How "Train Nerds" Saved NYC's Subway from Sandy

It took an effort that was both well-planned and ad-hoc to save NYC's backbone from Hurricane Sandy, and have the city's transit system back up and running again soon after the storm. Robert Sullivan examines that effort and what happens next time.

"The subway is the Mississippi River of personal commerce in New York, for people who work in Midtown, Dumbo, Wall Street. For three days after Sandy hit, it was stopped dead, and for another two days after that, only part of it was running. The closure proved once again that New York does not function without its subway."

"When you look closely at it now, a year later, in the midst of another Atlantic hurricane season, you see all the ways in which the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and New York City Transit failed and triumphed," writes Sullivan. "And you see what it will take to keep the system going: technological improvements, yes, but also the oldest technology of all — the knowledge of the people who run the subway, many of whom have been there for their entire working lives."

"This year, should a Sandy-like storm show up, it won’t encounter a transportation system that has changed conspicuously," he adds. "But the thinking of the people running it has. As one senior official puts it, 'We definitely had tremendous lessons learned.'”

Full Story: Could New York City Subways Survive Another Hurricane?

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