(Adds Long Island Expressway reopens in second paragraph.)
By Annie Linskey, Jim Efstathiou Jr. and Esmé E. Deprez
Feb. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Commuters in the New York area had a near-normal commute today while those in Boston were urged to allow extra travel time as transportation officials reboot transit systems shut down by a record-setting blizzard.
New York City subways and buses and most commuter railroads were running as usual. Metro-North Railroad was to have regular operations between Manhattan and Stamford, Connecticut, with about half the normal service beyond to New Haven. Service on much of the Long Island Rail Road resumed except in eastern areas hard-hit by the snowstorm, and all lanes of the Long Island Expressway reopened. Amtrak offered limited operations between New York and Boston.
In the Boston area, about half of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s subways were running as usual, with the rest serviced by buses. All commuter rails were operating normally, according to the agency’s website.
“I know that people are impatient, but I remind everybody that this was a record snowfall, the likes of which our state has never seen, or had not seen since the 1880s,” Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy said yesterday at a news briefing.
Transit crews worked to dig out tracks and bus routes blanketed by as much as three feet of snow that began falling Feb. 8. The storm, which lasted about 24 hours in Boston, left as much as 40 inches (102 centimeters) of snow in parts of Connecticut and more than 30 inches in some Massachusetts areas. It set a record of nearly 32 inches in Portland, Maine.
About 126,000 homes and businesses in Massachusetts and Rhode Island remained blacked out as of 7 a.m. local time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from utility websites.
Malloy asked all nonessential state employees to stay home today to help avert traffic build-up, while evening and midnight shift employees should report as normal.
On New York’s Long Island, where parts of Suffolk County received more than 30 inches of snow, LIRR trains were suspended east of Speonk and east of Ronkonkoma to Greenport, according to a Metropolitan Transportation Authority statement. Buses will run between Ronkonkoma and Greenport only if roads have been cleared, and there will be no busing on the Montauk Branch. Dozens of schools were closed, Newsday reported.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement that the Long Island Expressway had reopened, as he urged caution because some roadways are likely to remain coated with snow and ice. Snow made parts of the expressway during the height of the storm so impassible that motorists had abandoned their vehicles.
All New Jersey Transit bus and rail service was restored Feb. 9, according to the agency’s website. Bus service on the Suffolk County Transit system remained suspended until tomorrow, according to the agency’s website.
Boston’s major thoroughfares are in “great shape,” Peter Judge, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, said yesterday in an interview with Fox News. Still, the city’s public schools will have another day off, said Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who ordered them shut on Feb. 8 as the storm approached. Four daycare centers would be open for the children of parents who have to work, he said yesterday.