System Shutdown to Begin at Noon Tomorrow

<p>Governor Andrew M. Cuomo this morning directed MTA officials to begin immediately implementing a hurricane plan designed to protect the safety of New Yorkers before, during and after the expected impacts of Hurricane Irene, with latest forecasts showing dangerous conditions reaching the area as early as Saturday evening. Customers are advised to leave plenty of time for travel. Don't take unnecessary chances and don't wait until the last minute to make sure that your family is safe and secure.</p>
<li>The MTA will begin an incremental suspension of its <strong>subway, bus, and Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, and Staten Island Railway</strong> service beginning approximately eight hours prior to sustained 39 mph winds reaching the area. Subway and bus lines will begin shutting down after 12 noon tomorrow.</li>
<li><strong>MTA bridges</strong> will close if winds reach sustained speeds of 60 mph, but this does not preclude them from closing sooner if high winds are coupled with other weather-related conditions including flooding. Each of MTA's seven bridges and two tunnels will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.</li>
<li>In order to facilitate the mandatory evacuations, the MTA will suspend collection of certain <strong>fares and tolls</strong>. Tolls are already suspended at the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge and the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge. Starting at 8:00 PM today, the following changes will go into effect:
<li>Tolls will be suspended on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, Throgs Neck, and Bronx-Whitestone Bridges.</li>
<li>Fares will be suspended on buses throughout the city.</li>
<li>Fares will be suspended for subway and rail passengers at stations in the mandatory evacuation area.</li>
<li>There will be no scheduled pickups after 12 noon on Saturday but <strong>Access-A-Ride and Able-Ride</strong> will be working with OEM providing vehicles for the evacuation for disabled residents. There will be no Access-A-Ride and Able-Ride service on Sunday, August 28 or Monday morning, August 29.</li>
<li>If you don't have to travel tomorrow we strongly suggest staying home.</li>


<p>Monitor for updates.</p>