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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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Despite the scale of the disruption, some experts say New York has coped well and other parts of the United States would have suffered worse disruption.

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"What's interesting in New York is how the city has been able to adapt based on the diversity of its transport system," said Eric Dumbaugh, director of Florida Atlantic University's School of Urban & Regional Planning, referring to the switch of many rail commuters to buses.

"If you hit Florida with that kind of storm, we'd be absolutely crippled."

Some commuters who live close enough to their work started walking and riding bikes. Two studies showed the number of cyclists in Manhattan doubled immediately after the storm.

For many, the uncertainty of when the disruptions will end is as big a problem as the daily delays.

"Even if it's an answer we don't like, we want an answer," said Joshua Crandall, founder and president of CleverCommute, an email and Twitter-based service for commuters to share information about transit services in real time. It has seen a surge in users since the storm.

"If I can't get to my office, and I know I can't for a while, then maybe I'll sublet, or maybe I'll invest in remote-working technology. That's what's getting under peoples' skin - they don't know what's coming."

Editing by William Schomberg

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