Give It a Few Weeks Before the R Train Returns


Yesterday, we reported on the MTA’s no-refund policy enacted in the aftermath of Sandy. Although no reason was given, the situation provided enough explanation: the agency was out a significant amount of cash flow and paying back all those fares definitely wouldn’t have helped. So straphangers are forced to saddle up and act (with their wallets) like it never happened.

However, the MTA has another bit of bad news.

It turns out the Montague St. Tunnel, which connects Brooklyn Heights and Lower Manhattan, was flooded the worst of any of the mechanical waterways. Like, the L train tunnel was bad but this is really, really bad. We’re talking floor to ceiling flooding, with water gushing in at the Whitehall/South Ferry stop and coming up a steep slope near the riverbank in Brooklyn. At one point, it was about five hundred feet from the Court St. station.

So, get used to hearing “There are no R trains between Jay St. MetroTech and 34th Street – Herald Square” for a little bit. Because, according to the Daily News, the R train won’t be back to full strength for at least a few more weeks.

In total, there are seven East River tunnels, all of which were flooded the night of the storm. As we know, the MTA workers went above and beyond to get that water out of there as fast as possible – the L train being the most recent recovery. With that being said, this Montague St. Tunnel must be in shambles if it’s going to take this long.

The N and the Q will get you to most of the stops the R makes in Manhattan at least but not all. So, R train commuters, you might be out of luck for a little bit. Settle in. Find a few alternatives to offset your dependency on the line. It is getting colder out but a bike is always an option. Also, the buses saved me a much longer commute – check if they’re near your route.

And, hey, it is the Brooklyn Bridge that the R train goes underneath, right? Don’t forget that that bridge was made for walking.

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