While the New York City and Philadelphia public transportation systems threw in the towel to Hurricane Sandy on Sunday, several hours before the tempest hit, the MBTA stayed open until Monday afternoon, giving its customers some extra time to get their affairs in order ahead of what was expected to be an immense storm.
"We felt it was necessary to make sure we maintained service for as long was we could to accommodate our customers," MBTA Acting General Manager Jonathan Davis told Metro today. "We understand that our services are vital to get people to their jobs and things they need, like medical appointments, so we felt it necessary to stay open for as long as possible."
The MBTA announced around 10:15 a.m. Monday that it would suspend subway, bus, and commuter rail service starting at 2 p.m.
When it will start running again, Davis said, is yet to be determined.
"But one of the things the 2 p.m. cut off of service lets us do is allow customers and employees to safely leave the system so we can clear the right of ways. We're hearing there will be strong winds in this area. The hurricane has strengthened recently, so we are expecting winds up to 90 miles per hour, which means trees will be down. We plan to expeditiously remove debris to be able to provide service as soon as we can," Davis said.
As for the early closings of Philadelphia's SEPTA and New York City's MTA, Davis pointed to Boston's location as a factor for the ability of its transportation system to stay open longer.
"Other transit systems have to make their own decisions," he said. "We're further north than those cities, and the conditions here are different than what they're facing down there. We hope their systems come out unscathed and up and running quickly to accommodate their customers."