Two weeks after Sandy, commutes still chaotic
Though the subway system has been almost fully restored in New York City, commuters coming from Staten Island and New Jersey still face rail closures and long lines two weeks after hurricane Sandy.
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Dan Clement, an attorney with his own practice, normally travels from Montclair, New Jersey, to midtown Manhattan on New Jersey Transit trains. Since the storm, he has relied on buses, which he says take at least twice as long. He has had to wait in line for hours and plans his exit from the city strategically.Skip to next paragraph
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"What's happening now is that everyone's panicking about not getting home so the line starts forming at 3 p.m.," he said. "So you start looking at your watch at 1 p.m. You're in the frame of mind where you have to pick up and go, and it's a terrible way to work."
"Every hour I don't work is an hour I can't bill," he said.
Clement said he was trying to charter a bus to pick up 50 people and bring them back to his area at the end of the day.
The New York metropolitan area, the U.S. capital for industries such as finance, media and fashion, is home to 22 million people and has the country's highest proportion of workers who commute by public transportation - 30.5 percent, according to the Census Bureau. On a normal day, the region also has the nation's longest average commute time: 34.6 minutes.
New Jersey Transit trains - one of the main transport arteries into the city - carried 23,000 passengers into New York's Penn Station during last week's morning rush hours, half the usual number, said Nancy Snyder, a spokeswoman for NJT.