NYC subway chief: ‘Never faced a disaster as devastating’ as Sandy

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“We are assessing the extent of the damage and beginning the process of recovery,” he said. “Our employees have shown remarkable dedication over the past few days, and I thank them on behalf of every New Yorker. In 108 years, our employees have never faced a challenge like the one that confronts us now. All of us at the MTA are committed to restoring the system as quickly as we can to help bring New York back to normal.” 

The New York subway system is the busiest public transit network in the U.S., with more than 5 million riders daily. The system was shut down Sunday night in advance of the storm, and rumors spread Monday night that it might remain closed for a week because of the damage. 

However, the MTA said on its Twitter account that the rumors were untrue because the transit agency “cannot assess damage until Tuesday. It is way too early for a subway reopening timetable.” 

The MetroRail system in Washington, D.C., which is the second-most heavily used transit system in the U.S., also shut down Monday as Hurricane Sandy approached.

The agency that runs the Metro system, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), has not reported any damage to its railways yet. 

The D.C. transit authority said Tuesday morning that it will reopen on a “limited” schedule at 2 p.m. Tuesday afternoon. The agency said it expects to have normal rush-hour service by Wednesday morning. 

Transit systems in Boston and Philadelphia were also shut down Monday for Sandy. Officials in Boston said its T subway system would be back up and running by 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning, while Philadelphia's Southeast Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) was still closed.