The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has activated all its storm-fighting forces including on Metro-North Railroad, subways, bridges and tunnels.
Here's its statement:
All MTA agencies are preparing for the possibility of ice building up during the Wednesday morning rush hour. All MTA services are subject to being delayed, curtailed or suspended as conditions warrant. Customers are urged to monitor www.mta.info for service status before leaving home Wednesday morning.
Metro-North plans to reduce morning rush hour service by 18 percent to accommodate heavy snowfall predicted for Westchester and the lower Hudson Valley.
Twenty-seven of the usual 154 morning rush hour trains will be combined.
The reduced schedule allows Metro-North to have extra trains available to be deployed to pick up passengers if the need arises.
New York City Transit subway trains will be stored on underground express tracks overnight to protect them from the elements, which will affect express service on some subway lines. The 220 outdoor track miles of the subway system are more susceptible to weather-related conditions and will be monitored closely.
All customers on MTA services should be prepared to use extreme caution on subway staircases and platforms, in bus stops, and on bridge and tunnel roadways during the storm. Crews will spread salt and de-icer to prepare for the expected ice buildup, but if it occurs during the morning rush, it may present hazardous conditions anywhere within the MTA network. Use handrails on staircases, do not run on platforms, stay clear of the platform edge and drive with extra caution to remain safe.
Metro-North and New York City Transit subway trains use special third-rail shoes to keep them clear of snow and ice buildup. Metro-North Railroad crews are armed with chainsaws to clear fallen trees that could block trains, and will pay special attention to overhead catenary wires on the New Haven Line which are susceptible to ice and snow.
Both Metro North and the Long Island RR will run trains throughout the night to patrol for weather-related problems, and will turn on switch heaters to ensure switches continue to function despite cold temperatures and icing.
New York City Transit may reduce normal bus service by up to 15 percent depending on conditions, and articulated buses will be removed from service overnight. All buses operating in the morning rush will be equipped with tire chains to enhance their traction on snow and ice, and supervisors and tow trucks will be posted throughout the city to respond quickly to any buses which are unable to move because of road conditions.
More than 1,000 subway workers will be on duty when the storm hits to clear snow and ice from subway stations, starting first with those stations located outdoors. Depending on the pace and timing of the storm, not all 468 subway stations may be cleared of ice and snow by the beginning of rush hour, so customers are urged to use extreme caution on all staircases and platforms.
Paratransit customers may also experience additional travel and wait times. Customers may want to reconsider travel, unless medically necessary.
MTA Bridges and Tunnels has 98 pieces of snow-fighting equipment on hand. All roadways and ramps leading to its seven bridges and two tunnels will be de-iced regularly throughout the storm. In addition, MTA bridges have embedded roadway sensors that deliver real-time information on wind velocity, wind direction, humidity and precipitation via wireless communication. These sensors help determine which roadways need more de-icing and whether speed restrictions are necessary.