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Cuomo: Free rides on rails, buses Thursday and Friday

Andrew Cuomo surveys the damage in Long Beach

Andrew Cuomo surveys the damage in Long Beach (getty) Credit: Andrew Cuomo surveys the damage in Long Beach (getty)

Noting the crippling traffic in the city Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said fares on subways, buses and commuter rails will be waived on Thursday and Friday, declaring a “transportation emergency” in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

“The gridlock we experienced today shows that the New York metropolitan region is in a transportation emergency,” Cuomo said at a 10 p.m. news conference. “To get people out of their cars and onto mass transit, I immediately authorized the MTA to suspend transit fares through the end of the work week.”

The free service will take effect Thursday at 12:01 a.m. until 11:59 p.m. on Friday. The free rides will also be avalabile on Access-a-Ride.

Earlier in the day, Cuomo and Lhota said the MTA would resume service 6 a.m. Thursday on 14 of its 23 subway lines, but trains would not run south of 34th Street because power had not yet been restored to the area.

To get commuters from Brooklyn into Manhattan, 330 buses will be used as "bus bridges" on Thursday, Cuomo said, running from the Barclays Center, MetroTech and Hewes Street station. Buses will also take commuters up Third Avenue and down Lexington Ave.

At the evening press conference with Cuomo, Llhota also said he expects more subway service will be activated on Friday.

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