New York City to shut down subway, buses in advance of Irene


The New York City subway system is the largest public transportation system in the U.S., both in terms of miles and the number of passengers. The system carries 1.6 billion passengers a year.

Washington, D.C.'s Metrorail, the second busiest subway system in the country, has said that it is also preparing for Irene, though the system has not announced plans to cancel any services yet.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which operates Metrorail and Metro buses in the District, said Thursday evening it was fortifying flood-prone train stations with sandbags and would have chainsaws ready to clear any downed trees.

The national passenger rail service, Amtrak, said Thursday it was canceling trains that operate south of Washington over the weekend in anticipation of the hurricane.

A number of airlines have also said they are canceling flights and allowing passengers to change reservations free of charge because of Irene. 

—This post was updated with new information at 2:49 p.m.