Bloomberg Announces Carpool Rule for Manhattan-Bound Drivers

After a morning and afternoon when car traffic completely clogged NYC streets and river crossings, Mayor Bloomberg announced new restrictions for drivers entering Manhattan via bridges and tunnels on Thursday and Friday. On most crossings, only cars with three or more people will be allowed to enter Manhattan.

A curb-to-curb traffic jam on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn this afternoon. Photo: ##https://twitter.com/Naparstek/status/263636871064735744/photo/1##@Naparstek##

“Anybody that tried to drive around New York City today realized there are a lot of cars on the road,” Bloomberg said at a press conference. “The streets can only handle so much.”

From 6 a.m. to midnight tomorrow and Friday, only motor vehicles with three or more occupants are allowed to cross the Lincoln Tunnel, Henry Hudson Parkway, Triboro RFK Bridge, Queensboro Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge, Manhattan Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge. The Holland Tunnel, Hugh Carey (Brooklyn Battery) Tunnel and Queens Midtown Tunnel remain closed. Harlem River bridges managed by DOT and the George Washington Bridge were not named by the mayor for HOV-3 restrictions.

Mayor Bloomberg said that Governor Cuomo had agreed to HOV-3 restrictions on MTA bridges connecting to Manhattan.

The restriction will apply to taxis, except for the hours between 4 p.m. and midnight to facilitate shift changes. Exemptions also apply to paratransit, commercial and emergency vehicles.

Bloomberg also said that there will be “bus lanes on key corridors.” The HOV restrictions themselves should also help bus riders get where they need to go, as fewer cars jam the streets.

Earlier this afternoon, Cuomo and the MTA announced a partial restoration of subways and temporary bus service between Manhattan and Brooklyn, effective tomorrow morning.

  • Dtmbaby

    I HAVE A TWO SEAT WORK VAN PUTTING A THIRD PERSON IN IS ILLEGAL WHAT DO I DO CALL OUT OF SORK FOR TWO DAYS?

  • Bellydoc

    What happens when I can’t get across the bridge to come in to perform a transplant?  Should I have the idiot Mayor come in a perform it?

  • Thalia8899

    What if you Are a nurse? I need to go help my coworkers and patients??

  • manha

    this rule is crazy for reverse commuters who live in Manhattan. Exceptions should be granted for those with residence in manhattan

  • L0uiethefly

    U take GW to 95north to either throgs neck br or Whitestone

  • L0uiethefly

    U take GW to 95north to either throgs neck br or Whitestone

  • Martacfigueroa

    I need to drive since I need to be at work at 8 am and I’m in Flatbush.  I would drive trying to cross the bridge before 6 am, but then what happen to come back?  I do not mind taking anyone with me to Manhattan, but since I need to be at work at 8 and I work in the upper west side, I need to leave early, and even earlier tomorrow since it is going to be crazy to try to cross the bridge with all that traffic.  I have space in my car for 7 people.  They can meet me if you are going to Manhattan  and don’t mind going early.  Send me an email to martacfigueroa@yahoo.com so we can plan. I am near Ocean Avenue and Parkside.  Need to communicate by email since my cell phone is not working since yesterday due to limited service from Verizon cause by Sandy.

  • Martacfigueroa

    I need to drive since I need to be at work at 8 am and I’m in Flatbush.  I would drive trying to cross the bridge before 6 am, but then what happen to come back?  I do not mind taking anyone with me to Manhattan, but since I need to be at work at 8 and I work in the upper west side, I need to leave early, and even earlier tomorrow since it is going to be crazy to try to cross the bridge with all that traffic.  I have space in my car for 7 people.  They can meet me if you are going to Manhattan  and don’t mind going early.  Send me an email to martacfigueroa@yahoo.com so we can plan. I am near Ocean Avenue and Parkside.  Need to communicate by email since my cell phone is not working since yesterday due to limited service from Verizon cause by Sandy.

  • Martacfigueroa

    By the way, I’m going from Flatbush all the way to 475 Riversidy Drive in the Upper West Side.  Anybody going that way is welcome.  I will not charge anybody. I’m trying to get to work.

  • Anonymous

    To all the people who are complaining about how the HOV3 rules will inconvenience them, there is a very simple solution.  Just pick up a couple of passengers on your way into the city.  You will surely see many people near the approaches to Manhattan waiting for either buses or taxis.  Pull over and invite at least 2 of them to ride with you.  Problem solved.

  • Simon1111

    Taking strangers into the car????? 

