Live Video: President Obama Speaks in Bristow, VA

Dark_Falcon11/04/2012 6:40:06 am PST

Here’s City Journal’s Nicole Gelinas, talking about the importance of New York City’s underground infrastructure. No wingnut she, as she gives the MTA unstinted praise for its work in keeping New York going after Hurricane Sandy:

One thing had made the difference even more than the vehicle restrictions: the subways were falteringly running again. The buses that the MTA had restored by Wednesday morning simply couldn’t replace the subways. Still, there were big gaps in Thursday’s subway service. The MTA could provide trains from the Bronx and parts of Queens to midtown Manhattan, and also within parts of Brooklyn. But until it got tubes dry and the power back on, it couldn’t send trains to lower Manhattan or to Brooklyn.

Hence the “bus bridges”: 330 buses to head from downtown Brooklyn over the Williamsburg and Manhattan Bridges through midtown Manhattan to try to close the service gap. Though Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants Sunday’s New York City marathon to be a symbol that New York is open for business and pleasure, the real symbol was the convoys of buses that got New York moving again. The waits were long and the service slow, but MTA managers and workers remained organized and competent throughout. The MTA’s actions hearteningly showed that the agency will always find a way to keep New York moving.

As of Friday afternoon, it’s unclear how long it will take to repair the region’s transportation assets entirely. The MTA is still waiting for power to run subways through downtown. The Metro-North Railroad and the Long Island Rail Road are running limited service, as is New Jersey Transit. But PATH train tubes and stations between Manhattan and New Jersey are still flooded. The Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, too, remains filled end to end with 85 million gallons—what Cuomo called “a mile of water.” Army pumps are draining it. Still severing subway service between Manhattan and Brooklyn is the power blackout in lower Manhattan: subways run on electricity.