Local transit stalled by blizzard

LIRR reduces service; NICE bus delays clog commute on South Shore


Amid this morning’s commute, complicated by as much as a foot of snow, Long Island residents faced several major delays on local transit due to road closures and reduced service on public transportation.

County Executive Ed Mangano said that no county roads closed during the storm, though he warned motorists to drive cautiously throughout the day, since the roads are still treacherous.

“[The County Department of Public Works crews] did a wonderful job keeping all the Nassau County roads passable throughout the weather event,” Mangano said. “They’re still out there working. ... There [are] still issues on the roadways. Utilize extreme caution when taking to the roads.”

On Thursday night, Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered the closure of the Long Island Expressway from midnight to 8 a.m. due to the heavy snow. Cuomo also said that the Long Island Rail Road and Metro North would operate on reduced weekend schedules, providing about 60 percent of normal weekday service, on Friday and over the weekend. Due to the limited schedule, Cuomo said, the LIRR would not offer service on the West Hempstead branch or east of Ronkonkoma on the Ronkonkoma branch.

“The safety of [Metropolitan Transportation Authority] riders and employees is the top priority of the MTA,” Cuomo said in a statement. “MTA employees have been out sanding and salting platforms and walkways, but conditions can become difficult quickly during a winter storm. We encourage all who must travel ... to step carefully on platforms and walkways and hold handrails when walking on steps.”

The Nassau Inter County Express bus service is running a full fixed-route schedule, according to NICE spokesman Andy Kraus, and bus routes along the South Shore experienced no reported extensive delays. “Based on road conditions, many trips are running behind schedule but that is improving as conditions improve,” he said.

Kraus added that Able Ride paratransit service had many cancellations this morning due to the closure of several medical centers.

Check www.nicebus.com or www.mta.info for information about transit delays and service alerts on the LIRR and NICE bus system during the storm.