  • In the Bay Area when 3-person carpools were free going across the Bay Bridge and everyone else had to pay, it was extremely popular to pick up passengers for impromptu carpools. Thousands of people did this everyday for years. No one died.

  • Martacfigueroa

    Everybody is complaining, but no one sent me a message they are willing to travel with me.  I’m offering to take people with me, but since I have to go so far from Flatbush to W 120th in upper west side I’m not asking for anybody to drive me. Again if you are interested email me at martacfigueroa@yahoo.com

  • Martacfigueroa

    After reading some of the comments here I don’t understand the complaints about people driving to work tomorrow.  I have two cars and I commute by train every day.  But where I leave the trains B & Q are not in service.  Taking the bus is ok, but to where.  I work at the upper west side.  How many buses I need to take and then how long will it take me?  I work at 8 am.  The obtion is to drive

  • Martacfigueroa

    After reading some of the comments here I don’t understand the complaints about people driving to work tomorrow.  I have two cars and I commute by train every day.  But where I leave the trains B & Q are not in service.  Taking the bus is ok, but to where.  I work at the upper west side.  How many buses I need to take and then how long will it take me?  I work at 8 am.  The obtion is to drive

  • Ricanmedic78

    No one seems to care about this fact. i live in lower Manhattan but have to stay with friends because i have no water or electricity. now i can’t go back home????

  • Guest

    This is only for cars trying to enter Manhattan right? I can still use the RFK to get to Westchester?

  • L0uiethefly

    It’s time for new Yorkers to help each other, besides you might meet some great people

  • L0uiethefly

    Yes as long as you’re entering on the Bronx side

  • Reading this thread it sounds like the streets today were just clogged with doctors and nurses on their way to heroically transplant organs. That’s great, tomorrow they can ride together and get to the hospital in one hour instead of three.

  • Pissedoffnyer

    How about people that live in manhattan and have to drive outside manhattan to work and guess what no trains. So i can leave and go to work and when i want to come home guess what? Im not allowed to go to MY home which i pay for. Not to mention the taxes i pay. Hmmm this plan sounds really smart….but then again were the smart ones who voted this mayor for 3 terms

  • MusicMan

    I usually drive my two seat Ferrari to work on Fridays. Guess I’ll have to buy a new Escalade tomorrow

  • Deloressteele Rn

    the way i travel into upper manhattan from lower brooklyn.. well it is not a popular site.. i work as an rn for 12 hour shifts which, considering the circumstances now, is a 14-15 hour shift.  i’m not taking a 3 hour trip to and from manhattan to turn around and do it again the next day.. i’ll kill a pt.  yes i’m a nurse.. you want me to do my job.. don’t hinder me from doing it, period

  • Andrew

    Folks: As today’s traffic proved, there simply isn’t enough space on the city’s streets for everybody with a car to drive into Manhattan alone.  Those of you who drove not only encountered delays but also delayed those behind you – including very large quantities of bus riders – and made for a miserable travel experience for cyclists and pedestrians (since as usual there was no attempt whatsoever to enforce any traffic laws).

    This isn’t a matter of making sure that everybody can get everywhere they want to go however they want to get there. It’s a matter of giving priority to those who take up the least space on the streets – pedestrians, cyclists, bus riders, and HOV’s – so that the streets will still be able to accommodate many, though not all, of those who wish to use them. It is simply unacceptable to subject bus riders, who consume very little street space, to the absurd traffic jams we saw today, caused entirely by SOV’s.

  • Tiffanyguerra1

    i just dont understand it if i have to go to work one way and someone goes the other way I’m not going to be late r put more gas to drive someone around to were they have to go gas is not cheep 

  • fj

    Funny, guess it seems that brain transplants don’t work so good . . .

  • fj

    Pissedoffnyer, if they banned cars great transportation would be amazing because the threat to life & limb for simply moving about will be no more.

    What a dream that would be.

  • fj

    Yes, the monopoly of transportation systems based on cars make it often extremely difficult if not impossible to use other modes not to mention to develop & deploy much more advanced & much better ways to travel: safe, low cost, minimal impact on the environment, faster, greater range, practical . . .

    Cars are a really bad design

  • fj

    The people here promotiing the idea that we must have transportation systems based on cars are promoting one of the fundamental causes of the emergency we are in today & the long term crisis that caused it & will continue to cause other extreme weather events with accelerating frequency which is now — yes now — the new normal.

    Have a nice day.

  • fj

    The people here promoting car use are like smokers dying of lung cancer who take one last puff.

