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Organized Confusion for Straphangers on Jay Street

Lines stretched as long as 8 blocks for subway commuters forced to exit at Jay Street and board shuttle buses into Manhattan

Limited subway service resumed for the first time Thursday morning for New Yorkers in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

This meant, after three days of "forced vacation," millions of residents finally were reporting back to work.

Most of the subways that run through Brooklyn were again operational. However, as much of lower Manhattan is still without electricity and subway service, all Manhattan-bound trains from Brooklyn stopped just short of the bridge at the Jay Street/Metrotech subway station.

Commuters at Jay Street then were instructed to exit onto the street and board a shuttle bus that would carry them across the bridge into Manhattan.

The scene: organized confusion.

"They're doing the best they can do today," said Mark Marketta of Carroll Gardens. "It's going to be crazy for a while, so we're just going to have to wait and see what happens. I've only been on line for about 10 minutes, so it's not too bad."

As straphangers emerged from the J Street exit, they were instructed to walk to Willoughby and Jay Street where the line started.

The line then ran east one block down Willoughby, wrapped around the back of Metro Tech for two blocks, and then looped back around in the direction it started to Jay Street for three blocks until it reached the bus depot at the entrance of Polytech University. In all, the line stretched about 8 blocks and took 25-30 minutes to complete.

"That was crazy, the line seemed never-ending and there were people everywhere," said Bed-Stuy resident Asta Calhoun who took the bus from Jay Street to her job on 34th Street in Manhattan.

"The line moved fast, and the bus was fast; the trip was actually faster than my usual commute on the train. But then again, I cut the line and just got myself on the bus. But I had to do what I had to do, or I would have never made it.

"But honestly, I think the city is doing tremendous work. I can't complain. Plus the trains and the buses are free."

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