New York declares 'transportation emergency,' requires carpools on Manhattan bridges

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Each official cast the moves as necessary to help New York recover from widespread damage caused by Sandy.

“The gridlock we experienced today shows that the New York metropolitan region is in a transportation emergency,” Cuomo said in a statement released by his office.

“I think anybody that tried to drive around New York City today realized there are a lot of cars on the road," Bloomberg said in press conference Wednesday afternoon. "Traffic is very heavy."

Bloomberg said it was necessary to require carpools on Manhattan roads because "[T]he streets just cannot handle the number of cars that have tried to come in.

"I’ve ordered that the four East River bridges be restricted to High Occupancy Vehicles only tonight — coming into Manhattan — meaning three or more people per vehicle — all day on Thursday and all day on Friday 6 a.m. to midnight," he said. “So from 6 a.m. to midnight, if you’re coming into Manhattan on one of those bridges, you have to have three people in the car."

Bloomberg and Cuomo said New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) was establishing bus-only lanes to replace subway trains that are unable to run between Manhattan and Brooklyn.