A Month And A Half After Sandy, The R Train Returns To Full Service By Friday


If the 12/12/12 concert last week told us anything, it was that Paul McCartney’s Nirvana fill-in was something we should talk about more as a society. And that, a month and a half later, there’s still a ton of work to do in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

When the storm hit two days before Halloween, the MTA’s service used by millions of people every single morning, afternoon and night blacked out across the five boroughs. Free shuttle buses replaced subways for a few days and hundreds, if not thousands, of commuters were forced to walk or bike across the bridges that connect us. My bike hasn’t been the same since that week.
Most lines were up and at ’em in a few days time; the L train taking a little over a week or so. And the H train was revived in the Rockaways to aid those displaced in light of the A train’s collapse. But the R train wasn’t so lucky: the train that runs from South Brooklyn to Queens faced with the worst flooding of all lines, with the Montague Tunnel – the underground passage below the Brooklyn Bridge – totally out of commission for the time being.
Except, to use a bad expression that should be expected in this story, there is a light at the end of the very dark tunnel. Say goodbye to your friends on the 2/3 and 4/5 lines. R train riders, you’ll be able to pass to and fro Brooklyn Heights and Lower Manhattan by the end of this week.


Since the R train’s preeminent doom post-Sandy, the line has undergone a few restorations to relieve a bit of stress. Basically, all stops before and after the Brooklyn Bridge are not accessible; you just can’t go underneath the Bridge. Also, the Q train has been running local at a few stops to fend off congestion.
According to Gothamist and the MTA watchdog Second Avenue Sagas, the announcement for full service by Friday was made at the MTA Board’s committee hearings by Carmen Bianco, head of the Department of Subways for the mass transit agency. This comes a week after that same Board introduced their proposed fare hike for straphangers.
But, hey, at least the R train’s back, right? And, of course, just in time for the holidays.