Stayed home today? You might've made the right call. While the MTA and the city government are doing absolutely everything to clean up the mess Hurricane Sandy left in its tracks, things are still shaky in lower Manhattan and large parts of Brooklyn. If you're wondering exactly what's happening in terms of transportation — and not just formal updates and initiatives but real, word-of-mouth information — this is the place. We'll be live-updating this post as more info comes in.
Latest update: Friday, November 2, 8:30 a.m.
Power: A ConEd rep on Bloomberg Radio announced this morning that Manhattan should have power back by tonight!
Cabs/cars: Definitely don't bother driving or taking a cab — it's going to take you forever. Traffic is crazy, and while the city's allowing cab drivers to pick up as many fares as they want in one go, they're not exactly following Bloomberg's suggestion to charge "fair" rates (or pick up multiple passengers). We heard from one unlucky Manhattanite that not only did it take an hour to get from Flatiron to the Upper East Side, but the driver attempted to charge her and the friend she was traveling with $20 each.
Bus: Some of the regular buses are running with limited service, but there are delays and lines are mind-blowingly big, as you can see in the photo above. One friend of R29 tried to take a bus from Clinton Hill to outer Queens today and ended up completely stranded in the middle of nowhere when the Q54 just never came. So, if you do decide to take a bus, make sure you're prepared with a smart phone, a map, or some other way to develop a backup plan should your bus be late, overcrowded, or simply absent.
Shuttles: A number of shuttle buses are in place to make up for lost subway service. Shuttles run North and Southbound along 3rd Avenue (Lexington Avenue for Southbound below 23rd Street) and stop at 9th Street, 14th Street, 23 Street, 33th Street, 42th Street, and 54th Street.
Ferry: Another way to make the jump from Brooklyn to Manhattan is the ferry — but, like the buses, it's extremely crowded. One reader arrived at the Pier 6/34th St stop in Manhattan at 4:45 with an aim to make the last 6 p.m. ferry, if not an early departure, and had to give up because of the massive line!
The East River Ferry is running with limited service, making a Northern loop with stops at North Williamsburg, Long Island City, and East 34th Street; and a southern loop, with stops at North Williamsburg, Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO, and Wall Street/Pier 11. Free transfer is available at North Williamsburg and the NY Waterway is running a free bus service from E 34th St. Read more here.
General Safety: We've heard from our friends and coworkers in lower Manhattan that things can get a bit scary after sunset. Think about it — lots of people walking around with their laptops, cell phones, and other expensive devices on the pitch-black street? (Last night, for instance, people were asking to "borrow" one R29er's phone.) Compared to some similarly disastrous weather events, there's been little looting in Manhattan over the past few days, but still — you never know. If you're heading uptown, try and make it there before it gets dark.