In its slow but steady journey to full restoration, the New York City subway system is now at 80 percent of its normal service, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday.
In other words: Really. Good. News.
Helping to relieve some of the chaos still permeating the city days after Hurricane Sandy’s landfall will be the restored connection between Brooklyn and Manhattan. As of Saturday morning, the 4, 5, 6 and 7 lines were running along their normal routes, with full service also returning to the F, J, D and M lines later in the day. The Staten Island Railway returned to hourly service Saturday morning and will return to its normal schedule in time for rush hour Monday morning, officials said.
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More service will continue getting back on track as the weekend progresses. The A line will begin running from Lefferts Blvd. in Queens to 168th St. in Manhattan by Monday morning, the Wall Street Journal reports. Some timelines still remain unclear, but it’s also likely that by Saturday night, the Q line will resume its route from Brooklyn’s Coney Island, through Manhattan and into Queens, according to Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Chairman Joseph Lhota.
“Come on out and use the system,” Lhota said in a press conference. And use it, we will. Over the past week, basic 40-minute commutes turned into chaotic, hours-long ordeals as thousands fought for space on city buses and grappled with miles of gridlock. So this recent progress will certainly ease many commuters’ pain, particularly those shuttling in from outer boroughs and damaged parts of lower Manhattan.
Of course, some lines will remain suspended indefinitely. The 14th St. tube, which houses the L line — running between Brooklyn and Manhattan — remains completely submerged. (So far, five of New York’s seven under-river tunnels have been completely cleared.) Other lines, like the G, which runs between Brooklyn and Queens, could be restored next week, but the city hasn’t established a definitive timetable just yet.
As residents in New York —and all along the Eastern Seaboard — work towards recovery following a brutal, deadly storm, the nation’s largest, labyrinthine transit system is slowly roaring back to life.