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Gov. Cuomo Announces Additional Mass Transit Restoration Plans

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Crews were quickly working Thursday to get rail networks back on track following the devastating toll Superstorm Sandy took on New York City Transit and parts of the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad.

LINK: Updated Information On MTA Transit

Thursday evening, Gov. Andrew Cuomo made additional announcements concerning the mass transit situation moving forward.

Here is transportation situation for commuters:

New York City Transit:

  • 7 Line service between Flushing Main Street and 74th St. in Queens will begin by early Friday morning.
  • Limited M service from Jamaica Center along Queens Boulevard, through the 63rd St. tunnel to 34th Street/Herald Square in Manhattan began Thursday afternoon.

Long Island Rail Road:

  • Long Island Rail Road is restoring limited hourly service for Friday morning's rush from Huntington to Penn Station and from Babylon to Penn Station.

Metro-North Railroad:

  • Close to regularly scheduled service on the Hudson Line between Croton-Harmon and Grand Central Terminal.
  • Close to regularly scheduled service on the Hudson Line between Croton-Harmon and Grand Central Terminal.
  • Close to regularly scheduled service on the New Haven Line between New Haven and Grand Central Terminal.

Meanwhile, the MTA said that further restoration of normal subway service is dependent on Con Edison fully restoring power from Lower Manhattan up to 36th Street.

"The East River tunnels that carry the 4, 5 and F trains are now free of water.  The tracks are dry, the signal testing has been completed. Service can be restored within two hours of restoration of power by Con Ed," Cuomo said Thursday afternoon.

"I still don't have a definitive time table, though, about when we'll be able to get full line subway service rolling south of 34th Street," the MTA's Aaron Donovan told 1010 WINS.

Meanwhile, the situation for drivers using the bridges and tunnels into Manhattan will be the same on Friday as it was Thursday.  The NYPD is enforcing the HOV-3 person rule for passenger cars entering Manhattan between 6 a.m. and midnight with the George Washington Bridge being the exception.

For those that rely on the MTA's commuter rail lines, Thursday morning marked a first.

It was the first morning commute since Sandy hit that service was available on the LIRR and Metro-North. All service will be free through Friday at midnight.

LINKS: Ronkonkoma Schedule | Port Washington Schedule

WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs On The Story In Hicksville


Penn Station reopened to customers Wednesday night at 6:45 p.m.

WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs reported from the Hicksville station that commuters were extremely comforted to hear the sound of an approaching train's horn.

Riders showed up two hours early to catch the resumed service.

"This is the first time I've been into the city since the storm," one commuter told 1010 WINS' Sonia Rincon.

1010 WINS' Sonia Rincon reports from Penn Station


"It's a big relief. I can go back to work again," one construction worker told Xirinachs. "I don't make money if I don't work."

"It's a necessity that we need," said another man. "There's no other way without it."

"Hey. Listen. I'm a New Yorker. Whatever comes, I can handle it," still another said.

WCBS 880's Paul Murnane On The Story In Stamford


LINKS: Harlem Line Schedule | New Haven Line Schedule

"We are working on the Hudson line," Anders said. "The Hudson line was the hardest hit. The Hudson River actually came up over the tracks on many, many places on the Hudson line."

1010 WINS' Gene Michaels reports from Grand Central Terminal


To make up for the MTA's lost revenues due to service outages and limited schedules, Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced that FEMA will fully reimburse New York City and New York State for the cost of the emergency public transportation.

FEMA will also fully reimburse the city and state for the costs of restoring power. Record numbers of customers across the Tri-State Area lost power from Sandy.

The total reimbursement was approved at the request of President Barack Obama, who toured the devastation in New Jersey on Wednesday.

FEMA is required by law to pay 75 percent of certain damages, but can, in the case of major disasters, reimburse as much as 90 percent or 100 percent.

"This is a good first step on FEMA's part, and an indication that they know how serious the damage from the storm is," Sen. Schumer said. "This was not a New York disaster, or a New Jersey disaster or a Connecticut disaster, but a national disaster, and FEMA and the federal government should be providing help to the region to the full extent they can. I will continue to push the feds to reimburse the city and state for the full costs of repair and recovery for all aspects of the disaster."

The funds will cover emergency transportation and power restoration costs from Oct. 30 to Nov. 9.

"I thank FEMA for stepping up and fully covering emergency public transportation and power costs to New York," Sen. Gillibrand said. "This was one of the worst storms we have ever experienced and I will continue the push to secure the maximum federal funding our families need to recover and rebuild."

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