John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
Huge parts of the train network remain out of service. Here's why.
City workers are furiously repairing New York's train system, but huge parts remain out of service due to Sandy's mega-vomit of river water. Only about half of the MTA's 23 lines are functioning as of today.
Want to get from Brooklyn to Manhattan? Wait in this hour-long bus line. Need to get to Wall Street or Chinatown? Tough, there are no trains going below 34th Street because of flooding and electricity outages. The less said about the Long Island Railroad the better: It's a virtual black hole of service.
If you want to see what a difficult task the MTA faces in the coming days, look at these photos the agency posted on Tuesday to its Flickr account. The damage is incredible. The South Ferry subway station is a dark Venice with waves lapping at platform edges. Out on the Rockaway line, repair crews face yawning holes in the ground and the occasional washed-up boat on the tracks. If you're wondering why the transit agency didn't prepare for the tidal surge with sandbags and the like, they did: It just didn't make much of a difference against the storm's brutal tides.
scalator to Davy Jones' locker, at South Ferry. Photo by MTA.)