The ‘queue’ train! Commuters warn of lengthy lines for shuttle buses

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Limited subway service returned to Brooklyn on Thursday, but storm-stranded commuters hoping to reach Manhattan on free shuttle buses found themselves waiting in lines as long as 90 minutes just to get onboard.

With no trains crossing the East River due to the power outage in Manhattan and snarled traffic along the Gowanus Expressway and Belt Parkway, many commuters stood in long lines that snaked along Jay Street in Downtown and wrapped around the Barclays Center — twice.

“I’ve never seen a line that long in my life,” said Park Slope commuter Danny Jones — who was so scared by the crowd outside the new arena that he opted to walk to Jay Street, where the line was comparatively shorter.

Other passengers said the demand simply exceeded the supply on the so-called “bus bridges,” which debuted alongside limited — but free — subway service within the borough at around 6 am.

“It’s an inconvenience, but at least it is moving,” said Christine Coenet, who had just gotten on the doubled-back line at Jay Street and the Myrtle Avenue Promenade.

The scene looked bad at the shuttle stop at Hewes Street and Broadway in Williamsburg, but some straphangers said it was far faster than the makeshift stations at Jay Street and the Barclays Center.

“If you need to get into Manhattan, Hewes Street is better than Downtown,” D.G. Wesley Jr. posted on Twitter.

The debut of the shuttle buses and the return of some subway service come after traffic moved at a standstill across the borough on Wednesday, with bumper-to-bumper situations on Fourth Avenue, Third Avenue, the Gowanus Expressway, and the East River bridges.

In an attempt to remedy backed up traffic on the Williamsburg, Manhattan, and Brooklyn bridges, the city is only allowing vehicles containing three or more occupants on all East River crossings between 6 am and midnight. Taxis are exempt from this rule.

The flooded Brooklyn Battery Tunnel remains closed.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is now running partial service on:

The R line between 95th Street and Jay Street–MetroTech.

The M line between Myrtle Avenue–Broadway and Metropolitan Avenue.

• The F line between Avenue X and Jay Street–MetroTech, as well as a Manhattan and Queens section between 34th Street and 179th Street.

The A line between Jay Street–MetroTech and Lefferts Boulevard, as well as a Manhattan section between 34th and 168th streets.

The 4 line between Borough Hall and New Lots Avenue, as well as a Manhattan and Bronx section between Woodlawn and 42nd Street.

The 5 line between Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center and Flatbush Avenue.

The J line between Hewes Street and Jamaica Center.

The D line between Bay Parkway and Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center, as well as a Manhattan and Bronx section between 205th and 34th streets.

Other Brooklyn lines including the G, Q, C, and B, as well as the Brooklyn portion of the N line, remain out of service.

Partial East River Ferry service also returned on Thursday. The boats depart from North Williamsburg starting at 7 am, and pick up and drop off riders in Long Island City, Queens and E. 34th Street in Manhattan along the northern loop, and hit Brooklyn Bridge Park and Wall Street’s Pier 11 on the southern loop. The stops in Greenpoint and South Williamsburg remain closed.

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Reader Feedback

scott from park slope says:
biking might be the best option right now. you can take bikes on the subway so if you live far out take the subway to downtown brooklyn and bike from there. dahon makes foldable bikes, which makes that process easier. there are free downloadable maps of the bike lanes to guide you to your destination safely. please wear helmets!
Nov. 1, 2012, 5:11 pm
Sloper from Slope says:
Time to bike.
Nov. 1, 2012, 5:20 pm
Freddy from NYC visitor says:
Please I need some help. I have a trip to visit NYC with hotel stay in Brooklyn on 11/13/2012. Some one may help recommend me if cancel or not ? I will apreciate
Nov. 2, 2012, 12:53 am
an opinion from one guy says:
I think you should not cancel. My guess is mass transit will be running fully by the time you arrive, and HOV restrictions lifted on the bridges.
Nov. 2, 2012, 1:17 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I do have good news here. I just heard on News 12 that the HOV rules will be lifted as of 5 PM today. I am glad that the chaos is ending. Then again, they did say nothing about minor bridges that include the Alexander Hamilton, Washington, Broadway, 145th Street, Macombs Dam, Madison Avenue, 3rd Avenue, Willis Avenue and GW Bridges. That could have been a loophole in entering Manhattan since none of them were mentioned, but it's too late to try that. Also, I heard that the tunnels will reopening to day as will just about all transit, so everything should be back to normal by now. On a side note, most of the gas stations will be getting their gas this weekend, so that problem will be over this weekend as well.
Nov. 2, 2012, 3:47 pm
mike from GP says:
It's a shame we don't have HOV restrictions every day.
Nov. 2, 2012, 10:59 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
That wouldn't work, because there would be a lot of opposition to that. According to news reports, the bridges where the rule was being enforced actually had more traffic, so the checkpoints only made the gridlock worse. Another reason for opposition will be that residents in the outer boroughs will be complaining that they don't want their neighborhoods to be parking lots for those that can't get in. I have already said on a previous topic that not everyone can find two other people that easily as well as the hours, so I won't repeat myself on those. Honestly, NYC just isn't the city for carpools, and a ride share program has never been instituted at all. That may have to do with the fact that NYC is the most densely populated city in the world, which explains why it may never truly become a bicycle city either. On a side note, high density does bring in more gridlock, and there have been studies proving that true. Overall, hearing those being turned away when it was in effect is probably a reminder what it would be like if congestion pricing or even tolling was passed in showing those that don't want to pay.
Nov. 3, 2012, 4:28 pm
mike from GP says:
Again, it's a shame that we don't have HOV restrictions and congestion pricing all the time, both proven to work well.
Nov. 3, 2012, 6:21 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I know how much mike from GP loves reading reflections in the mirror especially when they are backwards and say the exact opposite.
Nov. 3, 2012, 7:12 pm

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