More commuter tales: ‘Miracle’ transportation agency takes a bow, motorists line up for gas that isn’t there

MTA chairman Joe Lhota. (MTA flickr)
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New Jersey Transit reportedly suffered a power failure earlier toady, a transit setback amid other signs of progress in the system as it comes back online after the hurricane.

M.T.A. spokesman Adam Lisberg has been aggressively cheering his agency, as have other people who don't actually work there. 

Andrew Siff shot this picture from the front seat of his car, showing a backed-up Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, where HOV rules are still in effect.

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Finding gas is a chore. Councilman David Greenfield confirmed a report that a gas station in Bay Ridge has gas to sell. There was also some at Kings Plaza and on Crescent Street in Long Island City as of an hour ago.

There are lines. "Wow after waiting 5 hours for gas at the Mobil in Queens on Hillside Ave, the cops came and asked everyone to disperse," wrote John Nova on Twitter.

Last night, Councilman Jumaane Williams told me there were more than 100 cars lined up at a gas station in Brooklyn which had run out of gas to sell and was waiting for a re-supply several hours later.

Bikers continued to revel in their relative mobility. A Times news assistant, Nicole DeSmet, called her ride into Midtown "smooth". "Love my bike commute," she said.

Northern Manhattan resident and playwright Charlotte Rahn-Lee provided details of her commute to Brooklyn. The A train at by 168th Street was a faster option, by far, than the south-bound lanes on Broadway. It was "not at all crowded!"

Then, she got further south. "The scene at 34th Street, the end of the current subway service, is much more chaotic" than further north, by 53rd Street, where she caught the bus.

At around 9:30 a.m., Rahn-Lee said she saw lots of MTA buses, "some super crowded, some empty."

Further highlighting the trading-places theme, Brooklyn traffic "is much worse than Manhattan traffic," Rahn-Lee said. Manhattan bus lanes were working, while the one on Flatbush Avenue "is very crowded."

She said there was an "enormous" crowd at the Barclays Center.

Iman Criner saw a similar crowd there too. But at least there was someone serving coffee there.

Rahn-Lee seemed summed up the temporary new normal: "At work! Two hours and twenty minutes, all told. Not too bad!"

The scene at Alice Tully Hall, where Upper West Side residents were lining up for the M66 bus, didn't appear so bad. 

In Williamsburg, the line for the J train shuttle at Hewes Street and Broadway "is really long but moves really fast," according to Edwin Allen.

South Brooklyn resident Denise Reina said she "had to be driven to the furthest bus stop" for her commute this morning. There, she caught an express bus, and took about an hour to get within eyeshot of Manhattan.

This guy actually sounded optimistic about his train ride into Penn Station, saying "so far, so good." His commute took two hours.