Commuters advised to plan for extra time for morning rush - New York News

Commuters advised to plan for extra time for morning rush

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg says commuters should prepare for a slow morning ride into work and are advised to take mass transit.   

HOV restrictions have been lifted but with many subway lines still partially down, New Yorkers are left looking for alternate ways to get to work.

"I've been biking all week," said Omer Schapira. 

Schapira, who is an NYU student, says his commute from his North Greenpoint apartment to downtown Manhattan has been anything but easy this week. 

"It's been like hell, but on the other side of the temperature scale," said Schapira. 

And the Monday morning is unlikely to offer much of a reprieve. 

"Service will not be normal tomorrow and we need you to understand that before you enter the system," said Governor Andrew Cuomo during a Sunday press conference. 

While the MTA says the majority of mass transit services have been restored some subway lines are still not operational at all. 

In Brooklyn, for example, the L and G lines are among those still flooded. 

"What would have been a 20 minute commute is now going to be like an hour," said Liz Warner, a commuter.   

"I have to get up an hour earlier and kind of map out what my route is going to be," added Mildred Floran, another commuter. 

And the service maps are seemingly changing by the hour. 

As of now, Metro North lines will be running on near-regular schedules and the Long Island Railroad and New Jersey Transit will have modified service on most lines. 

Officials warn mass transit will likely be more crowded Monday as schools reopen and commuters who normally drive leave their cars at home amidst the gas shortage. 

But that‘s not to say the roads won't be crowded. The mayor has lifted HOV restrictions on the bridges and tunnels into Manhattan -- and gridlock is expected. 

"Tomorrow (Monday) your morning commute is probably going to be a little slower than usual. Joe Lhota said they're not going to have as many trains on the tracks as normally do but you should be able to count on getting to work using mass transit, just allow a little bit extra time," said Mayor Bloomberg.

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