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Transportation at standstill in Boston as manhunt continues

April 19, 2013 at 8:42 AM ET

Shootings In Cambridge, Watertown Draw Massive Police Response
Mario Tama / Getty
SWAT team members aim their guns as they search for one remaining suspect at an apartment building on April 19, 2013 in Watertown, Massachusetts. Earlier, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus police officer was shot and killed at the school's campus in Cambridge. A short time later, police reported exchanging gunfire with alleged carjackers in Watertown, a city near Cambridge.

Transportation to and from Boston was brought to a near halt Friday as the house-to-house manhunt continued for the second suspect in the deadly Boston Marathon attacks. Planes continued to takeoff and land at Boston Logan airport, though the airport is operating under heightened security, airport officials told NBC News.

But the only way to get to and from the airport is to drive, with all the city's buses, subways commuter trains, and Amtrak ceasing operations. That still proves challenging, with authorities prohibiting street traffic, and cars having to pass through police roadblocks when entering and leaving the airport. Official taxi service was suspended for several hours this morning, the Boston Police Department said.

After exiting a relatively quiet terminal patrolled by police officers holding assault rifles, Air Tran passenger Hunter Wallace told NBC News his group skipped the line of 15 people waiting for a taxi this morning, entered their hotel's address in their phones, and started walking towards the Hyatt Regency. After walking two miles, they still saw cars backed up on the highway waiting to take the airport exit.

They were eventually picked up by an early 90's crown victoria-type car running without a meter or badge, operating despite the ban on taxi service at that time. Their driver was a teenager who had his skateboard in the front seat. Once they arrived at their hotel, the check-in desk told them the police had said to not leave the hotel.

"We were gonna go to the Red Sox game tonight but I don't if it's going to happen, said Wallace. "Gonna be here for a while."

All forms of transportation in and around Boston have been affected by the city-wide lockdown. One of the suspect's accomplices is is believed to have taken a train to Connecticut, which appears to have been stopped and surrounded in East Norwalk.

Regional bus lines, such as Megabus, Greyhound, Bolt Bus, and Peter Pan bus lines have also suspended service, with customers receiving options for refunds or rebooking, according to an AP report.

Jetblue is waiving ticket change fees for anyoneflying to or from Boston on April 19, and giving refunds to those with canceled flights. United, Spirit and Southwest Airlines also issued travel change fee waivers for Boston travelers.

Map of FAA's no-fly zone over Watertown.
FAA
Map of FAA's no-fly zone over Watertown.

The Federal Aviation Administration shut down airspace over a Boston neighborhood Friday morning to give police a "safe environment for law-enforcement activities."

The agency issued a 3.5 nautical mile (4 miles roughly) radius temporary flight restriction over Watertown early Friday up to 3,000 feet. Effective immediately, no pilot may operate an aircraft in the restricted area until further notice, according to an FAA bulletin. The measure is similar to one enacted Monday following the bombing.

The AP contributed to this report.

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