As mass transportation to and from Boston was virtually shut down Friday, bus and train commuters left stranded at Penn Station after the indefinite suspension of service from New York to Boston and other Northeastern cities were left with few travel options.
Northeast Corridor service and part of Amtrak's Downeaster, which runs from Brunswick, Maine, to Boston, were halted early Friday afternoon, spokesman Cliff Cole said. All major intercity bus lines also suspended service to the area.
Greyhound, Megasbus, Bolt Bus and Peter Pan Bus Lines suspended service. Greyhound spokesman Timothy Stokes said that the company's bus service won't resume in Boston until early Saturday morning. The first express bus service into Boston will leave New York City at 2 a.m. Saturday, he said.
Passengers booked on canceled Bolt trips received refunds to their credit cards, Stokes said. Megabus canceled at least 22 buses between Boston and New York, New Haven, Conn., Hartford, Burlington, Vt. and Philadelphia. More than 1,000 passengers were affected, spokesman Mike Alvich said. They received emails offering a refund or the option to rebook for free.
MASS TRANSIT RESUMES IN BOSTON
Authorities in Boston had suspended all mass transit and warned close to 1 million people in the entire city and some of its suburbs to stay indoors.
Rebecca Fox, 28, was headed to Providence to spend the weekend with her boyfriend and family. The Yeshiva University law student arrived at Penn 30 minutes before her train was supposed to depart. News of her train's "indefinite suspension" left her stranded at the station.
"If I wasn't trying to be respectful, I would give them a piece of my mind," she said. "I don't know what I'm going to do now."
Amtrak passengers were being allowed to get refunds or rebook for travel at a later date. And the airlines were allowing customers to change plans without paying a fee.
Fox said that on her way to Penn, she routinely checked her phone but never received a service notice about her train's suspension.
"Knowing that I was going to see my boyfriend helped get me through the week, and now I might not get to see him. I still cannot believe this."
Linda Marandola, 51, was heading back home to Cranston, R.I. after celebrating her 25th wedding anniversary with her husband in Philadelphia. Her train was stopped in New York en route.
The school psychologist said she wasn't so much worried about her train delay as was her daughter, an economics and political science student at Boston College.
"I'm just worried about her safety," she said.
Mandarola said that she and her daughter were emailing, but for reasons unknown to her, the university told students not to call or text.
Diana Trout, 64, was headed to Boston for her daughter's baby shower from her hometown in Philadelphia when she was stopped in New York.
"I feel sorry for all the people that are being held up here," she said. "This one guy made it disappointing and inconvenient for a lot of people."
Trout felt apprehensive and anxious heading to Boston, but said that nothing was going to deter her from seeing her daughter, who was driving from Boston to New York to pick her up.
"It's important for me to be there for her. I'm not going to miss this baby shower."
All major highways remained open, according to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. The exception was in Watertown, Mass., where the massive manhunt was centered.
Across much of the Boston area, streets that would normally be bustling were quiet.
People largely heeded officials' pleas, said Bob Trane, an elected alderman in Somerville, which abuts Cambridge, about 5 miles northeast of Watertown.
"I'm just like everybody else in Greater Boston, just staying at home, glued to the television," Trane said. "There is nobody out in the streets, very few cars, very few people walking."
With The Associated Press