Boston lockdown: Cops: Boston must stay in place amid terror hunt

BOSTON - Much of Boston's transportation system followed the rest of the city into lockdown mode Friday as authorities hunted for one of the suspects in this week's deadly marathon bombings.

All modes of transit operated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority -- including rail, subway, buses and ferries -- were halted Friday at the request of the police, according to Joe Pesaturo, an MBTA spokesman. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation cautioned travelers via Twitter not to wait at stations or bus stops.

Mass. Governor said that transit services would resume Friday afternoon, even though the remaining suspect had not been captured yet.

Boston's Logan International Airport was operating normally under heightened security, according to airport spokesman Matthew Brelis.

"It's open and operating and flights are operating," he said. "Airlines are waiving fees for passengers who don't want to or can't fly today. ... Taxis are coming and going. Call your airline for your flight status before you leave for the airport, which is what we say anyway, but allow yourself a little extra time."

Taxi service in the city of Boston was suspended Friday morning but was restored by about 11 a.m., according to the Boston Police Department's Twitter feed.

JetBlue Airlines allowed travelers with Friday flights to or from Boston to change them without incurring fees or fare differences for travel through Monday. Passengers with canceled flights may also opt for a refund, the airline said on its website.

Other U.S. and international airlines were offering similar accommodations to passengers flying to and from Boston.

Delta Air Lines said Friday morning it was considering the extension of a waiver issued this week to Boston travelers, "and of course, we'll work with customers on a case-by-case basis if they're not able to travel because of infrastructure challenges," wrote Delta representative Morgan Durrant in an e-mail. The airline said it had not canceled any Logan flights Friday and anticipated on-time operations.

Flight operations at Logan appeared normal Friday morning, according to flight tracking site FlightAware.

"Flights at Boston Logan are operating normally and are nominally on-time this morning with no increase in cancellations over a normal day," according to FlightAware CEO Daniel Baker.

The Federal Aviation Administration ordered a 3.5-nautical-mile temporary flight restriction over Boston "to provide a safe environment for law enforcement activities." The restriction is from surface to 3,000 feet, according to the FAA.

Amtrak has suspended service between Boston and Providence, Rhode Island.

"At the request of local authorities, and due to ongoing police activity, Amtrak Acela Express and Northeast Regional service is suspended indefinitely between Providence (Rhode Island) and Boston," Amtrak said in a statement. Normal service continues between Washington, Philadelphia and New York.

An Acela train coming from Boston was searched and "cleared" near Norwalk, Connecticut, on Friday morning, according to Amtrak spokesman Cliff Cole. The incident was related to the Boston Marathon investigation. After the search, the train proceeded to Washington's Union Station.

Greyhound and BoltBus operations in and out of Boston have been canceled until further notice, according to spokesman Timothy Stokes.

Authorities in Boston suspended all mass transit, telling commuters via Twitter this morning: "Go/stay home." Businesses were asked not to open.

Amtrak has stopped trains north and south of Boston. All major intercity bus lines have suspended service to the area. Passengers are being allowed to get refunds or rebook for travel at a later date. And the airlines are allowing customers to change plans without paying a fee.

Amtrak stopped service about an hour south of the city in Providence, R.I. It has also suspended its entire Downeaster service, which runs from Brunswick, Maine to Boston, according to spokesman Cliff Cole.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, which operates commuter trains into Boston as well as the city's subway -- called the T -- and the city's buses suspended all operations. The one exception appears to be the Silver Line bus between Logan and downtown.

The MBTA suggested that people do not congregate at stations and bus stops.

All major highways remained open, according to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. The exception is in Watertown, Mass., the center of the manhunt.

Megabus has canceled at least 18 buses between Boston and New York, New Haven, Conn., Hartford, Conn., Burlington, Vt. and Philadelphia. More than 1,000 passengers were affected, according to spokesman Mike Alvich. They received emails offering a refund or the

option to rebook for free.

Bolt Bus, Greyhound and Peter Pan Bus Lines have all also suspended service. Passengers booked on canceled Bolt trips have already received refunds to their credit cards, according to Timothy Stokes, spokesman for Greyhound and Bolt Bus.

Logan airport remains open, although getting there will be a challenge for many passengers. On a typical day, the airport has about 1,000 flights, according to flight tracking site FlightAware. Fewer than 10 flights had been canceled by 10 a.m., mostly because of weather delays in New York, according to FlightAware.er

Fewer than 10 flights have been canceled Friday morning, most of them coming from areas where the weather is bad.

JetBlue, the largest airline in Boston with about 120 daily flights, is allowing anybody scheduled to fly to or from Boston to change their ticket for free. Delta -- which has about 70 daily Boston departures -- also hasn't canceled any flights in Boston. Spokesman Morgan Durrant says the airline expects on-time departures and is considering extending a travel waiver issued earlier in the week.

American Airlines hasn't canceled any of its 31 daily flights in Boston. The airline is allowing passengers scheduled to fly today to rebook onto flights Saturday or Sunday without penalty, according to spokeswoman Andrea Huguely.

The Federal Aviation Administration imposed an air traffic restriction on the Boston area "to provide a safe environment for law enforcement activities." It bars flights below 3,000 feet in a radius of 3.5 miles around the manhunt area. Such restrictions have minimal impact on commercial flights in the area.

 

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