  • fj
  • BS

    i live in the city and work in queens and travel alone. i wake up at 5am as is to start at 7 am. so tell me with these restrictions how am i going to get home???

  • Dejawu

    What nonsense? I am a New York City resident and work in PA. Where the hell am I going to get 3 people from?

  • Martacfigueroa

    For those that travel from Queen you can take the Throgs Neck Bridge and there is no restrictions.  Coming from Brooklyn, I cross the Manthattan bridge at 5 am and there was no restrictions because it starts at 6 am. 

  • Anonymous

    To all those heroic surgeons on their way to the hospital: I’m sure that if you drive your car alone in such a situation and you get stopped by the police, they’ll let you go once you show them proof that you are in fact a surgeon and explain the situation. Even though such a traffic stop may delay you a few minutes, it’s still way better than the hour of delay you’d experience if the city let everyone bring their car into Manhattan.

  • JCC

    Does anyone know if you can use the 208 St. Bridge or the Willis Ave Ave or Macombs Dam Bridge with less than 3 people?

  • John

    Got some idiot cop not allowing non-hov cars to enter the BQE entrance ramp itself. This is the BQE, NOT a bridge crossing. Told him I was going home to Queens. His response “I don’t care. You need 3 people in the car” IDIOT !!!

  • Palendariusz

    live in queens work in jersey city night shift starts at 10 pm got to use verezano to get to work that so stupid blomberg ass…

  • Gmandarling

    Does anyone know if you  can take the Triborough bridge ramp coming into Brooklyn without 3 people? Is that entrance also closed to HOVs?

  • Anonymous

    While inconveniences are part of the recovery of any major disaster, I’m baffled of how many people here suggest you take strangers (not coworkers, not relatives, not neighbors – just strangers) into your car and drive around.

    Will it take some murder, rape, kidnapping to prove this is a very bad idea? 

  • Anonymous

    @andrelot:disqus : The notion of the murderous hitchhiker is largely a myth. Sure, it has happened once or twice in the last century and has been greatly sensationalized. But lots of people hitchhike every day and nothing bad happens. Even on a good day, it is a common practice across the George Washington Bridge because drivers want to save money by taking advantage of the car pool EZ-Pass rate.

  • Mitchellkalik

    what can i do if im going to the airport with 4 people and returning by myself

  • Farreachingman

    I’m sorry. I  am a woman driving alone. I do not want to pick up 2 strangers. I would love to use public transit but I have no real train or bus options. I live in Manhattan, work in Brooklyn and the wait for the multiple buses/trains I would have to take seems to be about 4 hours. Don’t place HOV restrictions to “encourage” people to use public transport if you haven’t got the means to back it up Mr. Mayor.

  • Marley

    I know. If you saw the delays this morning at the “checkpoints”. Any potential time saved by not allowing non HOV vehicles was lost and then some. What a dumb idea! The crisis is bad enough without adding additional stupid rules.

  • Mikep45

    Bloomfield is a jackass, why make it harder during disaster

  • Juno56

    Amen to that

  • Cy

    Funny how everyone took precautions for their safety before the storm, but afterwards, some people here seem to want to throw caution to the wind.  Think about it…cab drivers have cameras in their cars because they can be assaulted.  Why? They pick up strangers.  Even now, this disaster is bringing out the best in most people, but the worse in others- like those looting as if it’s their own personal shopping spree.  In this city of uncertainties, picture this:your daughter/ wife/ sister/ mom driving to work, picks up two strangers to get to the city.  They look normal and nice enough.  Time to drop them off- one pulls a weapon and takes off with her purse (cash/cards), iphone, laptop, etc.  If she’s lucky it’s just that and the emotional trauma it entails.  If not..well.  Don’t say it can’t happen, that’s just being naive.  I’ve lived here my entire life- stuff happens, usually to the nicest people.  Better to stay home than take a chance.

  • Alive

    As allways Bllomberg is an idiot…

  • Anonymous

    Unbelievable that people here are still whining about this.

    Whatever happened to New Yorkers coming together and making sacrifices in the midst of a disaster? Apparently, that doesn’t apply to drivers, who want to be able to drive into the middle of a disaster area with no restrictions.

    People are without power in lower Manhattan and the city is distributing free food and water to those who are suffering, and you’re whining about not being able to drive your car into the city alone? You should be ashamed of yourselves!

  • Guest

    Anyone found out whether we can use RFK from Queens to Bronx? Thanks a lot!
    Bless all the suffering people~ Hope things go well soon~

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