New York subway system. A\J AlternativesJournal.ca Active MTA service one day after Hurricane Sandy; map by Chuck Gordanier

NEW YORK CITY’S METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY (MTA) called the devastation and flooding during last fall’s Hurricane Sandy the biggest disaster the subway system had ever endured. At the first post-storm board meeting, MTA chairman Joe Lhota insisted that “the burden of Sandy will not be upon our riders,” and 80 per cent of service was restored within a week. In March, a pre-planned fare increase takes effect, which will now help fund the ongoing repair effort.

An animated map of NYC subway service recovery during the week after Hurricane Sandy. See the full-size image here.

US$70,000,000,000 in damages to the states of New York and New Jersey alone

US$10,000,000,000 in damages to transportation infrastructure (1/2 absorbed by the MTA)

90-95% of those damage costs that FEMA and insurance companies are expected to cover

10 subway tunnels between Manhattan and Brooklyn that Sandy flooded

43,000,000 gallons of water that flooded the Brooklyn-Battery tunnel

US$268,000,000 in lost revenue to MTA due to the storm

3,000 tonnes of debris removed from Rockaway Line, which provides rapid transit to Queens

20,000 tonnes of new material needed to repair the Rockaway Line area

7,500,000 riders that use MTA buses and subways on an average weekday

8-9% fare increase (effective in March), which will raise US$277-million in annual revenue

US$9,000,000,000 requested in federal aid (by NY governor Andrew Cuomo) to protect transit systems, the power network and sewage treatment facilities against future storms

Julie is an urban planning graduate student at the University of Waterloo, focusing on sustainable transportation.

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