by the MTA are open to traffic as snow removal operations continue.

Motorists are urged to drive slowly, allow for extra travel time and beware of dangerous black ice, a leftover from a storm that many areas are still digging out from.

And the winter storm that forced the transit closures had an impact as wide and varied as its reach.

Storm crews and equipment had to be redeployed from New York City to Suffolk County, where a blizzard warning remained in effect throughout Tuesday morning as the storm continued to batter the area, the governor said. More than 2 feet of snow fell in the eastern portion of Long Island, officials said.