Mayor de Blasio shovels his sidewalk in Brooklyn.

Winter storm Hercules is in full effect today, and New Yorkers have been braving teeth-chattering temps and several inches of snow. Officials are warning everyone to stay indoors if possible, but for those who must travel, Governor Cuomo and new Mayor de Blasio have announced several updates on the state of NY’s transit systems and school and other closures. Read on for the latest.

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All MTA Subway service will run local for the start of the morning rush hour and will remain that way until later in the day when express service resumes. MTA buses, meanwhile, should expect delays throughout the day with service running at 85 percent capacity and slower speeds.

The LIRR and Metro-North are currently operating on a weekend schedule with reduced service, and Metro-North customers in particular could see about 60% of normal weekday trains. Access-a-Ride reports that it’s had over 13,000 customer cancellations, and the medical transportation service urges clients to reconsider travel unless medically necessary. The Staten Island Ferry and the East River Ferry continue to run on a rush hour schedule. Rockaway Ferry service, however, is suspended

While public transportation is running at half-mast, all bridges and tunnels remain open. But the city does urge motorists to drive at reduced speeds.

Mayor de Blasio also put out his own updates regarding the storm leading with the announcement that all NYC public schools are closed and CUNY classes are canceled. Meanwhile, 2,500 DSNY, DOT, DEP and Parks snowplows are on the streets clearing out accumulations up to 6.5 inches already. Those who want to keep up with real-time snow clearance can do so with the PlowNYC feature on NYC.gov.

City services such as garbage collection will also be hampered until the snow is partially cleared  but on the plus side, alternate side parking is suspended. Senior centers remain closed today but all city hospitals and emergency rooms remain open. Similarly, the Department of Homeless Services continues to use its Cold Weather Emergency Procedure, Code Blue, to protect unsheltered individuals.

Stay safe and warm New York.

+ NYC.gov

Images © Yuka Yoneda for Inhabitat and Maxwell GS